Medieval to modern times
In the 7th century AD The Kingdom of Ghana (Gana) developed in the southwest of today’s Republic of Mali, which expanded rapidly due to the lively trade in gold. From the 11th century the kingdom was beset by the Almoravids, an Islamic Berber dynasty, conquered in the 13th century and incorporated into the Kingdom of Mali. This kingdom had developed in Upper Niger from 1100 and had become extremely rich through the trans-Saharan trade in salt, gold and slaves. In the middle of the 14th century, the Mali Empire reached its heyday under Mansa Mussa (1312-37) and, thanks to its expansion and prosperity, held a leading position in West Africa. In the 15th century, the Kingdom of Mali was weakened by ongoing fighting with the Songhai, Tuareg and Mossi peoples. Around 1464, the Songhai chief Sonni Ali founded the empire of Goa, which under his successor Aksia Mohammed spread over almost the entire former Mali empire. The Songhai Empire was considered the center of Islamic scholarship.
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The penetration of light-skinned Berber tribes from the north led to the collapse of the Songhai empire in the late 16th century into several smaller structures that were now within Moroccan rule. In the southwest of today’s Mali, an independent kingdom was founded by the Bambara at the beginning of the 17th century, which had regional significance and existed alongside several other locally limited entities.
In the first half of the 19th century, large parts of Mali were repeatedly conquered by fighters from the Islamic renewal movement, who, however, could not assert themselves against the resistance of the local population. French colonial power appeared on the scene in the second half of the 19th century: after long struggles, Bamako was captured in 1883 and Timbuktu in 1893. Mali became part of the colonial region of French West Africa under the name “Soudan”.
The path to independence
At the end of the Second World War, the first parties emerged with the goal of independence for the country. According to AbbreviationFinder, the African Democratic Collection Movement (Rassemblement D¨¦mocratique Africain, RDA) was oriented towards socialism and united with the Islamic Progressive Party to the Union Soudanaise (US RDA) in the late 1950s. In 1958, the “Soudan” colony was granted full internal autonomy within the French community. Union Soudanaise won the parliamentary elections and its leader, Modibo Keita, became the head of government of the Republic of Soudan. A year later, the country merged with the Republic of Senegal to form the so-called “Mali Federation”, which France granted full state independence in June 1960. A little later the Federation broke up, Bamako became the capital of the Republic of Mali in September. Modibo Keita became president. In order to separate the country economically and in terms of foreign policy from the former mother country France, Modibo Keita tried to bring it closer to socialist states. Following their example, he collectivized the agricultural economy and initiated a program for the expansion of a state-controlled industry. In 1963, Mali became a member of the Organization for African Unity (OAU), which was founded by 30 independent African countries in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. Modibo Keita tried to approximate socialist states. Following their example, he collectivized the agricultural economy and initiated a program for the expansion of a state-controlled industry. In 1963 Mali became a member of the Organization for African Unity (OAU), which was founded by 30 independent African countries in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.Modibo Keita tried to approximate socialist states. Following their example, he collectivized the agricultural economy and initiated a program for the expansion of a state-controlled industry. In 1963, Mali became a member of the Organization for African Unity (OAU), which was founded by 30 independent African countries in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
Economic difficulties and domestic tensions (including with the Tuareg who fought for the establishment of an independent state in northern Mali) led to President Modibo Keita dissolving parliament in early 1968 and taking sole power in Mali at the head of a revolutionary committee. Just a few months later, he was overthrown by a coup by army officers led by Yoro Diakit¨¦ and Moussa Traor¨¦.
Mali’s new head of state for the next two decades was Colonel Moussa Traor¨¦, who ruled the country in an authoritarian manner. He tried to partially take back collectivization measures in the economy and sought a rapprochement with the West in foreign policy. In 1972, the economic reform measures suffered a severe setback due to a devastating drought that threatened the existence of most of Mali’s population.
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In 1974, Mali received a new constitution that specified a transition to an elected civilian government within a certain period of time. In the first presidential election in June 1979, Traor¨¦ was confirmed as head of a government that was largely civilian.
The continuing poor economic situation (among other things, Mali’s external debt rose to over $ 2.7 billion at the end of 1990) led to domestic tensions, demonstrators demanded the deposition of Traor¨¦ and the country’s democratization. A short time later, Traor¨¦ was overthrown by a military coup, and the coup leader, Amadou Toumani Tour¨¦, took over, promising democratic reforms.
Elections were held in 1992 based on a new constitution. The strongest parties were the Alliance pour la D¨¦mocratie au Mali (ADEMA) and the Parti Africain pour la Solidarit¨¦ et la Justice (PASJ). Alpha Oumar Konar¨¦ (ADEMA) became president. In the same year, a peace agreement was signed with the Tuareg in the north of the country, who were assured of regional self-government, but which was never implemented. The conflict with the Tuareg flared up again and again: the agreed ceasefire was disrupted by the rebels several times. The independent ex-coup leader and general Amadou Toumani Tour¨¦ was elected president in 2002 and confirmed in office in 2007. With foreign support, he carried out administrative and judicial reforms.
In early 2012, Tuareg forces attacked the Malian military in the northeast of the country, and by spring they had taken control of the entire north and declared the area independent. Serious human rights violations occurred in the northern provinces. The Malian security forces complained about a lack of government support and a military coup occurred in March 2012. When the rebels also wanted to conquer the south of the country in early 2013, transition president Dioncounda Traor¨¦ asked the former colonial power France for help. Operation Serval quickly defeated the Islamists and transferred the command back to African troops. After presidential elections, former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was sworn in as President in September 2013.