Mali the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa, a region geologically identified with the West African Craton. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres; the population of Mali is 18 million. Its capital is Bamako; the sovereign state of Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert, while the country's southern part, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Senegal rivers. The country's economy centers on mining; some of Mali's prominent natural resources include gold, being the third largest producer of gold in the African continent, salt. Present-day Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade: the Ghana Empire, the Mali Empire, the Songhai Empire. During its golden age, there was a flourishing of mathematics, astronomy and art. At its peak in 1300, the Mali Empire covered an area about twice the size of modern-day France and stretched to the west coast of Africa.
In the late 19th century, during the Scramble for Africa, France seized control of Mali, making it a part of French Sudan. French Sudan joined with Senegal in 1959. Shortly thereafter, following Senegal's withdrawal from the federation, the Sudanese Republic declared itself the independent Republic of Mali. After a long period of one-party rule, a coup in 1991 led to the writing of a new constitution and the establishment of Mali as a democratic, multi-party state. In January 2012, an armed conflict broke out in northern Mali, in which Tuareg rebels took control of a territory in the north, in April declared the secession of a new state, Azawad; the conflict was complicated by a military coup that took place in March and fighting between Tuareg and rebels. In response to territorial gains, the French military launched Opération Serval in January 2013. A month Malian and French forces recaptured most of the north. Presidential elections were held on 28 July 2013, with a second-round run-off held on 11 August, legislative elections were held on 24 November and 15 December 2013.
The name Mali is taken from the name of the Mali Empire. The name was derived from the Mandinka or Bambara word mali, meaning "hippopotamus", but it came to mean "the place where the king lives"; the word carries the connotation of strength. Guinean writer Djibril Niane suggests in Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali that it is not impossible that Mali was the name given to one of the capitals of the emperors. 14th-century Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta reported that the capital of the Mali Empire was called Mali. One Mandinka tradition tells that the legendary first emperor Sundiata Keita changed himself into a hippopotamus upon his death in the Sankarani River, that it's possible to find villages in the area of this river, termed "old Mali", which have Mali for a name; this name could have been that of a city. In old Mali, there is one village called Malika which means "New Mali."Another theory suggests that Mali is a Fulani pronunciation of the name of the Mande peoples. It is suggested that a sound shift led to the change, whereby in Fulani the alveolar segment /nd/ shifts to /l/ and the terminal vowel denasalises and raises, thus "Manden" shifts to /Mali/.
Mali was once part of three famed West African empires which controlled trans-Saharan trade in gold, salt and other precious commodities. These Sahelian kingdoms had rigid ethnic identities; the earliest of these empires was the Ghana Empire, dominated by the Soninke, a Mande-speaking people. The empire expanded throughout West Africa from the 8th century until 1078, when it was conquered by the Almoravids; the Mali Empire formed on the upper Niger River, reached the height of power in the 14th century. Under the Mali Empire, the ancient cities of Djenné and Timbuktu were centers of both trade and Islamic learning; the empire declined as a result of internal intrigue being supplanted by the Songhai Empire. The Songhai people originated in current northwestern Nigeria; the Songhai had long been a major power in West Africa subject to the Mali Empire's rule. In the late 14th century, the Songhai gained independence from the Mali Empire and expanded subsuming the entire eastern portion of the Mali Empire.
The Songhai Empire's eventual collapse was the result of a Moroccan invasion in 1591, under the command of Judar Pasha. The fall of the Songhai Empire marked the end of the region's role as a trading crossroads. Following the establishment of sea routes by the European powers, the trans-Saharan trade routes lost significance. One of the worst famines in the region's recorded history occurred in the 18th century. According to John Iliffe, "The worst crises were in the 1680s, when famine extended from the Senegambian coast to the Upper Nile and'many sold themselves for slaves, only to get a sustenance', in 1738–1756, when West Africa's greatest recorded subsistence crisis, due to drought and locusts killed half the population of Timbuktu." Mali fell under the control of France during the late 19th century. By 1905, most of the area was under firm French control as a part of French Sudan. In early 1959, French Sudan and Senegal united to become the Mali Federation; the Mali Federation gained independence from France on 20 June 1960.
Senegal withdrew from the federation in August 1960, which allowed the Sudanes
Bandiagara is a small town and urban commune in the Mopti Region of Mali. The name translates to "large eating bowl"—referring to the communal bowl meals are served in. Bandiagara is 65 km east-southeast of Mopti. A seasonal river, the Yamé, flows in a northeasterly direction through the town; the population includes a number of different ethnic groups including Dogons and Bambaras. Bandiagara is said to have been founded in 1770 by a Dogon hunter. In 1864, Tidiani Tall, El Hadj Umar Tall's nephew and successor, chose Bandiagara as capital of the Toucouleur empire, it is the birthplace of Madina Ly-Tall and Yambo Ouologuem. In the music video for the song Reset by Three Trapped Tigers it is shown as the location of an alien rune; as of 2018 the town remains insecure with attacks on hotels used by UN staff being reported. Bandiagara Escarpment Ounjougou Union of the Populations of Bandiagara This article was based on the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia, accessed April 9, 2005. Additional reference was made to this article on Dec. 14, 2006.
B. O. Oloruntimeehin; the Segu Tukulor Empire. Humanities Press, New York. SBN 391002066 UNESCO site about the Cliff of Bandiagara Dogon Country
Foreign relations of Mali
Following independence in 1960, Mali followed a socialist path and was aligned ideologically with the communist bloc. Mali's foreign policy orientation became pragmatic and pro-Western over time. Since the institution of a democratic form of government in 1992, Mali's relations with the West in general and the United States in particular have improved significantly. U. S.-Malian relations are described by the U. S. Department of State as "excellent and expanding," given Mali's recent record of democratic stability in the volatile area of West Africa and its avowed support of the war on terrorism. Mali is reported to be one of the largest recipients of U. S. aid in Africa. Mali is active in regional organizations such as the African Union. Working to control and resolve regional conflicts, such as in Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone, is one of Mali's major foreign policy goals. Mali feels threatened by the potential for the spillover of conflicts in neighboring states, relations with those neighbors are uneasy.
General insecurity along borders in the north, including cross-border banditry and terrorism, remain troubling issues in regional relations. Although Azawad, a region spanning the expansive north of Mali, was proclaimed independent in April 2012 by Tuareg rebels, Mali has not recognised the de facto state. Britain has closed its embassy. France has declared. Mali is a member of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the International Labour Organization, the International Telecommunication Union, the Universal Postal Union and the International Criminal Court, it belongs to the Organisation of African Unity. Mali is active in regional organizations, it participates in the Economic Community of West African States and the West African Economic Monetary Union for regional economic integration. List of diplomatic missions in Mali List of diplomatic missions of Mali
Sunni Islam is the largest denomination of Islam, followed by nearly 90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word sunnah; the differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims arose from a disagreement over the succession to Muhammad and subsequently acquired broader political significance, as well as theological and juridical dimensions. According to Sunni traditions, Muhammad did not designate a successor and the Muslim community acted according to his sunnah in electing his father-in-law Abu Bakr as the first caliph; this contrasts with the Shia view, which holds that Muhammad announced at the event of Ghadir Khumm his son-in-law and cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor. Political tensions between Sunnis and Shias continued with varying intensity throughout Islamic history and they have been exacerbated in recent times by ethnic conflicts and the rise of Wahhabism; as of 2009, Sunni Muslims constituted 87–90% of the world's Muslim population. Sunni Islam is the world's largest religious denomination, followed by Catholicism.
Its adherents are referred to in Arabic as ahl as-sunnah wa ahl as-sunnah for short. In English, its doctrines and practices are sometimes called Sunnism, while adherents are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis and Ahlus Sunnah. Sunni Islam is sometimes referred to as "orthodox Islam". However, other scholars of Islam, such as John Burton believe that there is no such thing as "orthodox Islam"; the Quran, together with hadith and binding juristic consensus form the basis of all traditional jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. Sharia rulings are derived from these basic sources, in conjunction with analogical reasoning, consideration of public welfare and juristic discretion, using the principles of jurisprudence developed by the traditional legal schools. In matters of creed, the Sunni tradition upholds the six pillars of iman and comprises the Ash'ari and Maturidi schools of rationalistic theology as well as the textualist school known as traditionalist theology. Sunnī commonly referred to as Sunnīism, is a term derived from sunnah meaning "habit", "usual practice", "custom", "tradition".
The Muslim use of this term refers to living habits of the prophet Muhammad. In Arabic, this branch of Islam is referred to as ahl as-sunnah wa l-jamāʻah, "the people of the sunnah and the community", shortened to ahl as-sunnah. One common mistake is to assume that Sunni Islam represents a normative Islam that emerged during the period after Muhammad's death, that Sufism and Shi'ism developed out of Sunni Islam; this perception is due to the reliance on ideological sources that have been accepted as reliable historical works, because the vast majority of the population is Sunni. Both Sunnism and Shiaism are the end products of several centuries of competition between ideologies. Both sects used each other to further cement their own doctrines; the first four caliphs are known among Sunnis as the Rashidun or "Rightly-Guided Ones". Sunni recognition includes the aforementioned Abu Bakr as the first, Umar as the second, Uthman as the third, Ali as the fourth. Sunnis recognised different rulers as the caliph, though they did not include anyone in the list of the rightly guided ones or Rashidun after the murder of Ali, until the caliphate was constitutionally abolished in Turkey on 3 March 1924.
The seeds of metamorphosis of caliphate into kingship were sown, as the second caliph Umar had feared, as early as the regime of the third caliph Uthman, who appointed many of his kinsmen from his clan Banu Umayya, including Marwan and Walid bin Uqba on important government positions, becoming the main cause of turmoil resulting in his murder and the ensuing infighting during Ali's time and rebellion by Muawiya, another of Uthman's kinsman. This resulted in the establishment of firm dynastic rule of Banu Umayya after Husain, the younger son of Ali from Fatima, was killed at the Battle of Karbala; the rise to power of Banu Umayya, the Meccan tribe of elites who had vehemently opposed Muhammad under the leadership of Abu Sufyan, Muawiya's father, right up to the conquest of Mecca by Muhammad, as his successors with the accession of Uthman to caliphate, replaced the egalitarian society formed as a result of Muhammad's revolution to a society stratified between haves and have-nots as a result of nepotism, in the words of El-Hibri through "the use of religious charity revenues to subsidise family interests, which Uthman justified as "al-sila"."
Ali, during his rather brief regime after Uthman maintained austere life style and tried hard to bring back the egalitarian system and supremacy of law over the ruler idealised in Muhammad's message, but faced continued opposition, wars one after another by Aisha-Talhah-Zubair, by Muawiya and by the Kharjites. After he was murdered his followers elected Hasan ibn Ali his elder son from Fatima to succeed him. Hasan, shortly afterwards signed a treaty with Muawiaya relinquishing power in favour of the latter, with a condition inter alia, that one of the two who will outlive the other will be the caliph, that this caliph will not appoint a successor but will leave the matter of selection of the caliph to the public. Subsequently, Hasan was poisoned to death and Muawiya enjoyed unchallenged power. Not honouring his treaty with Hasan he however nominated his son Yazid to succeed him. Upon Muawiya's death, Yazid asked Husain the younger brother of Hasan, Ali's son and Muh
Northern Mali conflict
The Northern Mali Conflict, Mali Civil War, or Mali War refers to armed conflicts that started from January 2012 between the northern and southern parts of Mali in Africa. On 16 January 2012, several insurgent groups began fighting a campaign against the Malian government for independence or greater autonomy for northern Mali, an area of northern Mali they called Azawad; the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, an organization fighting to make this area of Mali an independent homeland for the Tuareg people, had taken control of the region by April 2012. On 22 March 2012, President Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup d'état over his handling of the crisis, a month before a presidential election was to have taken place. Mutinous soldiers, calling themselves the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State, took control and suspended the constitution of Mali; as a consequence of the instability following the coup, Mali's three largest northern cities—Kidal and Timbuktu—were overrun by the rebels on three consecutive days.
On 5 April 2012, after the capture of Douentza, the MNLA said that it had accomplished its goals and called off its offensive. The following day, it proclaimed the independence of northern Mali from the rest of the country, renaming it Azawad; the MNLA were backed by the Islamist group Ansar Dine. After the Malian military was driven from northern Mali, Ansar Dine and a number of smaller Islamist groups began imposing strict Sharia law; the MNLA and Islamists struggled to reconcile their conflicting visions for an intended new state. Afterwards, the MNLA began fighting against Ansar Dine and other Islamist groups, including Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, a splinter group of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. By 17 July 2012, the MNLA had lost control of most of northern Mali's cities to the Islamists; the government of Mali asked for foreign military help to re-take the north. On 11 January 2013, the French military began operations against the Islamists. Forces from other African Union states were deployed shortly after.
By 8 February, the Islamist-held territory had been re-taken by the Malian military, with help from the international coalition. Tuareg separatists have continued to fight the Islamists as well, although the MNLA has been accused of carrying out attacks against the Malian military. A peace deal between the government and Tuareg rebels was signed on 18 June 2013, however on 26 September 2013 the rebels pulled out of the peace agreement and claimed that the government had not respected its commitments to the truce. Fighting is still ongoing though French forces are scheduled for withdrawal. A ceasefire agreement was signed on 19 February 2015 in Algiers, but sporadic terrorist attacks still occur; this conflict ended with the signing of a peace accord in the capital on 15 April 2015. In the early 1990s Tuareg and Arab nomads formed the Mouvement Populaire de l'Azaouad/Azawad People's Movement and declared war for independence of the northern part of Mali. Despite peace agreements with the government of Mali in 1991 and 1995 a growing dissatisfaction among the former Tuareg fighters, integrated into the Military of Mali, led to new fighting in 2007.
Despite having difficulty maintaining alliances between secular and Islamist factions the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad allied itself with the Islamist groups Ansar Dine and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and began the 2012 Northern Mali conflict. The MNLA was an offshoot of a political movement known as the National Movement for Azawad prior to the insurgency. After the end of the Libyan Civil War, an influx of weaponry led to the arming of the Tuareg in their demand for independence; the strength of this uprising and the use of heavy weapons, which were not present in the previous conflicts, were said to have "surprised" Malian officials and observers. Though dominated by Tuaregs, the MNLA claimed that they represented other ethnic groups as well, were joined by some Arab leaders; the MNLA's leader Bilal Ag Acherif said that the onus was on Mali to either give the Saharan peoples their self-determination or they would take it themselves. Another Tuareg-dominated group, the Islamist Ansar Dine fought alongside the MNLA against the government.
Unlike the MNLA, it did not seek independence but rather the imposition of Islamic law across Mali. The movement's leader Iyad Ag Ghaly was part of the early 1990s rebellion and has been reported to be linked to an offshoot of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, led by his cousin Hamada Ag Hama as well as Algeria's Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité. Mali was going through several crises at once that favored the rise of the conflict: State crisis: the establishment of a Tuareg state has been a long-term goal of the MNLA, since it began a rebellion in 1962. Thereafter, Mali has been in a constant struggle to maintain its territory. Food crisis: Mali's economy has an extreme dependence on outside assistance, which has led Economic Community of West African States to blockade, to subdue the military junta. Political crisis: The mutiny led to the fall of the president; the first attacks of the rebellion took place in Ménaka, a small town in far eastern Mali, on 16 and 17 January 2012. On 17 January, attacks in Tessalit were reported.
The Mali government claimed to have regained control of all three towns the next day. On 24 January, the rebels retook Aguelhok; the next day the Mali government once again recaptured the city. Mali launched air and land counter operations to take back the seized territory, amid protests in Bamako and Kati. Malian president Amadou
Henri Gouraud (general)
Henri Joseph Eugène Gouraud was a French general, best known for his leadership of the French Fourth Army at the end of the First World War. Henri Gouraud was born on Rue de Grenelle in Paris on 17 November 1867 to Doctor Xavier Gouraud and Mary Portal, the first of six children; the Gouraud family came from Vendée, but had left during the French Revolution for Angers Paris. Gouraud was educated at the Collège Stanislas de Paris, his decision for a military career was, like many Frenchmen of his generation, motivated by the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. Gouraud entered the Saint Cyr Military Academy in 1888 as part of the "Grand Triomphe" promotion, a well chosen name as it included sixty future generals, he joined the Troupes de marine. He expected to be posted overseas as the Troupes de marine served in the French colonial empire, but his father objected because he feared that the marines would be a bad influence on his son. Gouraud respected his father's wish and was instead posted to the 21st Foot Chasseur Regiment at Montbéliard.
Henri Gouraud was assigned in 1894 to French Sudan. He developed a reputation as an effective if lucky commander. In 1898, he was ordered to head one of a number of units fighting Samori, the resistance leader, fighting the French for more than a decade. Driven into the highlands south of Niger River valley by a series of previous defeats, Samori's forces were defeated within the year. On 29 September 1898, Gouraud's unit captured him. More it marked the end of the last large state opposing French colonialism in the West; the capture of Samori made Henri Gouraud a celebrated figure in France, at the same time as nationalists were recovering from the setback against the British at Fashoda. The young captain was feted in the highest political circles of Paris, where he was introduced to powerful businessmen and politicians with interests in the colonial project. Among them were Auguste d'Arenberg and Eugène Étienne, future founders of what was called the "parti colonial". Thanks to the patronage of the "parti colonial", Henri Gouraud pursued a career across French Africa for the next fifteen years, with postings in Niger and Mauritania.
In 1907, he was promoted to colonel and commissaire du Gouvernement général of Mauritania, where he led a campaign against Bedouin tribes who threatened transport between the colonies of Morocco and French West Africa. In 1911, after attending the centre des Hautes études militaires in France, colonel Gouraud was stationed in Morocco, where he was promoted to général de brigade, serving under Lyautey, he was placed in command of the Fez military region, from 1914 to 1915 in command of all French colonial troops in western Morocco. In mid-1915 he served as commander of the French Expeditionary Corps, committed to the Dardanelles Campaign, he was wounded on 30 June, subsequently lost his right arm. From December 1915 to December 1916 and from June 1917 until the end of the war he commanded the Fourth Army on the Western Front, where he gained distinction for his use of elastic defense during the Second Battle of the Marne. On 22 November 1918, he entered the city of Strasbourg, overthrowing the Soviet government, proclaimed there on 11 November 1918.
After the war, Gouraud served from 1919 to 1923 as representative of the French Government in the Middle East and commander of the French Army of the Levant. As commander of French forces during Franco-Turkish war, he presided over the creation of the French Mandates in Syria and Lebanon. Following the implementation of the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided the occupied remnants of the Ottoman Empire between France and Britain, Gouraud was commander of forces sent to enforce the French division of the Levant. Between 20 January and 10 February 1920 Gouraud's troops were moved north to support forces in the Franco-Turkish War. Gouraud directed the suppression of a rising of Turkish National Forces at the Battle of Marash which led to the withdrawal of French troops back to Syria. There, Gouraud's ongoing attempt to control King Faisal came to a head. Gouraud led French forces which crushed King Faisal's short-lived monarchy at the Battle of Maysalun on 23 July 1920, occupied Damascus, defeated the forces of the Syrian Revolution and established the French Mandate of Syria.
These territories were reorganised a number of times by Gouraud's decrees, the most famous being the creation of the State of Greater Lebanon on 1 September 1920. Gouraud became the French High Commissioner in Syria and Lebanon, effective head of the colonial government there, he is remembered in the Levant for this role, for an attributed anecdote which portrays him as the epitome of Western triumphalism in the Middle East. Following the Battle of Maysalun, Gouraud went to the tomb of Saladin, kicked it, said: "Awake, Saladin. We have returned. My presence here consecrates the victory of the Cross over the Crescent."Gouraud's administration in Syria borrowed much from his time as a young man working under Lyautey in Morocco, where colonial policy focused on control of the country through manipulation of tribes and the rural Berber populations. In Syria, this took the form of separate administrations for Druze and Alawite communities, with the aim of dividing their interests from those of urban nationalists.
Unpopular following the French taking of Damascus, the folk hero Adham Khanjar of Southern Lebanon staged a failed attempt on Gouraud's life on 23 June 1921. In 1923, he returned to France, where he was the Military Governor of Paris from 1923 to 1937, he served on the Supreme Allied War Council from 1927 until his retirement in 1937. General