1000-1100 The desert village of Araouane, 161
miles north of Timbuktu, was first mentioned about this time. It was
a wealthy settlement that flourished off the caravans and drew water
from 150-foot wells.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.84)
c1100 Timbuktu was founded about this time as a
seasonal Tuareg nomad camp around a well that was maintained by a
group of slaves under an old woman, Buktu, "the place of Buktu."
Tuareg is a derisive Arab term meaning abandoned by the gods.
Natives prefer to be know as Kel Tamashek people.
(AM, 11/00, p.51)(SSFC, 4/11/04, p.D6)(SFC,
1200-1400 Timbuktu, a major trading center in the
Malian Empire, reached a population of some 100,000 during this
(WSJ, 2/1/06, p.D12)
1235 The king of Mali,
Sundiata, defeated Sumanguru at the battle of Kirina. From then on
Mali replaced Ghana as the major power in West Africa. Sundiata
established his capital at Niana on the upper Niger.
1307 Mansa Musa (d.1337),
Malis greatest ruler, succeeded to the throne. He commissioned
(ATC, p.119)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R4,6)
1324-1325 Mansa Musa (Kankan Moussa), king of
Mali, made the 3,500 mile pilgrimage to Mecca with gold valued at
$115 million in 1999 prices. He traveled with a very large retinue
that included 80 camels and 500 slaves. An Arab chronicler said he
was surrounded by over 10,000 of his subjects.
(ATC, p.119)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R6)(SSFC, 4/11/04,
1332 Mansa Musa, King of Mali,
died. His successors were not able to protect Malis vast territory
and Berber nomads began attacking caravan routes in the desert and
threatened to take Timbuktu. People from the southern rain forests
attacked the southern boundary and to the west the Songhai of the
middle Niger River began to revolt.
1353 Ibn Battuta spent a few
months in Mali and left a full description of his experiences.
(Enc. of Africa, 1976, p.170)
1400 Mali (Africa) was under
attack from all four sides and gradually weakened in power.
1434 Nomadic Tuaregs seized
Timbuktu, Mali, from invaders.
1435 A Songhai prince, Sunni
Ali, declares Gaos independence. Aided by Songhai warriors, he
successfully fought off Malis attempt to regain the city.
1558 Sidi Mahmoud Ben Amar
(b.1463/64), a member of the Berber tribe of the Godala, died in
Mali. He was named Cadi in 1498 or 99. His tomb in Timbuktu was
later named a World Heritage site.
1590 Apr 25, The Sultan of
Morocco launched his successful attack to capture Timbuktu. Morocco
sent 4,000 soldiers under the Muslim Spaniard Judar Pasha to conquer
Songhai. After a five month journey across the Shara, Pasha arrived
with only 1,000 men, but his soldiers carried guns. The 25,000 men
of the Songhai were no match for the guns and Gao, Timbuktu and most
of Songhai fall.
(ATC, p.122)(HN, 4/25/98)
1796 Jul, Mungo Park, Scottish
surgeon, reached the Niger River at Segou, (Mali). Mansong, the
African chief at Segou, gave Park enough money to return to the
coast. Park described his journey in his book: "Travels in the
Interior Districts of Africa."
(ON, 7/00, p.10)
1805 Jan 31, Mungo Park set
sail from Portsmouth to Africa where he planned to navigate the
Niger River to its mouth.
(ON, 7/00, p.10)
1805 Aug 9, Mungo Park reached
the town of Bamako after losing 25 of his 35 soldiers.
(ON, 7/00, p.11)
1805 Sep 27, Mungo Park reached
the town of Sansanding with 11,000 inhabitants, where he planned to
build boats to journey down the Niger.
(ON, 7/00, p.12)
1805 Oct 28, Alexander
Anderson, the brother of Mungo Parks wife, died of fever at
(ON, 7/00, p.12)
1805 Nov 20, Mungo Park
departed Sansanding with 4 remaining soldiers , 3 slaves and a new
(ON, 7/00, p.12)
1806 cFeb, Mungo Park drowned
in the Niger River during an attack by armed men near Bussa. He had
traveled some 1500 miles down the Niger River.
(ON, 7/00, p.12)
1815 The merchant ship
Commerce, under Capt. James Riley (d.1840) of Connecticut, wrecked
off the northwest coast of Africa. He survived captivity under
Muslim slave traders and endured a lengthy trek across the Sahara.
He later authored "An authentic Narrative of the Loss of the
American Brig Commerce." In 2004 Dean King authored "Skeletons on
the Zahara: A True Story of Survival."
(SSFC, 2/22/04, p.M1)
1816 Robert Adams, the 1st
Westerner to reach Timbuktu, transcribed an account of his
experiences there as an enslaved American sailor.
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.126)
1825 Jul 16, Alexander Gordon
Laing (32), British Army Major, set off on camel from Tripoli in an
attempt to become the 1st European to cross the Sahara Desert and
reach the fabled city of Timbuktu (Mali).
(SSFC, 1/1/06, p.M2)(ON, 11/06, p.5)
1826 Aug 13, Major Gordon
Laing, Scottish explorer, became the 1st European to enter Timbuktu
(Mali), where some 12,000 people lived. Laing was killed by a Tuareg
nomad spear on Sep 26 as he headed for Morocco. In 2005 Frank T.
Kryza authored The Race for Timbuktu: In Search of Africas City of
(SSFC, 4/11/04, p.D6)(SSFC, 1/1/06, p.M2)(Econ,
1/7/06, p.75)(ON, 11/06, p.6)
1828 Rene Auguste Caillie of
France reached Timbuktu disguised as a Muslim trader. In 1830 he
published an account of his journey.
(SSFC, 4/11/04, p.D6)(ON, 11/06, p.7)
1830 Richard Lander, British
explorer, completed Mungo Parks journey down the Niger from Bussa
to the mouth of the river in 5 months.
(ON, 7/00, p.12)
1880 The city of Timbuktu,
later part of Mali, became part of the French colony of Upper
(ON, 11/06, p.7)
1893 France began colonizing
West Africa and Timbuktu came under French rule until Mali became
independent in 1960.
1894 In Mali Touareg nomads
first rebelled against the French and were bloodily suppresed.
(Econ, 1/20/07, p.58)
c1929 Seydou Keida [Keita],
photographer, was born. He ran a successful studio from his home
city of Bamako from 1945-1977. He later achieved intl. acclaim. A
book of his work was published in 1997 edited by Andre Magnin:
"Seydou Keita." Keita died Nov 22, 2001 in Paris.
(SFC, 3/8/96, p.E1)(SFEC, 7/27/97, BR p.6)(WSJ,
1932 In Mali French colonial
authorities planned a 2.47 million acre irrigation project to grow
cotton and rice and to develop hydropower in the Mali desert. By
1982 only 6% of the region was developed. The World Bank took over
in 1985 with some success in farming rice.
(SFC, 12/21/07, p.A31)
1946 France granted Malians
French citizenship and limited self-rule.
1950s In the 1950s when the
French gave independence to their West African colonies, the Touareg
people and their ancestral lands were parceled out among the newly
created nations of Mali, Niger, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania and Chad.
1959 With French support the
French Sudan and Senegal formed the Federation of Mali.
1960 Jun 20, The Federation of
Mali became independent.
1960 Aug 20, Senegal broke from
Mali federation and declared independence.
1960 Sep 22, Mali became an
independent republic. Pres. Modibo Keita was elected the first
president and introduced a one-party dictatorship.
1968 Nov 19, Gen'l. Moussa
Traore (b.1936) began serving as the 2nd president of Mali after
leading the military ouster of Pres. Modibo Keita (1915-1977. Traore
then ruled for 23 years.
1968 Dec 6, The original Malian
constitution was abrogated after a military coup d'etat and replaced
by a new fundamental law.
1968-1973 A severe famine hit the Sahel region of
North Africa. Mauritania, Mali, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso) and Niger
were most affected.
(Econ, 8/20/05, p.57)
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,
1977 May 16, In Mali former
Pres. Modibo Keita (1915-1977) died in prison. His reputation was
rehabilitated in 1992 following the overthrow of Moussa Traore and
subsequent the election of president Alpha Oumar Konare. A monument
for Modibo Keita, was dedicated in Bamako on June 6, 1999.
1979 Jun 19, In Mali
presidential and general elections were held. Moussa Traore was
elected President and Mady Sangare was elected as Speaker of the
1980 Colonel Muammar Khaddafi
of Libya recruited the nationless, disenfranchised nomads by
implying that he would train the Kel Tamashek 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 Touaregs armed struggle.
1985 The town of Sanankoroba
established a sister-town relationship with Sainte-Elizabeth,
(SFC, 2/27/98, p.D2)
1990 The "Second Tuareg
Rebellion" broke out, a struggle to liberate a region in the north
from the Malian government.
1991 Mar 26, Mali became a
democracy after a Revolution. Gen. Amadou Toumani Toure seized power
in a coup. Prior to the period of French colonialism, each of 12
ethnic groups governed itself.
(SFC, 6/7/96, p.A12)(Econ, 7/30/05, p.41)(AFP,
1992 Feb 25, The Republic of
Mali proclaimed a new Constitution.
1992 Gen. Amadou Toumani Toure
introduced multi-party democracy in Mali.
(Econ, 7/30/05, p.41)
1993 Gen'l. Moussa Traore was
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.
(SFC, 9/23/99, p.A12)
1994-2004 Gold production in Mali grew from 6.3
million tons to 39.3 million tons.
(SFC, 9/22/05, p.A14)
c1995 In Mali a Swiss
development worker invented a low-cost machine for milling and
grinding. By 2002 the $4,000 machine was in some 300 villages and
benefited numerous women who had previously hours pounding and
grinding grains for daily meals.
(WSJ, 7/26/02, p.A1)
1995 Prof. Pamela Ronald and
colleagues isolated the blight-resistance gene from a variety of
wild rice cultivated in Mali. The blight was caused by the
Xanthomonas orizae bacterium. She pushed for a got a percentage of
the royalty rights to be used for fellowships for scientists from
(SFC, 5/26/97, p.A16)
1996 Jun, The administration of
Pres. Alpha Oumar Konare was privatizing and encouraging investment,
foreign and domestic. The leading radio station in the capital,
Bamako, was owned by Modibo Diallo.
(SFC, 6/7/96, p.A12)
1996 Cheick Oumar Sissoko,
Paris educated and Mali-based writer and director, showed his film
"Guimba the Tyrant" at the SF Intl. Film Festival.
(SFC, 1/17/96, p.D3)
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.
(Econ, 1/20/07, p.58)
1996 A peace accord in Mali
allowed Kel Tamashek people to integrate into Malian society.
(SFC, 10/30/04, p.E5)
1997 Aug, From Chad a plague of
locusts began to spread across the country with as many as 200
locusts per square yard.
(SFC, 9/27/97, p.A21)
1998 Jun 26, In the Ivory Coast
Alioune Blondin Beye, a diplomat from Mali, crashed in a small plane
near Abidjan. He had just met with Togo Pres. Gnassigbe Eyadema to
support peace talks in Angola. Three other passengers were Koffi
Adjovi of Togo, journalist Moktar Gueye of Senegal, and Baendegar
Dessandre of Chad.
(SFEC, 6/28/98, p.A18)
1998 Nov 11, It was reported
that Pfizer and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation initiated a $66
million effort to attack trachoma, a disease of the eye caused by
chlamydia. A one-gram dose of zithromax given once a year would
treat the disease. Focus was to be on Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Tanzania
(SFC, 11/11/98, p.D6)
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.
(WSJ, 1/5/99, p.A1)
2000 Oct, In southern Mali the
Morila gold mine opened near Sanso. By 2005 it had generated nearly
$180 million in profits. Randgold Resources and Anglo-Gold Ashanti
of South Africa divided an 80% stake and the Mali government owned
the rest. Benefits to local people proved miniscule and after 5
years Sanso still had no electricity and no paved roads.
(SFC, 9/22/05, p.A14)
2000 Dec 23, In Niger William
Bultemeier, a US Defense Department official, was killed. Staff
Sergeant Christopher McNeely, who had run to Bultemeier's aid,
survived the shooting but suffered lasting injuries. Alhassane Ould
Mohamed and a co-conspirator fled in a US Embassy vehicle after
searching Bultemeier and McNeely's pockets. The car was later found
in Timbuktu, in neighboring Mali. On Sep 13, 2013, US prosecutors
unsealed an indictment against Alhassane Ould Mohamed (42), a Malian
man, for the killing and who remained at large.
2001 May 23, US Sec. of State
Colin Powell began his 4-nation African tour in Mali and met with
Pres. Alfa Omar Konare.
(SFC, 5/24/01, p.C2)
2001 Nov 22, Seydou Keida
[Keita], photographer, died in Paris at age 78 or 81. He had run a
successful studio from his home city of Bamako from 1945-1977. He
later achieved intl. acclaim. A book of his work was published in
1997 edited by Andre Magnin: "Seydou Keita."
(SFC, 3/8/96, p.E1)(SFEC, 7/27/97, BR p.6)(WSJ,
12/4/97, p.A20)(WSJ, 12/7/01, p.A23)
2002 Apr 28, Elections were
held for 24 candidates in the presidential race. A run-off for the
top 2 was set for May 12.
(SFC, 5/3/02, p.A10)
2002 May 12, In Mali runoff
elections were held. Retired Gen. Amadou Toure won 68% of the vote.
The coalition candidate Siumaila Cisse, a wealthy former finance
minister, conceded with 32%.
(SFC, 5/16/02, p.A8)
2002 Jun 8, In Mali former
junta leader Amadou Toumani Toure was sworn in for a five-year term
as the new democratically elected president.
2002 Aug 10, In Mali a
Constitutional Court reversed the outcome of last month's
parliamentary elections, giving an opposition alliance a comfortable
2003 Jan 8, In Mali the 3rd
annual Festival of the Desert ended in Essakane.
(SFC, 1/11/03, p.D1)
2003 Aug 18, A six-month ordeal
for 14 European tourists kidnapped by Islamic extremists while on
desert safaris in Algeria has ended with their release to officials
in neighboring Mali.
2003 Sep 8, In Mali
authorities said torrential rains have killed scores and caused
heavy property damage, warning of worse to come if the Niger River
spills its banks.
2003 Anthony Sattin authored
"The Gates of Africa: Death, Discovery and the Search for Timbuktu.
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.126)
2004 Aug 6, Mali said swarms of
locusts had spread across most of its vast arid territory. The
swarms were moving across the Sahara desert toward countries
including Senegal, Niger, Chad and Gambia
2004 Sep 15, Eight French
speaking African countries began retiring over 1 billion in decaying
currency with new CFA francs. Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau,
Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo had until Dec 31 to turn
in old bills for new ones.
(SFC, 9/15/04, p.C8)
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.
(SFC, 10/2/04, p.A8)
2004 Malis population numbered
11-12 million people.
(WSJ, 6/22/04, p.A1)(Econ, 7/30/05, p.41)
2005 Jun, 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.
(SFC, 12/27/05, p.A1)
2005 Jul, Mali officials
estimated that 4 million people faced starvation in Mali and Niger,
due to drought and locusts from the previous year. 10% of the Malis
population faced starvation.
(Econ, 7/30/05, p.41)
2005 Dec 2, African leaders and
French President Jacques Chirac converged on Mali for a two-day
summit expected to focus on Africa's conflict hotspots, immigration
and the problems of African youth.
2005 Dec 4, In Mali at a
weekend Franco-African summit President Jacques Chirac called upon
the US to remove the subsidies to their cotton producers. Chirac
also urged rich countries to double development aid, as African
leaders warned tackling poverty was crucial to stem a growing tide
of illegal immigration.
2006 Jan 14, In Bamako, Mali,
China unveiled plans to boost its ties with Africa, outlining a new
relationship with the continent based on a "win-win" concept of
economic and military cooperation.
2006 Jan 23, In Mali a closing
ceremony was held for a gathering of the World Social Forum. Other
gatherings were set for Pakistan and Venezuela. The first World
Social Forum was held in Brazil in 2001 and coincides each year with
the market-friendly World Economic Forum of political and business
leaders in Davos, Switzerland.
(AP, 1/24/06)(SFC, 1/24/06, p.A2)
2006 Mar 7, Ali Farka Toure
(b.1939), a traditional African musician who won two Grammy Awards,
died in his home in Bamako, Mali, after a long illness.
2006 Nov 13, The US signed a
461 million dollar aid "compact" with Mali to finance a giant
irrigation project and expand the international airport in the
poverty-stricken African nation.
2006 Dec 6, A conference on
bird flu opened in Mali. Experts were increasingly concerned for
Africa as an international conference heard that Egypt, Nigeria, and
Sudan continued to record outbreaks of the deadly disease.
2007 Apr 28, The 1st round of
the Mali presidential election garnered a turnout of around 36%.
Incumbent President Amadou Toumani Toure (59), one of 8 candidates,
was widely expected to win a second term. General Amadou Toumani
Toure and Soumaila Cisse, candidate for the ruling party Adema,
faced each other for the 2nd round.
2007 May 5, The 12 million
people of Mali earned on average less than $400 a year.
(Econ, 5/5/07, p.62)
2007 Jun 29, Laura Bush wrapped
up a tour of Africa by visiting a school and sitting in on a math
class in Mali, saying she was impressed by education efforts in the
2007 Jul 7, Malis
decentralized government numbered 702 local communes as opposed to
18 in 1991.
(Econ, 7/7/07, p.28)
2007 Aug 30, A transport
vehicle hit a land mine in tense northern Mali, killing 10 people.
2007 Aug, In Mali Ag Bahanga
took up arms and kidnapped 36 soldiers, in spite of a peace pact
signed in neighboring Algeria in July 2006. The last 22 of those
troops were released on March 8, 2008, following intervention by
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi.
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
2008 Mar 21, In Mali 5
civilians, including a child, were reported killed, again when their
vehicle hit a mine near Tinzaouatene. 29 soldiers were taken
prisoner when a convoy of wounded soldiers heading for Kidal was
intercepted by rebels.
2008 May 3, Insurgents attacked
an army convoy in northern Mali, violating a cease-fire and sparking
a fire fight that left five people dead.
2008 May 6, In northern and
central Mali attacks by Tuareg rebels on several army posts left one
2008 May 21, In northern Mali
27 people were killed, including 10 soldiers, following an insurgent
attack on an army base. Ethnic Tuareg rebels active in the area
claimed responsibility for the attack. They said only one of their
fighters died in the skirmish and that they had taken some 60
2008 Jul 18, In Algeria the
government of Mali and ethnic Tuareg rebels reached 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
2008 Dec 14, On the Niger-Mali
border Tuareg rebels of the Front for the Forces of Redress (FFR)
kidnapped Robert Fowler, a Canadian UN special envoy, and Louis
Guay, a Canadian diplomat, along with their local driver. Days later
the FFR made contradictory statements both claiming and condemning
responsibility. On March, 2009, rebels released the driver. The
Canadian diplomats were released in April, 2009.
2008 Dec 20, In Mali suspected
Tuareg rebels attacked an army outpost in the country's remote
north, setting off a battle in which 20 people were killed.
2009 Jan, Four tourists, two
Swiss, a German and a Briton, were kidnapped on the Mali-Niger
border. They were transferred to Al-Qaida's North Africa branch,
which asked for a ransom and the release of a radical Islamist
preacher held in Britain. A Swiss and a German tourist were released
in April. Edwin Dyer of Britain, was killed by his captors on May
31. The 2nd Swiss citizen, Werner Greiner, was released in July.
(AP, 4/23/09)(AP, 7/12/09)
2009 Feb 12, China's President
Hu Jintao arrived in Mali at the start of a four-country African
tour which Beijing insists is about strengthening cooperation and
not solely for economic gain.
2009 Feb 27, The UN Children's
Fund said 53 million children are being targeted by a mass
immunization drive against polio in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory
Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. Some 844 polio cases were
reported in the 8 countries in 2008, 95% of them in Nigeria.
2009 May 31, In Mali it was
believed that Al-Qaida terrorists killed British hostage Edwin Dyer.
The fate of a Swiss hostage taken at the same time was unknown. Dyer
was abducted in January and his captors had threatened to kill him
by the end of May if Britain refused to release extremist preacher
Abu Qatada from prison.
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 Jul 17, The Malian army
announced that it had killed 26 "Islamist fighters" in the far north
of the country.
2009 Jul 21, Mali's president's
office announced that Spain plans to help Mali fight Al-Qaeda of the
Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which is active in the desert north of the
west African nation.
2009 Sep 22, The UN Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs announced that flash floods
and lighting have claimed 187 lives and affected 635,273 people in
west Africa since the rainy season started in June. This included
103 dead in Sierra Leone, followed by Ghana (24), Mali (20), Ivory
Coast (19), Burkina Faso (8), Niger (7) and Senegal (6).
2009 Oct 20, The United States
presented Mali security forces with more than $5 million in new
vehicles and other equipment.
2009 Nov 2, In Mali the burned
debris of a Boeing cargo plane was discovered on Nov. 2 in the Gao
region. It was assumed to have landed on a clandestine landing strip
and either failed to take off again or was destroyed on purpose.
Ample traces of cocaine were found on board. Drug smugglers had
flown the plane from Venezuela, unloaded it and torched it. In 2010
it was reported that drug smugglers were buying old jets and
flying them across the Atlantic to feed Europes growing coke habit.
(AP, 12/3/09)(SFC, 11/16/10, p.A6)
2009 Nov 25, In Mali gunmen
kidnapped Pierre Camatte, a French national, in the remote east. The
kidnapping was attributed to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Camatte was released on Feb 23, 2010.
(Reuters, 11/26/09)(AFP, 12/1/09)(SFC, 2/24/10,
2009 Nov 29, In Mauritania 3
Spanish volunteers were kidnapped by gunmen. Spain's interior
minister said the next day that he suspected al-Qaida-linked
Islamists were behind the attack. On Dec 2 a Mauritanian official
said the 3 aid workers were being taken by their captors to
neighboring Mali. Aid worker Alicia Gamez (35) was released on March
10, 2010. Businessmen Roque Pascual and Albert Vilalta remained
captive. Al-Qaida's offshoot in North Africa said on March 12 that
it had released Gamez because she voluntarily converted to Islam.
Pascual and Vilalta were released in August 2010.
(AP, 11/30/09)(AP, 12/2/09)(AP, 3/10/10)(AP,
2010 Feb 25, In Mali at least
15 people died in a stampede in a Timbuktu mosque during services
celebrating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.
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.
(AP, 4/21/10)(AP, 12/20/11)
2010 Jul 9, Aid agency Oxfam
warned that the food crisis gripping the Sahel region of Africa was
reaching disastrous levels and called on governments and the
international community to act now. The crisis stretched across the
region taking in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and northern
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
2010 Aug 23, Two Spanish aid
workers held by al Qaeda's North African wing were freed in Mali,
ending a kidnapping that lasted nearly nine months, the longest
period of captivity in the Sahara desert. Al Qaeda in the Islamic
Maghreb (AQIM) said it seized Albert Vilalta and Roque Pascual while
they were traveling through Mauritania with a relief aid convoy last
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.
2010 Sep 30, Algerian daily
Al-Watan said spy chiefs from four north African countries (Algeria,
Mauritania, Mali and Niger) have set up a center for joint
operations against Al Qaeda in the Sahel region during a meeting in
2011 Jan 5, In Mali an
assailant hurled an explosive at France's embassy in Bamako in an
attack that wounded two Malian security guards. The blast appeared
to be small, however, and caused only minor damage to an outer gate
of the building. A Malian later died of injuries sustained in the
attack. On Nov 29 Bachir Simoun (24) of Tunisia was sentenced to
death for the attack.
(AP, 1/6/11)(AP, 11/29/11)
2011 Feb 21, In Mali a stampede
at a football stadium in Bamako killed 35 people. Thousands had
gathered there for a blessing by a well-known Imam.
(SFC, 2/23/11, p.A2)
2011 Mar 25, In Ivory Coast
about 1,000 people frantically crowded around buses rented by Mali
to evacuate its citizens, as the UN said up to 1 million have fled
their homes amid fears of civil war.
2011 Jun 24, In northeast Mali
a raid by the Mauritanian army on an Al-Qaeda base left 17 dead,
including two soldiers.
2011 Jun 26, Mauritanian
aircraft struck an Al-Qaeda base in northeast Mali. 9 suspected
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) fighters were arrested by the
2011 Jul 5, In Mauritania
al-Qaida militants attacked a military base in the town of Bassiknou
and then fled towards Mali. On July 7 the army said 6 militants were
killed with no casualties on the Mauritanian side. The militants
said that they had killed 20 soldiers in an ambush late last month
in the Wagadou region of Mali. Mauritanian officials said 15
militants and two soldiers were killed.
(AP, 7/6/11)(AP, 7/7/11)
2011 Jul 14, Malian security
services said they have arrested two men identified as supporters of
Al-Qaeda's north African branch in the northwestern Timbuktu region.
2011 Aug 26, Mali's most
radical Tuareg rebel chief Ibrahim Ag Bahanga, who never agreed to
disarm, died in an accident.
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
2011 Sep 12, A Mali government
source said that 4 people were killed in the desert between Mali and
Algeria in a clash between the rival gangs, who did not agree on how
to share the spoils from ferrying a ton of cocaine and hashish
through the desert.
2011 Oct 20, Mauritania's army
conducted an air raid to prevent a planned attack by al-Qaida-linked
insurgents in a forest just across the border in Mali, where the
group has a cell.
2011 Oct 23, In Algeria gunmen
kidnapped three aid workers, two Spaniards and an Italian, from the
Rabuni refugee camp near Tindouf, injuring one of the hostages and a
local guard in the late night attack. Security sources in Nouakchott
and Bamako later said those responsible belonged to a Sahrawi wing
of the north African Al-Qaeda branch, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb
(AQIM). The group later demanded 30 million euros ($39 million) to
free the 3 aid workers held in northern Mali. Spaniards Enric
Gonyalons and Ainhoa Fernandez del Rincon and Italian Rossella Urru
were released on July 18, 2012, in exchange for three Islamists. The
Islamist rebel group that freed them claimed that they also received
a ransom of 15 million ($18.4 million).
(AP, 10/23/11)(AFP, 12/5/11)(AFP, 3/3/12)(AP,
2011 Oct 26, Abdullah
al-Senoussi, Moammar Gadhafi's former intelligence chief, entered
Mali late at night, after making his way across Niger where he has
been hiding for several days in the country's northern desert.
Gadhafi's hunted son, Seif al-Islam, was also reported on his way to
Mali, traveling across the invisible line separating Algeria from
2011 Oct, In Mali Tuareg rebels
met at a remote oasis near the Algerian border with deserters from
the Malian army to found the National Movement for the Liberation of
(Econ, 3/17/12, p.60)
2011 Nov 12, Nigeria evacuated
from Mali 104 of its citizens, mostly women, either made to work as
"sexual slaves" or suspected of involvement in human trafficking.
2011 Nov 18, The European
Commission said an extra 10 million euros ($13.5 million) in
humanitarian funding will go on addressing "major shortfalls" in
food in the Sahel region. The crisis is affecting 7 million people
in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria.
2011 Nov 21, In Mali army
chiefs from Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, met in Bamako amid
mounting concerns over the fallout from Libya's conflict on security
in the troubled zone.
2011 Nov 24, In Mali a gang
kidnapped two French geologists at gunpoint from their hotel in the
eastern desert village of Hombori. The body of geologist Philippe
Verdon was found and identified in July, 2013.
(AFP, 11/24/11)(Reuters, 7/14/13)
2011 Nov 30, In Mali hundreds
of people took to the streets of Bamako to demand that a referendum
on proposed changes to the constitution be shelved. The changes,
first announced in December 2009, include the creation of a Senate
as a second house of parliament and will give the president the
power to "define the nation's policy" as opposed to the prime
2011 Dec 6, Human Rights Watch
said in a report that between 20,000 and 40,000 children work in
artisanal gold mines in Mali, Africa's third-largest producer of the
2011 Dec 8, The UN's World Food
Program said meager rains and diminished harvests have left between
five and seven million people in Africa's Sahel region facing food
shortages. The countries of Niger, Mauritania, Mali and Chad were
2011 Dec 8, In Mali 4 people
were arrested over the Nov 24 kidnapping of two French citizens. The
suspects were reportedly "subcontracted" to an al-Qaida group and
appear to be Malian.
(AP, 12/12/11)(AFP, 12/12/11)
2011 Dec 20, Algerian troops
were reported to have crossed into Mali to help government forces
combat groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda.
2012 Jan 3, Mali's government
announced a plan to distribute 40,000 tons of food in emergency aid
to drought victims and those lacking food security.
2012 Jan 12, Malian President
Amadou Toumani Toure ended a 2-day visit to India. At the end of the
visit a joint statement announced that India extended a $100-million
loan to Mali for a power project, while Bamako promised to support
the Asian giant's bid for a permanent UN Security Council seat.
2012 Jan 17, In eastern Mali a
new Tuareg rebel group, the National Movement for the Liberation of
Azawad (MNLA), launched its first attack. Rebel members under Col.
Mahamed Ag Najim included former pro-Gadhafi fighters. Government
forces in Menaka counter-attacked and used helicopters to bomb rebel
(AP, 1/17/12)(Econ, 3/17/12, p.60)
2012 Jan 18, In Mali a new
Tuareg rebel group, the National Movement for the Liberation of the
Azawad, launched a second day of attacks on two more towns in the
arid north. 47 people were killed in the clashes.
(AP, 1/18/12)(AP, 1/20/12)
2012 Jan 20, Malis military
said its army has taken control of three northern towns which were
attacked by Tuareg rebels, leading to two days of fierce clashes.
2012 Jan 24, In Mali some 82
soldiers and civilians were summarily executed during a Tuareg
offensive in the town of Aguelhok.
2012 Jan 24, In Mauritania
representatives from Sahel states (Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Algeria)
and Nigeria vowed to help each other fight terrorism from Al-Qaeda
in the Islamic Maghreb and Islamist sect Boko Haram, which are said
to have ties.
2012 Jan 26, In Mali Tuareg
rebel fighters (NMLA) attacked a town in the far east of the
country, the fourth town targeted since fighting began just over a
2012 Jan 31, In Mali Tuareg
separatist rebels extended their reach, attacking a sixth town,
Niafunke, in the country's remote north.
2012 Feb 2, In Mali protestors
surrounded the palace of the president, angry about the government's
handling of attacks by Tuareg rebels in the country's north.
2012 Feb 4, The Mali army said
it had killed some 20 Tuareg rebels over the last 2 days in the
northern city of Timbuktu and taken a dozen prisoners.
2012 Feb 5, Aid officials in
Mali said more than 15,000 people including military personnel have
fled into neighboring countries since members of the nomadic Tuareg
ethnic group launched a new rebellion against the Malian government
last month. The ICRC said 10,000 people have crossed into Niger and
5,000 into Mauritania.
2012 Feb 6, A Burkina Faso
security official said more than 1,500 Malians, fleeing a Tuareg
rebellion in the north and reprisal attacks in Bamako, have found
refuge in Burkina Faso.
2012 Feb 8, In Mali Tuareg
rebels said they had seized control of Tinzawaten, a northeastern
region, as UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged an end to the fighting amid
growing global concern over the unrest.
2012 Feb 13, The Malian army
said that soldiers and civilians had been summarily executed during
a Tuareg offensive in the town of Aguelhok. France condemned the
extra-judicial killings of some 82 people in the town on January 24,
which the Malian army confirmed. A nomadic community of some 1.5
million people, Tuareg of various tribes are scattered between
Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Niger and Mali.
2012 Feb 15, United Nations and
EU aid chiefs called for "urgent" assistance for West Africa's
drought-hit Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania,
Niger), saying it needed $725 million (552 million euros) this year.
2012 Feb 16, Mali said its army
is going on the offensive against Tuareg rebels after a number of
strategic retreats during the first weeks of fighting. A
government-backed plan was presented, drawn up by political parties,
that involves them trying to bring rebels to the negotiating table.
2012 Feb 16, The mediation and
security council of the West African regional group ECOWAS approved
humanitarian aid of three million dollars for victims of the food
crisis and rebel attacks in the Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Chad,
Mali, Mauritania, Niger).
2012 Feb 22, In Mali a girl was
killed and several others wounded when the governments army bombed
a refugee camp in the country's north, an area gripped by a Tuareg
2012 Feb 24, The UN said
clashes between the army and Tuareg rebels in northern Mali have
forced 126,400 people to flee their homes since mid-January and
called for $35.6 million (26.5 million euros) to cover the needs of
those displaced by the escalating conflict.
2012 Feb 29, Malian soldiers
battled Tuareg rebels in violent clashes in the country's north-west
around the town of Tessalit.
2012 Mar 11, In Mali Tuareg
rebels seized control of the Tessalit military base while the army
said they had only made a strategic retreat.
2012 Mar 20, In northern Mali
an Islamist group led by a Tuareg rebel fighting for autonomy
claimed control of the country's vast northeast, while also vowing
to free dozens of prisoners.
2012 Mar 20, ECOWAS, a
15-member West African bloc, said it has called on rebels in
northern Mali to lay down their arms and said it would "take all
necessary measures" to support the country's government.
2012 Mar 22, In Mali rebel
soldiers calling themselves the National Committee for the
Establishment of Democracy seized control of the capital overnight
because of the government's "inability" to tackle terrorism and put
down a Tuareg-led insurrection in the north. The coup sparked wide
international condemnation and calls for reinstatement of the
elected government of President Amadou Tomani Toure. Captain Amadou
Sanogo declared a national curfew as the rebels announced all
borders had been closed until further notice. The World Bank and the
African Development Bank said they were suspending development aid
(AFP, 3/22/12)(AFP, 3/23/12)
2012 Mar 23, Mali's Tuareg
rebels vowed to press on with an campaign to seize the north as coup
leaders faced a global backlash with Europe suspending aid and
African security chiefs calling an emergency meeting. The AU
suspended Mali until the return of a constitutional order and sent a
joint delegation with the West African regional bloc ECOWAS.
2012 Mar 25, Malian soldiers
repelled a fresh attack by Tuareg rebels in the north following a
coup as the junta struggled to restore order after ousting the west
African nation's president. Mali's foreign minister and 13 others
being detained by the junta that took over Mali started a hunger
(AFP, 3/25/12)(AP, 3/25/12)
2012 Mar 26, Malians marched in
Bamako to protest against the junta while Tuareg rebels threatened
to capture a key northern city, piling political and military
pressure on the coup leaders.
2012 Mar 27, In Mali the
military junta lifted a curfew imposed after its coup 5 days
earlier. Coup leaders presented a new constitution consisting of 69
articles. The first part appeared to be lifted from the country's
current constitution, including the guarantees of free speech,
liberty of movement and freedom of thought. The middle and final
sections set out the role of the military committee now controlling
the country, which calls itself the National Committee for the
Reestablishment of Democracy and the Restoration of the State.
ECOWAS in an emergency meeting again demanded the immediate
restoration of constitutional order in Bamako.
(AFP, 3/27/12)(AFP, 3/28/12)
2012 Mar 28, In Mali thousands
marched in support of the coup leaders, who sought to quell fears
they plan to cling to power by promising democracy and ruling out
taking part in elections.
2012 Mar 29, A bid by ECOWAS to
seek a return to democratic rule in Mali fell apart when the team
turned back mid-air after a pro-coup demonstration in Bamako
2012 Mar 30, In Mali Tuareg
separatist rebels and an allied armed Islamist group entered the
strategic town of Kidal, 1,000 km (620 miles) from the capital.
Embattled coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo asked for help to halt
advancing Tuareg rebels and Islamist fighters. Panic spread
following the threat of financial sanctions by the Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
(AFP, 3/30/12)(AP, 3/30/12)
2012 Mar 31, In Mali Tuareg
rebels attacked the strategic northern city of Gao, a day after they
took the provincial capital of Kidal. Junta head Captain Amadou
Sanogo ordered the army "not to prolong the fighting" in Gao, a move
that left the main northern town open to the rampant rebels.
(AP, 3/31/12)(AFP, 3/31/12)
2012 Apr 1, In Mali Tuaregs
attacked Timbuktu in their fight to create a homeland for the
Sahara's blue-turbaned nomads. Capt. Sanogo, who overthrew the
democratically elected leader earlier this month and dissolved the
nation's constitution, made a public U-turn, declaring amid enormous
international pressure that he was reinstating the 1992 constitution
and planning to hold elections.
2012 Apr 2, In Mali the junta
was slapped with crippling sanctions from its neighbors demanding a
return to constitutional rule. (ECOWAS) slapped Mali with a total
emargo and cut off the putschists from the regional central bank,
affecting their ability to pay public wages.
2012 Apr 3, In northern Mali
radical Islamists tightened their grip, ordering women to wear veils
in Timbuktu, as the nation's junta began to feel the bite of
sanctions following its coup. Three of the four leaders of
Al-Qaeda's north Africa branch, known as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic
Maghreb (AQIM), were in Timbuktu. Tuareg rebels were seen near the
central town of Mopti.
2012 Apr 5, In Mali the
National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, a rebel group
that recently seized control of the remote north, announced a
cease-fire saying they had reached their military goal. Ansar Dine
kidnapped seven Algerian diplomats in Gao. The Movement for Oneness
and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) later demanded 15 million euros for
the diplomats and 30 million for 3 aid workers kidnapped last Oct
23. On Sep 2 MUJAO said Tahar Touati, one of the diplomats, has been
(AP, 4/5/12)(AFP, 4/5/12)(AFP, 5/2/12)(AFP,
2012 Apr 6, Mali's Tuareg
rebels declared independence in the north, a move shot down by
Islamist insurgents and the international community. The Islamist
group, Ansar Dine under Iyad ag Ghali, moved in alongside the MNLA
but has given short shrift to their independence plans. The military
junta agreed to give up power under a deal with West African bloc
ECOWAS in return for amnesty and a lifting of sanctions. The new
interim president would be Dioncounda Traore, the parliament
(AFP, 4/6/12)(AFP, 4/7/12)(Econ, 11/10/12, p.52)
2012 Apr 8, Malis Pres. Amadou
Toumani Toure resigned. Under a deal mediated by ECOWAS the junta is
now supposed to hand power to a civilian government led by speaker
of parliament Dioncounda Traore.
2012 Apr 10, UN children's aid
organization UNICEF led a cross-agency appeal for funds for the
Sahel region (parts of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and
Niger) where 15 million are suffering from malnutrition.
2012 Apr 12, Mali's new interim
leader, Dioncounda Traore (70), threatened to wage total war on
Tuareg rebels and Islamists controlling the north of the country as
he took the oath of office, ending a brief period of military rule.
2012 Apr 14, Burkina Faso Pres.
Blaise Compaore opened talks as mediator with the military junta
that briefly seized power in Mali last month and Malian politicians
trying to navigate a way out of the crisis.
2012 Apr 15, In northern Mali
armed men abducted a Swiss woman working as a missionary in
(SFC, 4/16/12, p.A2)
2012 Apr 17, In Mali
astrophysicist-turned-politician Cheick Modibo Diarra was named
interim prime minister. Armed men rounded up top Malian officials
including two presidential hopefuls in a show of force by a junta
that seized power last month. Police chief Mahamadou Diagouraga,
former defense minister Sadio Gassama and Hamidou Sissoko, a top
aide to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure, were among the others
(AFP, 4/17/12)(AFP, 4/18/12)
2012 Apr 19, Mali's police
announced a wave of arrests overnight after officers seized
container loads of weapons, as the country's new prime minister
considered who should form his transitional government. The junta
announced late today that it had released 22 people whose arrests
earlier this week had prompted international criticism.
(AFP, 4/19/12)(AP, 4/20/12)
2012 Apr 20, Senegalese state
media reported that Mali's Pres. Amadou Toumani Toure and family has
sought refuge in neighboring Senegal nearly one month after the
democratically elected leader was overthrown in a coup that has
sparked political and humanitarian crises.
2012 Apr 23, Aid agencies said
they are facing a multi-million dollar funding shortage to deal with
a food crisis in the Sahel where people are resorting to
increasingly desperate measures to survive. The crisis has so far
affected Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
2012 Apr 24, In northern Mali
special forces from Burkina Faso swept into rebel-held territory
aboard a helicopter and whisked Swiss hostage Beatrice Stockly to
safety in a pre-arranged handover by Islamist Ansar Dine rebels.
2012 Apr 25, Mali's interim PM
Cheick Modibo Diarra (60) formed a 24-member government, including
three military representatives seen as close to the outgoing
2012 Apr 26, Mali's fabled
desert city of Timbuktu fell under the control of a new armed group
made up of Arabs who claim to be neither rebels nor Islamists.
Entries in the north and west remained under the control of the
Islamist group Ansar Dine and Tuareg group the National Movement for
the Liberation of Azawad.
2012 Apr 26, In Ivory Coast the
15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decided
to send troops to coup-hit Mali and Guinea-Bissau to support their
return to civilian rule and demanded coup leaders "return to
barracks" in both countries. They also said Guinea-Bissau and Mali
must prepare for legislative and presidential elections within a
2012 Apr 27, The UN food agency
appealed to oil- and mineral-rich nations to set up a fund to combat
the food crisis gripping the Sahel desert region (Chad, Mali,
Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger) and other parts of Africa. The
group said it needed $110 million (83 million euros) to combat the
crisis in the short term.
2012 Apr 30, In Mali anti-junta
forces tried to take over the country's state broadcaster and
attacked the airport and the junta's main military base. Coup leader
Capt. Amadou Sanogo told a private radio station that the
countercoup had failed and that his soldiers have captured foreign
fighters. Human Rights Watch said Tuareg rebels, militias and
Islamist groups are committing war crimes in Mali's lawless north,
including summary executions and rapes. HRW also said that
government troops in the north were also flouting rights.
(AFP, 4/30/12)(AP, 5/1/12)
2012 May 1, In Mali troops
loyal to the junta overran the main camp of the soldiers who tried
to oust them in a counter-coup. At least 12 people were killed.
(SFC, 5/2/12, p.A2)
2012 May 4, In Timbuktu, Mali,
the tomb of Sidi Mahmoud Ben Amar (d.1458), classified as a World
Heritage site, was attacked by an Islamist group.
2012 May 12, Ivory Coast and
Burkina Faso envoys of ECOWAS quit Mali after failing to reach
agreement with coup leaders on naming the head of a transitional
government. The ex-junta now hoped that coup leader Amadou Haya
Sanago take over as interim leader.
2012 May 14, In northern Mali
hundreds of residents of Gao took to the streets to protest against
the Tuareg rebels, Islamists and an Al-Qaeda group that took control
of the city after a March coup.
2012 May 18, The parliament in
Mali passed a law granting amnesty to the leaders of the March coup.
2012 May 19, In Mali coup
leaders said they respect a decision by the West African bloc ECOWAS
that interim president Dioncounda Traore must head the transition
until general elections.
2012 May 20, Malian authorities
and ECOWAS mediators agreed that coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo
has the status of former head of state. He will have all the
benefits coming with his rank. They also agreed on a transition
period to full democratic rule of one year.
2012 May 21, Malis interim
President Dioncounda Traore suffered a head wound after an attack by
protesters and was taken to a hospital. Traore was released from the
hospital a few hours later.
2012 May 22, The pro-coup
Committee of Malian Patriotic Organisations (COPAM) said it had
decided at a meeting "to institute Captain Amadou Sanogo as
president of the transition" in the west African nation.
2012 May 22, On the border
between Burkina Faso and Mali clashes broke out between the Peul
herders and Dogon farmers. At least 30 people were killed in the
clashes over land rights.
(SFC, 5/25/12, p.A2)
2012 May 26, Mali's Tuareg and
Islamist rebels moved to merge and declare a new state (Azawad) in
the north leaving the country closer to breakup, two months after a
fateful coup in the south.
2012 May 27, Mali security
sources said AQIM, an Al-Qaeda offshoot, earlier this week seized a
key arms depot in Gao, deepening the crisis facing the country after
rebels declared an independent Islamic state in the north.
2012 May 28, Malis government
said some 50 people have been arrested in the investigation into the
attack on interim president Dioncounda Traore by protesters angry
over the transition deal. ECOWAS rejected the northern Mali rebel
declaration of independence and repeated an earlier threat to take
"all necessary measures" to keep Mali intact.
(AFP, 5/28/12)(AFP, 5/29/12)
2012 May 29, Northern Mali
Tuareg rebels and hardline Islamist group Ansar Dine said plans to
join forces and proclaim an Islamic state have collapsed due to
2012 May 31, The Geneva-based
office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says it now needs
$153.7 million for its operations this year, quadrupling its aid
appeal for Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
2012 Jun 4, A north Malian Arab
militia broke away from a meeting of fellow Arabs in Mauritania,
declaring they would fight for the independence of Mali's troubled
north. Arabs were meeting in Nouakchott to discuss ways to solve a
crisis in Mali's north.
2012 Jun 7, In Mali residents
of Timbuktu said they have launched an armed group to kick out the
Islamists currently controlling the ancient city. The UN, AU and
ECOWAS officials called for the immediate dissolution of the former
junta which came to power following the coup by low-ranking
2012 Jun 8, Mali's Tuareg
rebels clashed overnight with their former Islamist allies, after
the two groups fell out over forming a breakaway state in the
northern desert region they control.
2012 Jun 18, Mali's Ansar Dine
Islamist group, which took over the country's north with Tuareg
rebels, agreed to enter a negotiation process brokered by Burkina
2012 Jun 20, In Mali Islamists
occupying the north gave a couple in Timbuktu 100 lashes of a whip
for having a child out of wedlock as they continue enforcing sharia
2012 Jun 26, In Mali violent
protests took place by residents of Gao angry over the death of
municipal councilor Idrissa Oumarou, who was shot a day earlier. He
belonged to the party of Mali's transitional president Dioncounda
Traore. Armed men fired on the crowd, leaving at least one dead and
a dozen injured.
2012 Jun 27, In Mali Islamists
claimed control of the key town of Gao in the occupied north after
fierce clashes with Tuareg rebels left at least 21 people dead.
2012 Jun 28, In Mali Islamists
of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO)
patrolled the streets of Gao and arrested civilians after dislodging
Tuareg rebels from their positions in a day of bloody combat between
the armed groups.
2012 Jun 29, In Algeria a dawn
attack against the regional headquarters of the paramilitary police
in the center of the town of Ouargla killed one person and left
three wounded. A Mali-based Islamist group, the Movement for Oneness
and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), claimed responsibility for the
2012 Jun 30, Hardline Islamists
occupying northern Mali went on the rampage in Timbuktu, destroying
ancient tombs of Muslim saints and threatening to wipe out every
religious shrine in the fabled city. The onslaught by the
fundamentalist Ansar Dine group was launched just two days after
UNESCO named the city an endangered world heritage site.
2012 Jul 1, Mali appealed to
the UN to take action after extremists ravaged shrines in Timbuktu.
Islamist rebels took hoes and chisels to the tombs of ancient Muslim
saints in Timbuktu for a second day, ignoring international pleas to
halt their campaign of destruction.
2012 Jul 2, Mali's Islamist
rebels smashed the entrance of a 15th century Timbuktu mosque,
escalating a campaign of destruction of the city's cultural
treasures despite threats of prosecution for war crimes.
2012 Jul 4, A body representing
nations in western Africa sent notice that it does not recognize
Malis Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogos status as a former head of state,
and threatened sanctions against him if he continues to obstruct the
return to constitutional rule.
2012 Jul 4, The International
Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said Theoneste Bagosora, the most
high-profile detainee at the UN court for Rwanda, has been sent to
Mali to serve his sentence along with three other prisoners. Seven
other genocide suspects convicted by the court have been sent to
2012 Jul 5, The UN Security
Council passed a resolution calling for sanctions against Al-Qaeda
fighters in Mali but again held back giving a UN mandate to a
proposed African force in the conflict-stricken country.
2012 Jul 6, The United Nations
Childrens Fund said that armed groups occupying northern Mali were
recruiting children, while others had been raped and killed by
2012 Jul 7, In Burkina Faso
West African presidents (ECOWAS) met with civil leaders from Mali in
a bid to secure a national unity government to tackle a crisis in
the north where Islamists have enforced Sharia law.
2012 Jul 10, The Islamists
controlling northern Mali destroyed two tombs at the ancient
Djingareyber mud mosque in Timbuktu, an endangered World Heritage
2012 Jul 11, Malis government
said the military has arrested Col. Abidine Guindo, who directed a
parachutist regime, also known as the Red Berets, that attempted to
stage a countercoup in April. Members of Timbuktu's Arab community
said they have set up an armed brigade to prevent further
destruction of the tombs of ancient Muslim saints by Islamists
occupying northern Mali.
(AP, 7/12/12)(AFP, 7/11/12)
2012 Jul 12, An Islamist rebel
group in northern Mali said it had freed three of seven Algerian
diplomats kidnapped in Gao on April 5.
2012 Jul 12, In Mali gunmen
abducted Saouti Haidara, the director of a private newspaper, from
his office in Bamako and beat him "to a pulp" before releasing him.
2012 Jul 13, In northern Mali a
protest erupted after a young Islamist militant whipped a woman
carrying a baby for not wearing what he considered to be an adequate
veil. The baby fell and was injured. Angry citizens then marched
toward the radicals' base in Goundam town and vandalized the
2012 Jul 14, In northern
Mali members of the radical Islamic sect Ansar Dine were going
from door to door in Goundam town in a bid to arrest the leaders of
a protest against them.
2012 Jul 15, In northern Mali
some 400 combatants of the government-backed Gandakoy militia were
reported to have broken ranks and joined the Islamists, bolstering
the radicals' edge over ethnic Tuareg rebels in the area.
2012 Jul 16, In Mali a Timbuktu
man accused of drinking alcohol was given 40 lashes by members of
the Ansar Dine Islamist group.
2012 Jul 17, Mali's interim PM
Cheick Modibo Diarra presented a roadmap for rescuing his country
from a post-coup crisis to the region's lead mediator. It laid out a
one-year plan for a return to constitutional rule, and the formation
of a unity government to oversee the transition.
2012 Jul 17, Malian journalists
went on strike for a day of "dead press," and marched in Bamako to
protest recent attacks against journalists by armed men believed to
be linked to the former junta.
2012 Jul 17, The UN food agency
warned the unrest in northern Mali means that efforts to contain the
threat of desert locusts are being hampered and appealed for $10
million (8.1 million euros) in aid. It said control operations
cannot be carried out because of political conflict and that 30
trucks and other equipment had been looted.
2012 Jul 21, Six Malian
self-defense groups said they have joined forces to oust Islamist
militants who have seized control of the country's northern half for
almost four months.
2012 Jul 23, The European Union
said it was ready to back the deployment of an African stabilization
force under UN mandate in Mali, and threatened sanctions against
those posing a threat to democratic change.
2012 Jul 24, A grouping of
Mali's main political parties (FDR) formed after a March coup,
demanded the resignation of the interim PM Cheick Modibo Diarra,
whom they accused of "incompetence and amateurishness." The grouping
unites some 40 political parties and about 100 civil society
2012 Jul 29, Mali's interim
president Dioncounda Traore sidelined his controversial PM Cheick
Modibo Diarra by announcing the creation of new bodies tasked with
ending the crisis. A couple who had an adulterous relationship was
stoned to death in the town of Aguelhok.
(AFP, 7/29/12)(AP, 7/29/12)
2012 Aug 1, West African bloc
ECOWAS pledged support for Mali's interim Pres. Dioncounda Traore,
after mediators extended a deadline for the country to form a unity
2012 Aug 5, In Mali radio
presenter Abdoul Malick Maiga was badly beaten by Islamists
occupying the northern town of Gao after he reported on a protest in
which they were stopped from cutting off a thief's hand.
2012 Aug 8, In northern Mali a
man's hand was chopped off as punishment for the theft of a
motorbike in the village of Ansongo.
2012 Aug 12, In Mali up to
60,000 people gathered for a giant peace rally in Bamako. The
country was split in two after Islamists wrested control of the vast
desert north following a March coup in the capital Bamako.
2012 Aug 20, Mali's interim
leaders announced a new government late today, months after a
military coup unleashed political chaos.
2012 Aug 25, In Mali Mahamadou
Diouara, the leader of a Malian youth militia against the Islamic
occupation of the country's north, was "kidnapped" in Bamako.
2012 Aug 31, In northern Mali a
man accused of rape in received 100 lashes, as the Islamists
controlling the city continue to mete out punishments under Shariah
law. He was identified as a Burkina Faso citizen named Boubacar
2012 Sep 1, In Mali Islamist
extremist rebels seized control of Douentza, 190 km (120 miles)
north of Mopti, a central town held by the Mali army.
2012 Sep 4, Guineas minister
in charge of national defense said that an arms shipment was
intercepted around a month ago at the port of Conakry. Abdoul Kabele
Camara said the arms appear to have been ordered by Mali's
ex-President Amadou Toumani Toure, known by his initials "ATT," who
was ousted in a coup in March. Representatives from the West African
regional bloc ECOWAS were meeting with the government of Guinea in
order to decide what to do with a container of arms.
2012 Sep 7, It was reported
that Malis interim president Dioncounda Traore has requested five
battalions and air support from neighboring countries to try to take
back the country's north from Islamist rebels linked to al-Qaida.
The request was made without the consent of the soldiers who led
Mali's recent coup.
2012 Sep 9, In Mali 16
preachers from a moderate Muslim sect were killed at a checkpoint in
the central town of Diabaly after reportedly being mistaken for
Islamic extremists. The preachers, many of whom were Mauritanian,
were traveling by road to Bamako to attend a religious conference.
2012 Sep 9, In Mali Nabil
Makhloufi, leader of al-Qaida's North African branch (AQIM) known by
his alias Nabil Alqama, was killed in the accident near the city of
2012 Sep 10, In northern Mali 5
young men had an hand and foot amputated by Islamists imposing
Sharia law against highway robbery.
2012 Oct 12, The UN Security
Council unanimously approved a plan to back an African-led military
force to help the Malian army oust Islamic militants who have seized
the northern half of the country.
(SFC, 10/13/12, p.A2)
2012 Oct 15, In Mali a teenaged
girl, about 15 years old, received 60 lashes in Timbuktu after
Islamist extremists convicted her of speaking to men on the street.
2012 Oct 21, Mali's government
troops killed about 10 men near the town of Diabaly and soldiers
reportedly recovered two shotguns along with ammunition. A relative
later said the men were Tuareg animal herders not criminals. He
believed the deaths stemmed from a decade-long rivalry between two
families in the area, one of which had ties to a soldier in the
2012 Oct 22, A French defense
official said that France plans to move two surveillance drones to
western Africa from Afghanistan by year-end, though he did not
provide details. France is also reported to have special forces in
the region around Mali, and to have contracted out surveillance of
Mali to a private company.
2012 Oct 24, The African Union
pledged to mobilize an African military force to battle
al-Qaida-affiliated groups controlling northern Mali. Ministers
meeting at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia agreed to write a final
operational plan for the African-led force by the end of the month.
2012 Nov 3, In Burkina Faso
representatives of an al-Qaida-linked group that controls northern
Mali arrived for talks with President Blaise Compaore, who is trying
to mediate a solution to the conflict in the west African nation. A
second delegation traveled to Algeria for talks with regional
2012 Nov 11, West African
nations (ECOWAS) agreed to send some 3,000 troops to help Mali wrest
back control of its northern half, which was seized by
al-Qaida-linked fighters more than six months ago.
2012 Nov 19, In northern Mali
fighting resumed between Islamist extremists and Tuareg secular
2012 Nov 20, In northern Mali
Islamist extremist rebels pushed secular Tuareg fighters from their
last base in Menaka. More than 100 fighters were reported killed.
2012 Nov 29, In northern Mali
Islamist extremists controlling the city of Timbuktu publicly
whipped 6 young people, males and females aged between 16 to 22
years, who each received 100 lashes for having talked with each
other on the city streets.
2012 Dec 4, Tuareg rebels of
northern Mali agreed to stop pursuing a separate state during talks
with Malis government in Burkina Faso.
(SFC, 12/5/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 10, In Mali soldiers
arrested PM Cheikh Modibo Diarra and ordered him to resign, showing
that the military is still the real power. Longtime civil servant
Django Cissoko was chosen as the new prime minister in the
transitional government, first set up after the military coup in
(AP, 12/11/12)(AP, 12/12/12)(Econ, 12/15/12,
2012 Dec 10, EU foreign
ministers approved the concept of an EU training mission for an
attempt by Malian and other African troops to deprive the Islamists
of a haven and training sites in north Mali.
2012 Dec 20, The UN Security
Council authorized military action to wrest northern Mali from the
control of al-Qaida extremists, but demanded progress first on
political reconciliation, elections and training African troops and
(SFC, 12/21/12, p.A8)
2012 Dec 21, The
al-Qaida-linked group that controls much of northern Mali and other
rebels agreed to cease hostilities in the areas they control, a day
after the United Nations backed a regional plan to oust the
Islamists from power in a military intervention next year.
2012 Dec 23, In Mali Islamist
extremists destroyed four mausoleums in Timbuktu. Residents said the
destruction of the graves is the rebels' reaction to the recent UN
resolution calling for an international military intervention.
2013 Jan 9, The Mali army
attacked Islamist rebels with heavy weapons in the center of the
country which divides the insurgent-held north and the
2013 Jan 10, Islamists, who
rule northern Mali, clashed with government forces for the first
time in nearly a year, seizing the strategic city of Konna as the
al-Qaida-linked militants pushed toward the government line of
control in the center of the troubled country.
2013 Jan 11, In Mali radical
Islamists held on to the central city of Konna after sending the
Malian military reeling in retreat. French President Francois
Hollande ordered air strikes to stop the Islamist extremists. This
was the start of Operation Serval. French airstrikes began over
Konna leaving civilian casualties.
(AP, 1/11/13)(AP, 1/26/13)(Econ, 1/19/13, p.53)
2013 Jan 12, In Mali French
airstrikes overnight drove back Islamist rebels from Konna and
destroyed a militant command center, as West African nations
authorized the immediate deployment of troops to the country. At
least 11 civilians were killed in Konna. A French pilot was killed
after the Islamists downed his combat helicopter.
(AP, 1/12/13)(AP, 1/13/13)
2013 Jan 14, In Mali despite
intensive aerial bombardments by French warplanes, Islamist
insurgents grabbed more territory and got much closer to the
2013 Jan 15, French forces led
an all-night aerial bombing campaign to wrest control of Diabaly, a
small Malian town, from armed Islamist extremists, as more French
troops arrived in preparation for a possible land assault. France
announced it tripling the number of troops deployed to Mali from 800
(AP, 1/15/13)(AP, 1/16/13)
2013 Jan 16, French troops
pressed northward in Mali toward territory occupied by radical
Islamists. The start of the land assault put soldiers in direct
2013 Jan 17, In Mali fighting
raged in Konna, airstrikes hit Diably and army troops raced to
protect Banamba, on the seventh day of the French-led military
intervention to wrest back Mali's north from al Qaida-linked groups.
2013 Jan 17, EU foreign
ministers approved sending a military training mission to Mali, to
shore up the Malian army and enable the country's government to
regain control of all its territory.
2013 Jan 19, The Malian
military announced that the government was now controlling Diabaly.
2013 Jan 20, In Mali French
forces extended their deployment northward up from the central town
of Markala, reinforcing their presence in the towns of Niono and
Mopti. Some 400 troops from Nigeria, Togo and Benin arrived in
Bamako to help train an African force for Mali.
(AP, 1/20/13)(AP, 1/21/13)
2013 Jan 21, Malian and French
troops took control of the town of Diabaly, patrolling the streets
in armored personnel carriers. American planes began transporting
French troops and equipment to Mali. French and Malian troops
arrived in Douentza to find that the Islamists already had retreated
from the town.
(AP, 1/21/13)(AP, 1/22/13)
2013 Jan 23, A France-based
human rights group charged that Malian forces had committed about 33
killings since new fighting erupted Jan 10.
2013 Jan 24, Mali's rebel
movement showed new signs of discord in the wake of punishing French
air strikes, with one wing of the Ansar Dine group now pledging to
negotiate an end to the country's crisis and possibly even fight
against its former comrades-in-arms. Islamic extremists based in the
town of Ansongo destroyed a bridge near the Niger border, marking
the first use of explosives by the insurgents since the start of the
French-led military intervention exactly two weeks ago.
(AP, 1/24/13)(AP, 1/25/13)
2013 Jan 25, Mali's military
and French forces pushed toward the Islamic extremist stronghold in
the city of Gao, in their farthest push east since launching an
operation two weeks ago to retake land controlled by the rebels.
2013 Jan 26, In Mali French
forces took control of the airport and a key bridge in the radical
Islamist stronghold of Gao under the cover of darkness early today,
marking a significant inroad into the heart of territory held by the
2013 Jan 27, African Union
leaders met in the Ethiopian capital for talks dominated by the
conflict in Mali as well as lingering territorial issues between the
two Sudans. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the two-day
summit in Addis Ababa, where Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn took
over from President Yayi Boni of Benin as chairperson of the African
2013 Jan 28, Malian ground
forces backed by French paratroopers and helicopters took control of
Timbuktu's airport and the roads leading to the town in an overnight
operation. Timbuktus mayor said Islamist extremists torched a
library containing historic manuscripts as they fled late last week.
The jihadists left a manual behind on how to use the SA-7
surface-to-air missile as well as other instructional material,
including a spiral-bound pamphlet showing how to use the KPV-14.5
anti-aircraft machine gun and another on how to make a bomb out of
(AP, 1/28/13)(AP, 6/11/13)
2013 Jan 29, The website of the
National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, the Tuaregs' name
for northern Mali, claimed control of the strategic city of Kidal
and seven other northern towns from Islamist extremists.
2013 Jan 29, African and
Western nations pledged more than $450 million to fund an
African-led military force to fight Islamist extremists in Mali.
2013 Jan 30, In Mali French
forces took control the airport in Kidal, seizing a key position in
the last remaining urban stronghold of Islamist extremists, whose
fighters escaped with their weapons into a desert region the size of
Texas. 4 Malian soldiers died and 5 others were wounded when their
vehicle hit a land mine in the town of Gossi.
(AP, 1/30/13)(AP, 1/31/13)
2013 Feb 1, In Mali 3 suspected
jihadists, arrested in the days since the liberation of the town of
Timbuktu. said that Malian soldiers were torturing them with a
method similar to waterboarding.
2013 Feb 2, In Mali
French President Francois Hollande, bathed in the cheers and
accolades of the thousands of people of Timbuktu, made a triumphant
stop six days after French forces parachuted into the city.
2013 Feb 2, In Mali secular
rebels from Mali's Tuareg group (NMLA) arrested Mohamed Moussa Ag
Mohamed of Ansar Dine and Oumeini Ould Baba Akhmed of the Movement
for Unity and Oneness of the Jihad, or MUJAO, near Mali's border
2013 Feb 3, In Mali French
troops launched overnight airstrikes on Islamic militant sites
around Kidal and Tessalit in Mali's far north.
2013 Feb 4, In northern Mali
French airstrikes targeted the fuel depots and desert hideouts of
Islamic extremists. French forces planned to hand control of
Timbuktu to the Malian army this week.
2013 Feb 5, In Mali troops from
France and Chad moved into Kidal in an effort to secure the
strategic northern city.
2013 Feb 6, France's defense
minister said French forces clashed with extremists firing rocket
launchers near the northern Malian city of Gao.
2013 Feb 7, In Mali French
troops began to withdraw from Timbuktu after securing the fabled
city as they ramped up their mission in Gao, searching for Islamic
extremists who may be mixing among the local population.
2013 Feb 8, In northern Mali
French forces wrested Tessalit from control of Islamic insurgents.
In Gao the conflict's first suicide bombing increased fears of
2013 Feb 9, In northern Mali a
suicide bomber wearing military fatigues blew himself up near a
checkpoint at the entrance to Gao, wounding one soldier in the
second attack to hit the same location in 36 hours.
2013 Feb 10, Malian soldiers
with rocket propelled grenades traded fire in Gao with combatants
believed to be from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West
Africa, or MUJAO. Islamic fighters invaded through Gaos Niger River
harbor and fought a protracted downtown battle for hours.
(AP, 2/10/13)(AP, 2/11/13)
2013 Feb 11, French and Malian
government forces regained control of Gao.
2013 Feb 13, In Mali French
soldiers recovered some 800 kg of explosives that authorities
believe radical Islamic fighters were using to make bombs for
attacks on Gao.
2013 Feb 14, Mali's military
detained eight Arab men in Timbuktu, throwing them into a pickup
truck and covering it with a tarp in a sweep that has raised fears
of further reprisals against the region's Arab minority. Hundreds of
others have fled to the neighboring nations of Algeria and
Mauritania, where they are living in refugee camps. In December the
Associated press found the body of Kabbad, a 70-year-old grandfather
known as Vieux Ali, and five others buried in the desert.
(AP, 2/17/13)(AP, 12/9/13)
2013 Feb 17, Hundreds of French
and Malian soldiers retook the jihadist stronghold of Bourem, a town
where many radical Islamic fighters were believed to have fled.
2013 Feb 18, The European Union
officially launched a training mission with the goal of making the
disparaged Malian army good enough to patrol the whole country.
2013 Feb 19, In Mali a French
soldier was shot to death in a clash with jihadists in a mountainous
region of the far north. 20 extremists were reported killed on this
second day of the ongoing operation, code named Panthere, aimed at
locating jihadists and dismantling their sanctuaries.
2013 Feb 20, In Mali Islamic
extremists clashed with military in the northern city of Gao. A
French Tigre attack helicopter fired on a pickup truck containing
jihadist fighters during clashes in northern Mali, killing about 10
insurgents. The military pushed fighters out of Gao. 16 jihadists
were reported killed in the fighting in Gao.
(AP, 2/21/13)(AP, 2/22/13)
2013 Feb 21, In Kidal, Mali, a
town further north where control by French and Chad forces has been
tentative, a car explosion in a mechanics garage killed two,
including the driver and a security guard. Jihadist fighters fired
two rockets at military points in the city of Gao as a suicide
bomber attacked secular rebels near Algeria's border.
(AP, 2/21/13)(AP, 2/22/13)
2013 Feb 22, In northern Mali
Chadian army troops killed 65 Islamic extremist rebels and destroyed
five vehicles in fierce fighting. 13 Chadian soldiers were killed in
2013 Feb 26, In Mali a suicide
car bombing killed six government allies in the northern city of
Kidal. The French confirmed that they are engaged in heavy fighting
in northern Mali.
2013 Mar 1, Chadian President
Idriss Deby announced that government troops fighting to dislodge an
al-Qaida affiliate in northern Mali killed one of the group's
leading commanders, Abdelhamid Abou Zeid. On March 23 France
confirmed Zeids death and said he was killed in operations in the
Adrar des Ifoghas mountains in northern Mali in late February.
(AP, 3/1/13)(AP, 3/23/13)
2013 Mar 2, In Mali a French
soldier died in an assault on jihadists in the Adrar des Ifoghas
mountains along the Algerian border. About 15 jihadists were
reported killed in the fighting in the Ametettai Valley.
2013 Mar 6, In eastern Mali
French and Malian forces clashed with jihadists leaving a French
soldier and some 10 insurgents dead. Boukary Daou, the
editor-in-chief of Malis The Republican newspaper was arrested. His
arrest came soon after his newspaper published a letter from an army
officer denouncing coup leader Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo's
recently-decreed salary of $8,000 per month, a very high salary in
the impoverished country.
(SFC, 3/7/13, p.A2)(AP, 3/14/13)
2013 Mar 20, In Mali a suicide
car bomber killed a Malian soldier near Timbuktu's airport. A
vehicle containing two jihadists exploded as it attempted to
infiltrate the airport.
2013 Mar 23, In Mali Islamic
extremists infiltrated and attacked the northern city of Gao. Malian
forces engaged the fighters and they retreated.
2013 Mar 24, In Mali Islamic 9
people were left dead after extremists belonging to the Movement for
Oneness and Jihad in West Africa infiltrated Gao a day earlier. The
dead include 4 extremists, a soldier and 4 civilians.
2013 Mar 27, In northern Mali
the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, or NMLA,
announced that Mohamed Aly Ag Al Bessati would serve as the civil
administrator for Kidal.
2013 Apr 10, Mali authorities
arrested Baba Ould Cheick, the Mayor of Tarkint, on drug trafficking
charges three years after a plane full of cocaine landed near his
2013 Apr 12, In northern Mali a
suicide bombing by members of an al-Qaida branch in North Africa
killed at least three soldiers from Chad. Two suicide bombers were
killed in the operation, and many civilians were injured in the
2013 Apr 15, Chadian President
Idriss Deby said his country's troops are pulling out of Mali three
months after the French-led mission to oust al-Qaida-linked
2013 Apr 25, The Malian
military says it has expelled French journalist Dorothee Thienot
from Gao in northern Mali. She had documented civilian deaths blamed
on Malian soldiers.
2013 Apr 25, The UN Security
Council authorized the deployment of a 12,600 member peacekeeping
force to Mali.
(AP, 4/26/13)(Econ, 6/15/13, p.44)
2013 Apr 26, France's Defense
Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reaffirmed that his country will keep
1,000 of its troops in Mali to fight radical Islamic militants even
after the arrival later this year of more than 12,000 UN
2013 Apr 28, French troops in
Mali arrested overnight Gilles Le Guen, a French citizen who
converted to Islam. Le Guen had taken on the jihadist cause and
threatened his native country in a video last fall.
2013 Apr 30, Mali officials
confirmed that police in Bamako have dismantled a terrorist cell
belonging to the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, or
MUJAO. The 7-member cell was first discovered more than a month ago.
2013 May 7, Soldiers from Mali
and Burkina Faso pushed into the village of Ber, 50 km (30 miles)
northeast of Timbuktu. It had previously been occupied by fighters
from a Tuareg rebel group, the National Movement for the Liberation
of the Azawad (NMLA).
2013 May 10, In northern Mali 5
suicide bombers carried out two simultaneous attacks on soldiers in
Gossi and Menaka. All 5 attackers were killed.
(AP, 5/10/13)(SFC, 5/11/13, p.A2)
2013 May 11, In Mali a
suspected jihadist opened fire on a crowd at an aid distribution
point in the northern village of Ikadiwane, killing three
civilians. The suspect was shot and wounded and taken to Kidal.
2013 May 15, In Brussels a plan
to turn Mali into a stable democracy rather than a terrorist haven
drew massive support as various nations and international
organizations pledged 3.25 billion euros ($4.22 billion) to help
reconstruct the conflict-ridden West African nation.
2013 May 20, In Mauritania
Sanda Ould Boumana, the Timbuktu-based spokesman for Ansar Dine, was
transferred Nouakchott after he turned himself in over the weekend.
2013 Jun 4, In Mali a man
suspected of being an extremist ran for cover inside an abandoned
house in the northern city of Kidal, and detonated an explosive vest
inside the structure, killing only himself.
2013 Jun 5, The Malian military
attacked Tuareg rebels and succeeded in taking the village of
Anefis, marking the army's first victory and territorial gain
without the help of French forces ever since they were routed from
the country's north last year by the separatist fighters. At least
two people were killed in the clashes.
2013 Jun 12, A UN report added
3 Malian militias and Syrias main rebel force to an annual list of
shame. 55 armed groups from 14 countries were included. Syrian
government forces were added to a list of groups that sexually abuse
(SFC, 6/13/13, p.A2)
2013 Jun 18, Mali, which lost
half its territory last year to rebels, signed an accord with Tuareg
separatists who still control the country's northernmost province.
The agreement was signed in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina
Faso, where the two sides have been holding talks.
2013 Jun 25, The UN Security
Council approved the July 1 deployment of a new Mali peacekeeping
force to help the government regain control of rebel-held areas and
(SFC, 6/26/13, p.A2)
2013 Jul 6, Mali said it has
lifted a state of emergency ahead of the start of political
campaigning for a presidential election on July 28.
2013 Jul 19, Malian troops
deployed in the northern town of Kidal after attacks by
light-skinned Tuareg separatists on black residents killed at least
one, a week before elections meant to unify the fractured nation.
2013 Jul 20, Gunmen In Mali
kidnapped four election workers and a deputy mayor in the remote
northern town of Tessalit. All were free the next day.
2013 Jul 28, Malians turned out
in large numbers to vote in a presidential election.
2013 Aug 2, Malis government
said former PM Ibrahim Boubacar Keita came first in the July 28
presidential election but will face ex-finance minister Soumaila
Cisse in a run-off after he failed to secure an outright majority.
2013 Aug 3, Dramane Dembele,
the candidate of Mali's largest political party, broke ranks with
his own party and said he will back former prime minister Ibrahim
Boubacar Keita in a run-off. He had came third in the first round of
the country's presidential election.
2013 Aug 11, Malians voted in a
presidential runoff. Former PM Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (68) won the
election. Abdoulaye Ag Mohamed Ali, a Tuareg man, was killed in the
northern town of Lere where he had gone to vote.
(Reuters, 8/11/13)(AP, 8/13/13)
2013 Aug 12, In Mali Soumalia
Cisse, the opponent of former PM Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, conceded
defeat in an election aimed at restoring stability to a country
wracked by a rebellion, a coup and an Islamic insurgency.
2013 Aug 29, Mali's interim
government said it has removed General Amadou Sanogo, who led a coup
last year, as head of a military committee tasked with reforming the
West African country's armed forces.
2013 Aug 29, Mali officials
said at least 23 people have been killed in flash floods caused by
torrential rain in Bamako. The next day the death toll was raised to
(AFP, 8/29/13)(AFP, 8/30/13)
2013 Sep 5, Mali's new
president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita made leading economist Oumar Tatam
Ly his prime minister.
2013 Sep 11, In Mali at least
two soldiers were wounded as the army exchanged fire with "bandits",
killing 3 during security operations near the Mauritanian border.
2013 Sep 18, In northern Mali a
company of about 150 Chadian soldiers of the UN peacekeeping force
abandoned their posts in protest at the length of time they have
2013 Sep 28, In northern Mali 4
suicide bombers let off explosives in a car in front of a military
camp in Timbuktu, killing 2 civilians.
2013 Sep 30, Malian soldiers
and ethnic Tuareg separatist rebels clashed again in the northern
desert town of Kidal, a day after trading gunfire downtown in a
battle that has raised fears about whether an unraveling peace
accord could lead to protracted fighting in the region.
2013 Oct 2, Mali freed 23
prisoners arrested in clashes in the north, as part of a deal signed
between the government and rebels in June.
2013 Oct 5, In Mali Tuareg
separatists said they were rejoining the peace process in northern
Mali, just over a week after they pulled out and accused Bamako of
not respecting the terms of a truce signed in June.
2013 Oct 7, In northern Mali
suspected radical Islamic militants fired a series of mortar shells
on Gao, marking the first such attack in months after the French-led
military operation drove the jihadists from power. Suspected Islamic
militants set off explosions at two bridges near Ansongo.
(AP, 10/7/13)(AP, 10/8/13)
2013 Oct 11, In central Mali a
boat carrying hundreds of passengers along the Niger River capsized.
Only 210 survivors, of an estimated 400 people aboard, were counted.
By Oct 19 the body count reached 72.
(AP, 10/12/13)(AP, 10/19/13)
2013 Oct 23, In Mali a suicide
bomber killed two Chadian troops from the UN peacekeeping mission
and injured six others in an attack on a checkpoint at the entry to
the northern town of Tessalit.
2013 Oct 24, In Mali the French
military said it has engaged with UN and Malian forces in a major
operation aimed at preventing a resurgence of Islamist rebels in
2013 Nov 1, Dutch PM Mark Rutte
said the Netherlands will send 380 soldiers and four Apache attack
helicopters to war-torn Mali following an appeal for more UN
2013 Nov 2, In Mali two French
journalists were snatched by gunmen in the northern town of Kidal.
Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon of Radio France Internationale
were grabbed by armed men in a 4x4 just after finishing an interview
with the acting head of the rebel National Movement for the
Liberation of the Azawad (NMLA). Their bodies were dumped a dozen km
outside the town.
(Reuters, 11/2/13)(AP, 11/3/13)
2013 Nov 4, In Mali French
forces, who found the bodies of two radio journalists kidnapped and
shot to death, followed the abductor's tracks in the sand and
arrested about a half-dozen suspects. 4 people were killed when
their truck hit a landmine in the Gao region.
(AP, 11/4/13)(AFP, 11/4/13)
2013 Nov 8, In northern Mali 3
people were killed during clashes between the MNLA Tuareg separatist
group and the Malian army.
2013 Nov 21, Security sources
said French special forces have killed Hacene Ould Khalill the
second-in-command of the veteran Islamist commander Mokhtar
Belmokhtar in an operation in Mali's northern region of Tessalit.
The Mauritanian, known by his nickname Jouleibib, was deputy
commander of Belmokhtar's "Those Who Sign in Blood" Brigade, formed
when the Algerian jihadist split with al Qaeda's North African wing.
2013 Nov 24, Mali held
legislative elections. In the north ballot boxes were reportedly
stolen in the Timbuktu region, including one by armed men and
several by a politician, in the first sign of disruption in
parliamentary polls. In preliminary results announced on Dec 18,
Pres. Keita's RPM party finished first after the second of two legs,
securing 61 of a total of 147 seats in parliament.
(AFP, 11/24/13)(Reuters, 12/18/13)
2013 Nov 28, In Mali Tuareg
demonstrators occupied an airport runway to prevent PM Oumar Tatam
Ly visiting the rebel-controlled northeastern town of Kidal.
Protesters said Malian soldiers shot and wounded three of the
demonstrators, but the Malian army denied that.
2013 Nov 29, In northern Mali
separatist Tuareg rebels said they were ending a five-month-old
ceasefire with the government and taking up arms following violence
in the northern city of Kidal.
2013 Dec 3, In Mali excavation
began on a mass grave containing 21 skulls near the Kati military
barracks, formerly the fief of Gen. Amadou Haya Sanogo. The spot
where the remains were found matches the place where witnesses said
around 20 soldiers were shot and killed by troops loyal to Sanogo in
2013 Dec 14, In Mali a car bomb
killed two UN Senegalese peacekeepers and destroyed the only
operating bank in the northern town of Kidal, one day before a
second round of parliamentary elections.
2013 Dec 15, French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius confirmed that 19 armed Islamists had been
killed in a French-led military operation this week targeting Al
Qaeda-linked rebels in restive northern Mali.
2013 Dec 16, In Mali four more
bodies of soldiers were discovered, bringing to 25 the number of
troops believed to have been killed by the country's coup leader.
2013 Dec 24, The Malian
Ministry of Defense said that Aliou Mahamar Toure, the former head
of the Islamic Police in Gao, has been captured. Toure had presided
over a 10-month reign of terror.
2013 The population of Mali,
90% Muslim, numbered about 15.8 million.
2014 Jan 12, The leaders of
Mali and Mauritania signed an accord to boost military cooperation
and information sharing in the battle against "armed groups or
terrorists" plaguing the west African neighbors.
2014 Jan 17, Mali's army
arrested Houka Houka Ag Alfousseyni, a hardline Islamist judge. He
had ordered floggings, amputations and the stoning of women for
adultery during a 10-month occupation by rebels linked to al Qaeda.
2014 Jan 21, France said it
will create new outposts and broaden its military presence in
Africa's turbulent Sahel region to better fight the terror threat
from extremist groups like al-Qaida. Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le
Drian said France is moving toward a regional counterterrorism
approach in former colonies like Chad, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso,
Niger and Mali.
2014 Jan 22, In Mali Issaka
Sidibe, a high-ranking ruling party lawmaker and relative of the
president, became the countrys second most powerful politician as
he was elected to lead the nation's new parliament.
2014 Jan 24, In northern Mali a
French counter-terrorism offensive ended with 11 Islamist militants
killed and a French soldier wounded.
2014 Jan 31, Humanitarian
groups warned that more than 800,000 Malians are desperate for food
while another three million risk going without meals as the country
struggles to emerge from months of armed conflict.
2014 Feb 5, Germany's
government approved increasing the number of soldiers sent to Mali
from 180 to 250 as part of an EU-led mission to train the national
army for its fight against Islamic extremists.
2014 Feb 7, Malis Ministry of
Defense said around 30 ethnic Tuaregs have been killed in the
northern Gao region in local fighting with ethnic Peuls.
2014 Feb 23, In northern Mali a
miner said that 8 armed men closed the large Taoudenie salt mine by
forcing more than 800 workers to leave.
2014 Feb 23, In Mali 5
bodies were discovered in two graves near the Kati military barracks
outside Bamako. The victims were wearing military clothing but their
identities had not been confirmed.
2014 Mar 14, A Mali military
source said French air strikes in the mountains of northern Mali
have killed Islamist militant Oumar Ould Hamaha, a jihadist with a
$3 million US government bounty on his head. Paris said last week
its forces had killed 10 suspected Islamist fighters in the northern
Adrar des Ifoghas mountains, after the group was spotted by a
US-made Reaper surveillance drone.
2014 Mar 21, In Mali an
overnight blaze at the main market in Bamako destroyed around 2,000
shops, causing millions of dollars in damage as fire crews struggled
to access the site and hydrants malfunctioned.
2014 Mar, In Mali the National
Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, the original instigator of
the rebellion of 2012, broke in two.
(Econ, 3/22/14, p.51)
2014 Apr 4, Mali, Liberia and
Sierra Leone geared up to tackle killer haemorrhagic fevers
including Ebola, which has claimed 86 lives in Guinea. Mali claimed
3 suspect cases; Liberia claimed 14; Sierra Leone claimed several
2014 Apr 5, In Mali former
planning minister Moussa Mara (39) was promoted to the premiership
after Mali's first post-war PM Oumar Tatam Ly (50) quit just six
months into office. Ly had reportedly become frustrated over being
unable to enact reforms in the administration.
2014 Apr 17, In Mali French
Special Forces backed by helicopters freed five humanitarian aid
workers who had gone missing on Feb 8.
(SFC, 4/18/14, p.A2)
2014 May 2, In northern Mali
Sidati Ag Baye was shot by two suspected al-Qaida-linked Islamic
extremists on a motorcycle in Kidal. Baye had foiled an attack by
Islamic extremists several months ago by alerting security forces to
a bomb left on a runway at Kidals airport.
2014 May 8, France said it will
deploy 3,000 soldiers to combat Islamist violence in the vast and
largely lawless Sahel region to pursue counter-terrorism in north
Mali, the north of Niger and in Chad.
2014 May 17, In Mali gunfire
erupted between the army and Tuareg separatists (MNLA) in the
northern city of Kidal as PM Moussa Mara embarked on a trip there.
Rebels attacked the governor's office in Kidal, abducting 32 civil
servants. 8 soldiers and 28 insurgents were killed. PM Moussa Mara
responded by saying Mali is now at war with the armed Tuareg
(Reuters, 5/17/14)(Reuters, 5/18/14)(SFC,
5/19/14, p.A2)(AP, 5/22/14)
2014 May 21, Mali launched a
military offensive to retake control of a northern Tuareg separatist
stronghold. Witnesses reported intense fighting with machine gun and
heavy weapons fire in Kidal. At least 50 Malian soldiers were killed
and 30 wounded in a failed attempt to retake the Tuareg separatist
stronghold. Another 50 were taken prisoner and some 900 surrendered
their weapons and sought refuge at a UN post.
(Reuters, 5/21/14)(Reuters, 5/23/14)(Econ,
2014 May 22, In Mali Tuareg
separatists said they have seized control of several towns in the
north after routing government forces but they would respect calls
for a ceasefire.
2014 May 23, The African Union
said ethnic Tuareg separatist rebels have signed a cease-fire deal
after having pushed the Malian army out of Kidal.
2014 Jun 4, In Mali authorities
arrested army officer Lieutenant Mohamed Ouattara and a number of
associates suspected of plotting against President Ibrahim Boubacar
2014 Jun 11, In northern Mali a
car bomb at a checkpoint killed 4 people including Chadian
peacekeepers and Malian soldiers at a UN camp in Aguelhoc.
(SFC, 6/12/14, p.A2)
2014 Jun 16, In Mali a jail
break in Bamako left at least two people dead as 22 prisoners
2014 Jun 24, Mali security
forces arrested Mahamed Aly Ag Wadoussene, a fugitive at the heart
of a jail break in Bamako on June 16 in which at least two people
were killed and 22 prisoners escaped.
2014 Jul 13, France said its
military offensive that freed northern Mali from the grip of
Islamists would be replaced by an operation spanning the wider,
largely lawless Sahel region to combat extremist violence.
2014 Jul 14, In northern Mali a
French soldier died from wounds in a suicide bombing.
2014 Jul 24, Air Algerie Flight
5017 carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital
disappeared from radar early today over northern Mali after heavy
rains were reported. Air navigation services lost track of the MD-83
about 50 minutes after takeoff from Ouagadougou.
2014 Aug 16, In northern Mali 2
UN peacekeepers were killed and nine others injured in a suicide
attack on a patrol base in the village of Ber.
2014 Sep 14, In northern Mali a
UN military vehicle struck a land mine in the volatile Kidal region,
killing a Chadian soldier and wounding four other peacekeepers.
2014 Sep 18, In Mali 5 Chadian
peacekeepers died and three others were injured when their truck was
hit by an explosive device.
2014 Sep 23, In northern Mali
residents of the town of Zouera found the decapitated head and
body of a Tuareg hostage seized last week for purportedly acting as
an informer for French forces in the region.
2014 Oct 3, In Mali 9
United Nations peacekeepers from Niger were killed in an ambush on
2014 Oct 16, In northern Mali
clashes between armed groups and pro-government militias killed at
least 6 people near Gao.
2014 Oct 22, In Mali a
two-year-old girl tested positive for Ebola, the countrys first
case. The girl and her grandmother had visited Kissidougou, a town
in the southern part of Guinea.