A SHORT RECENT HISTORY OF MALI
In 1959 French Sudan (Sudanese Republic) and Senegal united to form the Mali Federation.
In 1960 the Mali Federation gained independence from France.
Later in 1960 Senegal withdrew from the federation, which allowed the Sudanese Republic to become the independent Republic of Mali, forming a one party state ruled by President Modibo Keita.
In 1968 a military-led Keita regime was overthrown in a bloodless military coup led by Moussa Traore, called Liberation Day, with the intent of improving the economy.
In the late 1970s the Traoré regime faced student unrest beginning in the and three coup attempts.
In the 1980s opposition to the corrupt and dictatorial regime of General Moussa Traoré grew.
In 1991 anti-government protests led to a coup, a transitional government, and a new constitution.
In 1991 mass pro-democracy rallies and a nationwide strike was held in both urban and rural communities, which became known Mali’s March Revolution, resulting in the massacre of dozens under the orders of President Moussa Traoré.
The growing refusal of soldiers to fire into the largely nonviolent protesting crowds turned into a full-scale tumult, and resulted into thousands of soldiers putting down their arms and joining the pro-democracy movement, ultimately reulting in the arrest of President Traore by Lieutenant Colonel Amadou Toumani Toure.
Opposition parties were legalized and a national congress of civil and political groups met to draft a new democratic constitution to be approved by a national referendum.
In 1992 – 1997, Alpha Oumar Konare won Mali’s democratic, multi-party presidential elections.
In 2002 Amadou Toumani Toure, was elected. During this democratic period Mali was regarded as one of the most politically and socially stable countries in Africa.
In 2012 a Tuareg rebellion began in Northern Mali, led by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).
In March, military officer Amadou Sanogo seized power and the MNLA quickly took control of the north, declaring independence as Azawad.
Islamist groups including Ansar Dine and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), who had helped the MNLA defeat the government, turned on the Tuareg and took control of the North with the goal of implementing sharia in Mali.
In 2013, the French Armed Forces intervened at the request of the interim government.
The coordinated advance of the French and Malian troops claimed to have retaken the last remaining Islamist stronghold of Kidal, which was also the last of three northern provincial capitals.
On 2 February, the French President, Francois Hollande, joined Mali’s interim President, Dioncounda Traoré, in a public appearance in recently recaptured Timbuktu.
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has been President of Mali since 2013.
Slavery persists in Mali today with as many as 200,000 people held in direct servitude to a master.