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Mali (/ˈmɑːli/ (About this soundlisten); French pronunciation: ​[mali]), officially the Republic of Mali (French: République du 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 (480,000 sq mi). The population of Mali is 18 million. It borders Algeria to the north-northeast, Niger to the east, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast to the south, Guinea to the southwest, and Senegal and Mauritania to the west. 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 agriculture and mining. Some of Mali's prominent natural resources include gold, being the third largest producer of gold in the African continent, and salt.

Present-day Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade: the Ghana Empire, the Mali Empire (for which Mali is named), and the Songhai Empire. During its golden age, there was a flourishing of mathematics, astronomy, literature, 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 (then known as the Sudanese Republic) joined with Senegal in 1959, achieving independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation. 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.

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In the news

22 January 2019 – 2019 Piper PA-46 Malibu disappearance
In the Channel Islands, a multinational search and rescue operation for a missing aircraft carrying Cardiff City F.C. footballer Emiliano Sala resumes, after fading light and deteriorating weather conditions caused the search to be called off the previous day. (BBC)
21 January 2019 – 2019 Piper PA-46 Malibu disappearance
A Piper Malibu light aircraft, carrying two people on a flight from Nantes to Cardiff, goes missing off the coast of Alderney in the Channel Islands. A major search and rescue operation is underway. Cardiff City F.C. footballer Emiliano Sala is confirmed to have been on board the missing aircraft. (BBC), (Sky)
20 January 2019 – Northern Mali conflict
At least ten United Nations peacekeepers are killed and several others injured in a Islamist militant attack on their base in Mali's northern Kidal Region. (Al Jazeera)
16 January 2019 –
Gunmen attack two villages in the Ménaka region, Mali, near the border with Niger, killing at least 20 people. (NOVÝ CAS)
1 January 2019 –
Armed men believed to be traditional hunters have killed at least 37 people in an attack on a village in central Mali. (BBC)
13 December 2018 – Northern Mali conflict
Jihadists on motorcycles kill around 42 people in a series of attacks targeting Tuareg camps in Mali. (CBC News)



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