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Mali History Timeline

1000s AD - 1800s
  • (1000s) The Empire of Mali grew to become the dominant force in the upper Niger basin
  • (1235) King Sundiata ushered in a period of greatness for Mali
  • (1312) Mali continued to peak under the ruling of Mansa Musa
  • (1400) The Empire of Mali began to decline and was replaced by the Songhai Empire
  • (1591) The Songhai Empire collapsed after being invaded by Morocco, marking the end of the region's role as a trading crossroads
  • (1680) The region experienced one of the worst famines in recorded history
  • (1738-1756) The greatest subsistence crisis of West Africa occurred as a result of drought and locusts, nearly half the population of Timbuktu was killed
  • (1898) France conquered Mali
1900s
  • (1960) Mali gained independence as a one-party, socialist state with Modibo Keita as president
  • (1968) Keita was ousted in a coup led by Lt. Moussa Traore
  • (1977) Protests were sparked by the death of Keita in prison
  • (1979) Elections were held under a new constitution, Traore was re-elected
  • (1991) Traore was deposed of in a coup and was replaced by a transitional committee
  • (1992) Multi-party elections were held and resulted in Alpha Konare becoming Mali's first democratically-elected president
  • (1995) Thousands of refugees returned following a peace agreement with Tuareg tribes
  • (1999) Moussa Traore was sentenced to death on corruption charges (his sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment by President Konare)
2000s
  • (2001) The Manantali dam produced its first megawatt of hydro-electricity, 13 years after completion
  • (2002) Amadou Toumani Toure was elected president; the government resigned with no public explanation and a new "government of national unity" was unveiled
  • (2003) At least 10 people were killed after clashes occurred between rival Muslim groups
  • (2004) A severe locust plague cut the cereal harvest nearly in half
  • (2006) A peace deal was signed with Tuareg rebels seeking greater autonomy for the northern desert region
  • (2007) President Toure was re-elected
  • (2008) Tuareg rebels killed 17 soldiers in an attack on an army post in the northeast, in spite of a ceasefire agreement
  • (2009) The Mali government gained control of the most active Tuareg bases; 700 rebels surrendered their weapons in a ceremony marking their return to the peace process
  • (2009) Military equipment was sent to Mali from Algeria in preparation for a joint operation against Islamic militants linked to al-Qaeda
  • (2010) A joint command to tackle the threat of terrorism was established by Mali, Algeria, Mauritania, and Niger
  • (2012) President Toure was deposed of by military officers and accused of failing to effectively deal with the Tuareg rebellion; Mali was suspended by the African Union; Tuareg rebels seized control of northern Mali and claimed independence
  • (2012) Order was transferred from the military to a civilian interim government led by President Dioncounda Traore; the military regained control after an alleged coup attempt by oppositional supporters
  • (2012) The Taureg MNLA and Islamist Ansar Dine groups merged together and declared northern Mali to be an Islamic state
  • (2013) France intervened after the central town of Konna was captured by Islamist fighters; Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktu were reclaimed by Mali; a peace deal was signed between the Mali government and Tuareg nationalist rebels
  • (2013) Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was elected president
  • (2014) Moussa Mara was appointed prime minister in an effort to stabilize the northern region; separatists seized control of Kidal, Menaka, Agelhok, Anefis, and Tessalit after the truce between Tuareg rebels and the Mali government broke down

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.