A Short History of Mali

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Mali has an interesting historical heritage founded along the Niger River that cradled many civilizations in the past. In particular, Malian history is characterized by a distinctive past even before it became a French colony. No doubt, time is the most credible testament to the splendid old times of the country.

Even before colonization, Mali has established civilizations characterized by the series of majestic empires that ruled the territory. The Empire of Ghana which dates back as early as 5th century A.D. nested on the southwestern portion of the territory. After its fall in the 13th century, the Mali Empire took hold of the land making it the centre of Muslim scholarship until its collapse in the 17th century. Going to the East, the Songhai Empire established its rule until the Moroccan occupied and overpowered the former’s reign.

Starting 1591, another sequence of Kingdoms reigned across the land. These include Kingdom of Segou (centralized state based on the south); Kingdom of Kaarta (descendant of Segou which settled in the west); Kingdom of Kenedougou (defensive state situated in lands bordering Mali and Burkina Faso bordering); Maasina Kingdom (an ally state of Segou);and Wassoulou Kingdom (short-lived state). All of these kingdoms though fell under the control of Toucouleur Kingdom later on.

French colonization commenced in 1892 when the land was named as Sudanese Republic administered by a French governor commissioned to oversee the colony on behalf of the French Empire. Later on, the territory eventually became part of the Federation of Mali along with Senegal upon its independence in June 20, 1960. In August thereafter Senegal Federation withdrew from the party leaving the Sudanese Republic as an independent entity which later on embraced full statehood as the Republic of Mali.

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