Congressional Digest

International Debates Archives March 2013 No. 3 Vol. 11
Chaos in Mali

Chaos in Mali

Rebel Uprising in Western Africa and the U.S. Response

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Mali, in the western Saharan plains of Africa, lays claim to a history of civilization dating back to 1500 B.C., including the Ghana, Malinke, and Songhai empires, which controlled regional trade routes and interacted with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern peoples for centuries. The famed city of Timbuktu, a center of Islamic study from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to hundreds of priceless manuscripts and artifacts.

The modern history of Mali is similar to that of many African nations — domination by a European colonial power (in this case, France), indep…

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