Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Thu, 09.22.1960

Mali Gains Independence From France

*On this date in 1960, Mali, Africa, gained independence from France. Following the withdrawal of Senegal from the federation in August 1960, the former Sudanese Republic became the Republic of Mali, with Modibo Keïta as president.  

Keïta, whose Sudanese Union-African Democratic Rally (US/RDA) party had dominated pre-independence politics (as a member of the African Democratic Rally), declared a single-party state and pursued a socialist policy based on extensive nationalization. Keïta withdrew from the French Community and had close ties to the Eastern Bloc. A continuously deteriorating economy led to a decision to rejoin the Franc Zone in 1967 and modify some of the economic excesses.  As a result of the Berlin Conference, Mali fell under French colonial rule in 1892.  

In 1893, the French appointed a civilian governor of the territory they called Soudan Français (French Sudan), but active resistance to French rule continued. By 1905, most of the area was under firm French control.  French Sudan was administered as part of the Federation of French West Africa and supplied labor to France’s colonies on the coast of West Africa. In 1958 the renamed Sudanese Republic obtained complete internal autonomy and joined the French Community. In early 1959, the Sudanese Republic and Senegal formed the Federation of Mali. On March 31, 1960, France agreed to the Federation of Mali becoming fully independent.  On June 20, 1960, the Federation of Mali became independent, and Modibo Keïta became its first President.  

As in other African countries, demands for multi-party democracy increased. The Traoré government allowed some system opening, including establishing an independent press and independent political associations, but insisted that Mali was not ready for democracy. In early 1991, student-led anti-government rioting broke out again, but this time it was also supported by government workers and others. On March 26, 1991, after four days of intense anti-government rioting, a group of 17 military officers, led by Amadou Toumani Touré, arrested President Traoré and suspended the constitution.  Presidential elections were held in Mali on July 28, 2013, with a second-round run-off on August 11th.  Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta defeated Soumaïla Cissé in the run-off to become the new President of Mali. The peace treaty between the Tuareg rebels and the Malian Government was broken in late November 2013 because of fighting in the northern city of Kidal.  

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Barren cross-ties of penny-whistle twigs Mating and parting as the wind Beats the rhythm of sad songs With black shafts once hung in gold Basket-weave tears of ancestral black Fall in arcs as the... AFFIRMATION by Helene Armstead Johnson.
Read More