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Friday, January 18, 2013



Ghana Empire
400 CE Jenne-Jeno, sub-Sahara's earliest city, expands.
"The Empires of the Bend of the Niger." (Fernand Braudel)
700s- Region along what is now the border of Mali and Mauritania, which includes present day Mali, is dominated by the Ghana Empire.
c. 800- earliest expansion of Sahara trade routes serving the Muslim north and east.

Arrival of Islam
1000 Islam introduced to the region by north African Arab and Berber traders. Rise of the Malinke Kingdom of Mali, centered on the upper reaches of the Niger River.

1010- King Kossoi of Gao the first ruler to accept Islam as the state religion, still maintains non-Muslim traditions n a Muslim court.
1042-1147- Almoravids impose Islamic rule over an area comprising modern Morocco, Mauretainia, northern Mali, western Algeria and Spain.
 1077- Ghana, capital of the Ghana empire conquered and destroyed by Almoravid Muslims. 
c.1150 -growth of Sahara gold trade due to expansion of southern Europe. 
-flourishing of medieval cities in Ghana : Kumbi, Timbuktu, Gao and Jenne.

Emergence of Mali
Mandinka people arise from the disintegration of Ghana.
1235 Sundiata Keïta ("the Alexander of Africa"), remembered in legend and song as West Africa's greatest conqueror, builds the small state of Kangaba  into the core of the Mali Empire. he also converts to Islam. Mali, like Ghana, extracts tribute from local rulers.
1240- Sundiata defeats Sumanguru of Ghana at the Battle of Kinna, founding the empire of Mali in the area of the divide between the headwaters of the Gambia and Niger rivers in the heart of the southern Sudan and West Africa,
c. 1260- death of Sundiata.

The Mali Empire

1298- Sukuru, an upstart, seizes the throne of Mali.
1300- Niani, capital of the growing Malian Empire grows rich on trade to the south toward Nigeria as well as the desert trade to the north.
Mandinka carvans working in "Dyula" or companies, command the Sahara routes in the gold trade and also settle down to agriculture.
The Empire of Mali, which has grown rich on the trans-Saharan gold trade, dominates the West Africa. Region now almost exclusively and the Muslim. Empire of Mali becomes dominant force in the upper Niger basin, its period of greatness.

The Djenna Mosque in Timbuktu.

Height of the Mali Empire
1312-1337. Under King Mansa Musa, the Mali Empire stretches from northern Nigeria to the Atlantic with a literate bureaucracy and a single legal system tolerant of local variations.
Musa brings merchants and scholars to the Niger.
-He expands the reach of Islam and becomes known as "Caliph of the Western parts."
-on pilgimage to Mecca his wealth and power earned the respect of Arabia, Egypt and the Arab world.

1325 Timbuktu and Gao conquered by the Empire of Mali.
Tumbuktu grows in wealth and importance. A centre for Taureg traders.
-passing through Cairo, Mali's most powerful emperor devalues the Egyptian gold dinar by unlimited gifts and payments in gold to  merchants and followers. The Mali Empire is recognized by southern Europe.
-Recognized by the scholars of Damascus and Cairo, Musa imports an Arabian architect to design the mosques of Timbuktu which has become a major center of Islamic scholarship and culture
Early Kingdom of Kangaba and Mali Empire along with trade routes.

Trans Sahara Trade
1352- the Dyula caravan trade, especially in gold, reaching its height. Trade and its route described by Berber traveler Ibn Batuta.

Decline of the Mali Empire
1375- east of Mali, the Songhai begin to assert their independence and encroach on Goa.

14th-15th centuries - Decline of the Empire of Mali, which loses dominance of the gold trade to the Songhai Empire, which makes its base in Timbuktu - historically important as a focal point of Islamic culture and a trading post on the trans-Saharan caravan route.

The Songhay Empire
1450-1591 Songhay Empire now dominates region Timbuktu becomes a focal point for Islamic culture and an important trading post on the trans-Saharan caravan route.
-however, the stamp of the original Mali Empire is still evident.

Moroccan Hegemony.
1591 Songhay Empire defeated by Moroccan invasion. Moroccans make Timbuktu their capital and rule until their decline in the 18th century.

The Toucouleur Jihad

19th century - French colonial advance and Fula and Toucouleur (Tukolor ) jihads spread across region. Various theocratic states formed.
-Prior to the period of French colonialism, each of 12 ethnic groups governed itself. 
1850 Al-Haji Umar, Islamic reformer of the Toucouleur caliphate, conquers region. 
1866 Beginning of the French conquest of Mali

French Conquest
1866 Beginning of the French conquest of Mali.
1892- 27 August- Soudan Français (French Sudan) granted full autonomy. However the Governor of Senegal continues to hold power through his position in the administration of Afrique Occidentale Française (French West Africa) territories.
1893 Ahmad (Ahmadou) Tall, defeated by French forces, flees to Nigeria.
1893 French take control of Djenne.
1893- 21 Nov.- Civil administration introduced under a civilian governor, Louis Albert Grodet.

The Taureg Jihad
1894- Tuareg rebels declare a jihad against the French following their occupation of the city of Tombouctou in January.
1895 Mali now becomes colony of Soudan Français (French Sudan).
May 1898 French take Sikasso.

Mali a French Colony
1898 - France completes conquest of Mali, then called French Sudan. Samori Toure's Mandinka state is subsumed by the French after seven years of war.
1899- 17 October -Dissolution of Soudan Français (French Sudan) into Haut-Sénégal (Upper Senegal) and Moyen-Niger (Middle Niger). William Merlaud-Ponty appointed as administrator.
1902- 10 October- Haut-Sénégal (Upper Senegal) becomes part of Senegambia, Moyen-Niger (Middle Niger) becomes part of Colonie du Niger (Niger Colony).
1904- 18 October  Federation of Afrique Occidentale Française (French West Africa) formed, administered from Dakar (Senegal). What had been Soudan Français (French Sudan) becomes Haut-Sénégal-Niger (Upper Senegal and Niger). Lieutenant-Governor William Merlaud-Ponty remains in post of administrator.
1908   23 May- Capital of Haut-Sénégal-Niger (Upper Senegal and Niger) moved from Kayes to Bamako. Lieutenant-Governor François Joseph Clozel now in command
25 Februrary- Africans are conscripted into French army to help fight the First World War.
1915- French authorities in Haut-Sénégal-Niger (Upper Senegal and Niger) forcefully put down consequent rebellion.
March 1, 1919 Colony of Upper Volta detached from Haut-Sénégal-Niger (Upper Senegal and Niger) to form a distinct colony within Afrique Occidentale Française (French West Africa).
1920, Dec. 4, Region renamed Soudan Français (French Sudan).

Mali Nationalist Movement vs. French Post WW II Colonial Consolidation.

c.1930 Union Soudanais formed local nationalists to oppose French rule. Attracts support of pan-Arabist groups in region.
1939 Afrique Occidentale Française (French West Africa) allies with Vichy government in France.
July 1943 Pierre François Boisson, Governor of Afrique Occidentale Française (French West Africa) removed by allied forces. New incumbent, Governor-General Pierre Charles Cournarie, answers to General Charles de Gaulle of the Free French.
30 January 1944 Brazzaville Conference, held in the capital of the French Congo (now the Republic of Congo) and also the regional capital of Afrique Équatoriale Française (French Equatorial Africa), called by General Charles de Gaulle of the Free French to discuss the future of France's African colonies. It is suggested that following the expected liberation of France and the end of World War II, a federal structure be set up for France's African possessions.

Indigenous Opposition.
1945 (PPS, Progressive Sudanese Party formed with the support of traditional chiefs and non-Muslims. PPS becomes the main indigenous opposition to the Union Soudanaise (US).

1946 As per the Brazzaville Declaration, Soudan Français (French Sudan) becomes a country within the Union Française (French Union), and is given a legislative council.
1947 Parti Progressive Soudanais (PPS, Progressive Sudanese Party) wins two seats (out of three) to the French Assemblée Nationale (National Assembly) allotted to Soudan Français.
1951 Parti Progressive Soudanais (PPS, Progressive Sudanese Party) wins all three seats to the French Assemblée Nationale (National Assembly)

Rise of Keita and the US-RDA party.
1956 France passes the Loi Cadre passing extensive powers to the Territorial Assembly for internal affairs. Union Soudanaise-Rassemblement Democratique Africain (US-RDA, Sudanese Union-African Democratic Rally) win selections for the French Assemblée Nationale (National Assembly), beating the Parti Progressive Soudanais (PPS, Progressive Sudanese Party). Mamdou Konaté, one of the two leaders of the US-RDA, dies, and Modibo Keita takes full control of the party

Mali wins semi-autonomy.
1958, 28 September- 1958 French constitutional referendum held in Afrique Équatoriale Française (French Equatorial Africa) leads to the Soudan Français becoming a member of La Communauté (the French Community) with semi-autonomous self-government. This is DeGaulle's strategy to stem a sudden and complete break with France and rapid nationalism among the African colonies.
1959- 31 March- Following a three day conference, Fily Dabo Sissoko announces that the Parti Progressive Soudanais (PPS, Progressive Sudanese Party) is to merge with the Union Soudanaise-Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (US-RDA, Sudanese Union-African Democratic Rally).
1959 - Mali and Senegal form the Mali Federation, which splits a year later.

 1959 April 4-The Fderation of Mali formed by joining the Soudan Français with Senegal as part of the Communauté Française (French Community).
1960- June 20- The Federation of Mali is given full independence by France. Modibo Keïta is president of the Federation of Mali and of the Council of Government of the Sudanese Republic (constituent part of the Federation that used to be Soudan Français).

Mali becomes a one-party, socialist state and withdraws from the Franc zone.
20 August- Senegal leaves the Federation of Mali, former Soudan Français (French Sudan) continues onwards as the Republic of Mali.
22 September 1960 Republic of Mali proclaimed with Modibo Keita as first president with the Union Soudanaise-Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (US-RDA, Sudanese Union-African Democratic Rally) winning all 80 seats in the National Assembly. Keïta introduces a one-party state and withdraws form the Franc Zone.

Mali leans toward Arab and African unity and nationalist movements.
1961- September- Keïta attends the Non-Aligned Movement conference in Belgrade, meets with President Gamal Abdul Nasser of the United Arab Republic and Benyoussef Ben Khedda President of Algeria (as well as several other notable African statesmen).
1961- July- Mali, Guinea, and Ghana form the Union of African States. It is intended to promote political friendship and economic co-operation between the three states.

1961- the Mali franc is introduced -- this follows the Republic's desire to cut ties with the Communauté Française (French Community) and withdraw form the CFA (Communauté Financière Africaine -- African Financial Community) franc. Several leading figures are detained.
1963 Union of African States is dissolved.

Strengthening of One-Party Rule.

 1964- April 12- Union Soudanaise-Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (US-RDA, Sudanese Union-African Democratic Rally) is only party allowed to present candidates for a legislative election.
1965- April 5-10- President Modibo Keïta visits Mauritania to hold discussions on closer political and economic relations.
1967 Mali renegotiates its reentry into the Franc zone, but French imposed economic supervision is looked upon as colonialism by many Malians.
April 10- As a result of the Six Day War (aka 1967 Arab-Israeli War) Mali breaks diplomatic relations with the UK.

Keita tightens his grip but is ousted in Coup D'Etat.
August 1967 Keïta launchs a cultural revolution, the Révolution Active, inspired by Mao Zedong's revolution in China -- but his purges and authoritarian tactics alienate most of the population.
1968 April 10- Mali resumes diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom (as does Algeria and Mauritania). They had been suspended following the Six-Day War (between Israel and Egypt, Jordan and Syria) the previous year.
 1968 November 19- Keita ousted in coup led by Lieutenant Moussa Traore who becomes head of state, Yoro Diakité becomes prime minister. Traoré is advised by the Comité Militaire de Libération Nationale (CMLN, Military Committee for National Liberation).
1975 - May 25, ECOWAS Treaty1 was signed. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was formed in Nigeria with 15 members that included: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
1977 - Protests erupt following Keita's death in prison.
1979 - New constitution provides for elections; Traore re-elected president.


Taureg Exploited by Ghaddafi. The Second Taureg Rebellion
1980-    Colonel Muammar Khaddafi of Libya recruits the nationless, disenfranchised nomads by implying that he would train the Kel Tamashek (Taureg) and provide weapons to fight for their independence from the Malian government. The rebels slowly realized that Khadaffi's only intention was to use them in his own wars. Some of these dejected fighters formed the band Tinariwen in Khadaffi's rebel camp.

1982-  The founding members of Tinariwen came together as a band, whilst they were in exile in Libya. They were deeply involved in the Touareg’s armed struggle

1985 - Mali and Burkina Faso engage in border fighting.
1990-  The "Second Tuareg Rebellion" broke out, a struggle to liberate a region in the north from the Malian government.

Traore Deposed in favour of democracy.
1991 -Mar 26, Mali became a democracy: Traore deposed in coup and replaced by transitional committee.

1992 - Alpha Konare wins multiparty elections to become Mali's first democratically-elected president.
Feb 25, The Republic of Mali proclaimed a new Constitution. Gen. Amadou Toumani Toure introduced multi-party democracy in Mali.

1993  Gen'l. Moussa Traore condemned to death for ordering the killing of over 100 demonstrators, but the sentence was commuted to life in prison. He was again condemned to death in 1999 for misappropriating public funds, but his sentence was again commuted to life in prison.
1994-2004Gold production in Mali grew from 6.3 million tons to 39.3 million tons.

Peace Agreement with Taureg.
1995 - Peace agreement with Tuareg tribes leads to return of thousands of refugees.
1996 - In Mali “the Flame of Peace” ceremony, in which thousands of weapons were incinerated, marked a reconciliation between the Touareg nomads and the government. The annual “Festival in the Desert” music festival grew as an outshoot of this. It took place near Essakane, an oasis some 40 miles north-west of Timbuktu.
1999-  Jan 4, In Sierra Leone Nigerian troops repelled a rebel attack on Freetown's airport. Gambia and Mali agreed to send troops to join the Nigerian forces
1999 - Former President Moussa Traore sentenced to death on corruption charges, but has his sentence commuted to life imprisonment by President Konare.
1999 October - Several people killed in fighting in the north between members of the Kunta tribe and an Arab community over local disputes.
2000 February - Konare appoints former International Monetary Fund official Mande Sidibe prime minister.
2001 December - Manantali dam in southwest produces its first megawatt of hydro-electricity, 13 years after it was completed.

Amadou Toure elected president.
2002 April - Amadou Toumani Toure elected president by landslide. Poll is marred by allegations of fraud.
2002 Aug 10, In Mali a Constitutional Court reversed the outcome of last month's parliamentary elections, giving an opposition alliance a comfortable lead.
2002 September - France says it will cancel 40% of debts owed to it by Mali, amounting to some 80m euros ($79m, £51m).
2002 October - Government resigns, without public explanation. New "government of national unity" is unveiled.

US Regional Anti-Terror Program.
2003 August - Clashes between rival Muslim groups in west kill at least 10 people.
2004 - US Special Forces began training local troops in Mauritania and Mali under a program called the Pan-Sahel Initiative. The program was renamed the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Initiative and taken over by Marines, who extended the training to Chad and Niger.
2004 April - Prime Minister Mohamed Ag Amani resigns and is replaced by Ousmane Issoufi Maiga.
2004 September - Agriculture minister says severe locust plague has cut cereal harvest by up to 45%.
2005  June, The Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Initiative began operations. The US funded plan intended to provide military equipment and development aid to 9 north-east African countries considered fertile ground for Muslim militant groups. Participating countries included Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia.
2005 June - World Food Programme warns of severe food shortages, the result of drought and locust infestations in 2004.

Taureg win autonomy deal.
2006 June - The government signs an Algerian-brokered peace deal with Tuareg rebels seeking greater autonomy for their northern desert region. The rebels looted weapons in the town of Kidal in May, raising fears of a new rebellion.
2007 April - President Toure wins a second five-year term in elections.
2007 July - The ruling coalition, Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP), strengthens its hold on parliament in elections.
July 7, Mali’s decentralized government numbers 702 local communes as opposed to 18 in 1991.

Resurgence of Taureg militancy.

2007 August - Suspected Tuareg rebels abduct government soldiers in separate incidents near the Niger and Algerian borders.
2008 Mar 20, In Mali clashes began around Tinzaouatene, near the Algerian border, as insurgents attacked soldiers clearing mines in what the rebels feared was a prelude to a government offensive. 3 soldiers were killed when their vehicle was blown up by a mine and four captured in combat by the rebels.
2008 May - Tuareg rebels kill 17 soldiers in attack on an army post in the northeast, despite a ceasefire agreed a month earlier.
2008-  July 18, In Algeria the government of Mali and ethnic Tuareg rebels reach a truce agreement in dangerous northern Mali. One faction of the Tuareg group refused to sign the deal, saying it did not do enough to help the Tuaregs
2008 December - At least 20 people are killed and several taken hostage in an attack by Tuareg rebels on a military base in northern Mali.

2009 February - Government says the army has taken control of all the bases of the most active Tuareg rebel group. A week later, 700 rebels surrender their weapons in ceremony marking their return to the peace process.

Enter Al Qaeda In the Maghreb (AQIM)
2009 May - Algeria begins sending military equipment to Mali in preparation for a joint operation against Islamic militants linked to al-Qaeda.
2009- Jul 4, In Mali dozens of people were killed during clashes in the Timbuktu region between the army and Al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) fighters.
2009 August - New law boosts women's rights, prompts some protests.
2010 January - Annual music event - Festival in the Desert - is moved from a desert oasis to Timbuktu because of security fears.
2010- Apr 21, The Algerian Defense Ministry said Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Niger are opening a joint military headquarters in the Algerian city Tamanrasset, in a united effort to combat terrorism and kidnapping in northwestern Africa. The Committee of Joint Chiefs (CEMOC) was based in  Tamanrasset.

France joins the offensive against AQIM.
2010   Jul 24, French-backed Mauritanian military operations against al Qaeda fighters in the Sahara desert wound up after four days of hunting Islamists deep inside Mali.
2010-  Sep 17, The Mauritanian army launched an offensive against the North African branch of al-Qaida in neighboring Mali. At least 12 militants died and five Mauritanians were killed in the operation, which was launched  inside northern Mali with permission
2011- Jun 24, In northeast Mali a raid by the Mauritanian army on an Al-Qaeda base left 17 dead, including two soldiers.
2011- Aug 26, Mali's most radical Tuareg rebel chief Ibrahim Ag Bahanga, who never agreed to disarm, dies in an accident.

Renewed Taureg unrest.
2011-  Aug 28, Security sources said hundreds of armed Tuaregs from Mali and Niger who fought for toppled Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi have started to return to their home nations.
2012 January - Fears of new Tuareg rebellion following attacks on northern towns which prompt civilians to flee into Mauritania.

Toure deposed.
2012 March - Military officers depose President Toure ahead of the April presidential elections, accusing him of failing to deal effectively with the Tuareg rebellion. African Union suspends Mali.
2012 April - Tuareg rebels seize control of northern Mali, declare independence.
Military hands over to a civilian interim government, led by President Dioncounda Traore.
April 13: New interim president Dioncounda Traore, the former parliament speaker, threatens to wage total war on both Tuareg rebels and Islamists as he takes the oath of office.
2012 May - Junta reasserts control after an alleged coup attempt by supporters of ousted President Toure in Bamako. Pro-junta protesters storm presidential compound and beat Mr Traore unconscious.

Taureg merge then split with Islamist rebels.
The Tuareg MNLA and Islamist Ansar Dine rebel groups merge and declare northern Mali to be an Islamic state. Ansar Dine begins to impose Islamic law in Timbuktu. Al-Qaeda in North Africa endorses the deal.
2012 June-July - Ansar Dine and its Al-Qaeda ally turn on the Taureg MNLA and capture the main northern cities of Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao, ousting Tuareg rebels after clashes between the once-allied groups.

Map of Mali

Islamists destroy Muslim Tombs, strengthen grip on north, advance on south.
June 30: Armed Islamists destroy ancient tombs of Muslim saints that offend their puritan views in the desert city of Timbuktu and threaten to wipe out every religious shrine there. They impose sharia, the strict and often brutal Islamic law.
2012 August - Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra forms a new government of national unity in order to satisfy regional demands for a transition from military-dominated rule. The cabinet of 31 ministers includes five seen as close to coup leader Capt Amadou Sanogo.
 2012 Autumn-Winter - Northern Islamist rebels consolidate their hold on the north. They seize strategically important town of Douentza in September, crossing into the central part of Mali and closer to the government-held south-west.

UN and ECOWAS agree on joint intervention against rebels.
October 12: The UN Security Council approves a resolution that presses West African nations to speed up preparations for an international military intervention aimed at reconquering northern Mali.
2012 November - The West African regional grouping Ecowas agrees to  a coordinated military expedition of up to 3,300 troops for a year to recapture the north, with UN and African Union backing. Preparations are expected to take several months.
2012 December - Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra resigns, allegedly under pressure from army leaders who oppose plans for Ecowas military intervention. President Traore appoints a presidential official, Django Sissoko, to succeed him. The UN and US threaten sanctions.
December 20: The UN Security Council unanimously approves sending an African-led force to help reconquer northern Mali from the Islamist militants. However the Council says all possible diplomatic avenues must be exhausted before force can be used.

France joins intervention 
2013 January - Islamist fighters capture the central town of Konna and say they will push further south. President Traore asks France for help and Paris responds by sending troops and carrying out air strikes on rebel bases.
Mali's interim president asks France for help, envoys say, as the UN Security Council calls for the "rapid" deployment of the African-led intervention force.Witnesses say that foreign troops and weapons have begun arriving by transport plane at an army base in Sevare, just 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Konna.

West African nations join intervention.
Nigeria pledges 600 troops while Burkina Faso and Senegal each offer 500 for the regional force tasked with wresting back control of the north.
January 11: Malian government troops launch an offensive against Islamists with backing from France, Nigeria and Senegal, military and political sources say. French President Francois Hollande confirms French troops are actively supporting an offensive by Malian forces against Islamists.
January 12: Mali's army retakes control of Konna after one of the worst clashes with Islamists since the start of the crisis. French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announces the death of a French military pilot in the battle. The clashes kill dozens of Islamists, according to the Malian military and witnesses.

January 13: France keeps up airstrikes on Mali, targeting Islamist bases in the northern city of Gao, controlled by the group MUJAO. A top Islamist leader is reported killed.
International support is ramped up as Benin, Togo and Niger all promise additional troop reinforcements and Britain says it will send aircraft for logistical support. Algeria reiterates support for its neighbour to Malian President Diango Cissoko, on a visit to Algiers.
The ECOWAS bloc convenes an emergency summit for January 19.
January 14: Islamists seize the town of Diabaly in government-held territory, 250 miles north of the capital. They vow to "strike at the heart of France".
- French warplanes pound Islamist positions in the town of Douentza in central Mali.
- Rebels abandon key northern bases under pressure from French airstrikes. Residents in the towns of Gao, Douentza and Timbuktu report all Islamists have fled, though an Ansar Dine spokesman calls it a "tactical retreat".

Taureg join in intervention. AQIM takes hostages at Algerian Gas Plant in reprisal for Mali. 
- Ethnic-Tuareg separatists say they are ready to support the French military intervention by taking on Islamist rebels on the ground
 January 16  Islamist militants attacked a gas field in Algeria on Wednesday, claiming to have kidnapped up to 41 foreigners including seven Americans in a dawn raid in retaliation for France's intervention in Mali, according to regional media reports.

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