Mali – once the land of gold
According to legend, the streets of the oasis city of Timbuktu were once paved with gold. The legend stems from the fact that in the 13th century the king’s caravans moved from Mali to Egypt and further into the Orient, laden with huge amounts of gold, which in Arabia shone the stories of the Arabian Nights and made its area of origin south of the Sahara rich.
Even today, gold prospectors in Mali still wash the valuable metal from the hot desert soil. They just make the country and themselves rich no longer. In the Middle Ages, Mali was one of the most important trading centers in the Islamic world, today Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world and yet the country is peaceful and non-violent. It has been independent since 1960, within limits negotiated by colonial powers in the 19th century. Until the beginning of 2012, Mali was considered a model democratic country in Africa.
But after Gaddafi was overthrown in Libya, heavily armed Malians – especially Tuaregs – who had served in the army of Libya returned to Mali in the course of 2012. In addition, the country’s president, Amadou Touré, who has been in power since 2002, was overthrown by the military on March 21, 2012. As a result of this development, the Tuaregs, supported by radical Islamists, conquered the entire north and thus dominated about two-thirds of the country. But the Islamists have meanwhile pushed back the Tuaregs and proclaimed a state of God. In the meantime they have proclaimed their own state called “Azaward”, which, however, has not yet been recognized by any other state.
|Name of the country||Republic of Mali|
|Name in German||Republic of Mali|
|Form of government||Presidential Republic|
|Geographical location||Landlocked country in West Africa|
|National anthem||Pour l’Afrique et pour toi, Mali|
|National holiday||September 22|
|Population||approx. 20.2 million residents (Credit: Countryaah: Mali Population)|
|Ethnicities||50% Mande, 17% Peul, 12% Voltaic, 6% Songhai, 10% Tuareg, 5% Dogon, Senufo|
|Religions||about 95% Islam and about 1% Christians.But many still practice natural religions|
|Languages||French (official language), Arabic, Bambara, Songhai-Jerma, Manding, Soninké and Ful|
|Capital||Bamako with around 2.5 million residents|
|Highest mountain||Hombori Tondo with a height of 1,155 m|
|Longest river||Niger with a length of 4,181 km|
|Largest lake||Lac Débo|
|International license plate||RMM|
|National currency||CFA Franc|
|Time difference to CET||– 1 h (= GMT)|
|International phone code||00223|
|Voltage frequency||220 volts and 50 hertz|
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)||.ml|
Until around the year 1000
Archaeological finds indicate that the region of present-day Mali was settled around 35,000 years ago. The first nomadic cattle breeding culture formed there around 4,000 BC. BC, agriculture has been practiced since around 2,000 BC. Operated.
According to Abbreviationfinder website, during antiquity and the Migration Period, the country was crossed by traders on the Trans-Sahara routes west from Morocco to central Niger and Lake Chad.
In the 5th century, the Soninke tribe gave birth to the Kingdom of Ghana, which existed for over 500 years. It ruled the western trade route and based its wealth primarily on the transport of gold and ivory from West Africa to the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
From the year 1000 to the 17th century
In 1076 the kingdom of Ghana was destroyed by the Muslim Almoravids, i.e. Mauritanian Berbers. After a period of decline, the area was taken from 1230 by the Mandinka from northern Senegal. The Islamic Empire of Mali came into being.
During the Middle Ages it formed one of the most important trading centers in the entire Islamic world. Famous trading cities such as Djenne, Timbuktu and Gao emerged, whose wealth was primarily based on taxes levied on the gold and salt transports.
In 1464 the Songhai began to conquer the Mali Empire, whose rulers also converted to Islam. After a Moroccan invasion in 1591, the Songhai Empire collapsed due to an internal revolt.
In the 18th and 19th centuries
At the beginning of the 19th century, Amadu Hammadi Bubu established a Muslim state in Mali, which soon fell apart. At the end of the 19th century, Mali was occupied by the French colonial power and in 1904 it was annexed to the French Sudan colony, later it belonged to French West Africa. The population was forced to grow export products such as peanuts, cotton and gum arabic.
In the 20th and 21st centuries
In 1960 Mali gained independence.
Under Modibo Keita, the country’s first president, Mali embarked on a socialist development, which, however, led to mismanagement and extreme government bureaucracy. In 1968, Keita was overthrown in a bloodless coup, the leader of which Moussa Traore ruled the country until the late 1980s.
In the 1970s, Mali, as part of the Sahel zone, was hit by the devastating consequences of the drought, as a result of which huge areas were once at least partially turned into desert as areas that could be used as pasture and arable land. At the same time, it meant the end of their traditional lifestyle for the tribes of the desert nomads; they now live as refugees in Malian cities.
In 1978 the Second Republic was founded with a one-party regime. However, pressure from the Western donors of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank forced the government to reform, which in turn led to unrest among the population. In 1990, a process of democratization began in Mali. In January 1992 a new constitution was passed and established the Third Republic.
As a result of droughts and the locust plague of 2004, around 20% of Mali’s population was threatened with hunger in July 2005.
After Gaddafi was overthrown in Libya, heavily armed Malians – especially Tuaregs – who had served in the army of Libya, returned to Mali in the course of 2012. In addition, the country’s president, Amadou Touré, who has been in power since 2002, was overthrown by the military on March 21, 2012. As a result of this development, the Tuaregs, supported by radical Islamists, conquered the entire north and thus dominated about two-thirds of the country. In the meantime they had proclaimed their own state called “Azaward”, which, however, was not recognized by any other state.
Parallel to the fighting in the north, a military coup took place in the capital Bamako in March 2012. The reason was the government’s hesitant action against the insurgents in the north. The situation was further destabilized by an unsuccessful counter coup.
In January 2013, at the request of Mali, France intervened in the north with Operation “Serval” in order to push back the Islamists. to stabilize Mali.
On February 28, 2013, the Bundestag approved for the first time the deployment of German armed forces to support the international support mission in Mali under African leadership (AFISMA) on the basis of Resolution 2085 (2012) of the UN Security Council.
After the UN Security Council decided on April 25, 2013 to set up the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), after the approval of the German Bundestag on June 27, 2013, German support for AFISMA was transferred to support for MINUSMA.
The signing of a domestic peace agreement by the conflicting parties in June 2015 was an important step towards stabilizing the country.
In January 2016, the German Bundestag approved the extension and expansion of the deployment – combined with an increase in the upper limit from 150 to 650 soldiers.
Parliament’s mandate of April 26, 2018 once again included an expansion of up to 1,100 German soldiers at MINUSMA. The mandate is valid until May 31, 2019.