Mali: History

  1. 1312-1337

    Mansa Musa rules the Empire of Mali, which reaches its height in 1325 when it conquers Timbuktu and Gao. After Musa’s rule, the empire begins to decline.

  2. Late 19th Century

    France begins a concerted effort to occupy the area of Mali, culminating in 1898 when the French defeat local resistance and establish the colony of French Sudan.

  3. 1959

    Mali joins with Senegal to form the Mali Federation.

  4. 1960

    The Mali Federation announces its complete independence from France. Within two months, Senegal secedes and the federation collapses. Modibo Keita becomes president of the new Republic of Mali and institutes a one party, socialist state.

  5. 1967

    As the economy continues to deteriorate, the government decides to rejoin the Franc Zone and modify some of the country’s economic policies.

  6. 1980s

    The government approves several economic reforms, including plans for cereal marketing liberalization, reform in the state enterprise system, new incentives for private enterprise, and a new structural adjustment agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

  7. 1991

    After four days of intense anti-government rioting, military officers arrest the president and appoint a civilian-led government. A new constitution is formed that would establish multi-party elections.

  8. 2002

    France declares that it will forgive 40% of the debt that Mali owes.

  9. 2012

    The Tuareg rebels take control of northern Mali and declare independence.

  10. 2013

    Mali asks France for military assistance after Islamist forces announce plans to attack the capital. French troops quickly push back the rebels, ending the fighting and leading to a peace deal between the government and rebels.


BBC News