Historical Background: Timeline

As it has been often believed, the past helps shape the present situation. Therefore, once we know the past, we can understand why some events happen nowadays. Furthermore, knowing the history of a country, in this case of Mali, is also useful because it helps us understand events that our interviewee has explained. For instance, in the interviews Prudencio explains how his family was in Mali while the Tuareg rebels seized control. Nonetheless, history is often complicated to explain and understand. Thus, this is why we believe that a timeline is easier to understand and more visual. This timeline comprehends the Malian history from the 11th century until the present day. We will now provide a brief summary of it:

During the 11th century, Mali was an empire. It was a period of greatness for the empire. However, in the 14th and 15th century, the empire declined and a new empire, the Shongai, took control. Throughout the 19th century, France started to advance in Mali and in 1898 it completely conquered the country until 1960. In that year, Mali became independent under a military dictatorship. Democracy, as we know it, did not start in Mali until 1992.

In 2006, the Tuareg rebels demanded greater autonomy for the northern regions of Mali. The government signed a peace deal and a ceasefire to avoid a rebellion with the rebels. However, soon after the rebels started attacking. In 2012, Tuareg rebels declared the independence in northern Mali with the help of some Islamist groups associated with Al-Qaeda. During 2013, they advanced further down towards the capital, Bamako.

The government unable to tackle the rebels asked France for help. The French troops easily recuperated the major zones of the Islamists. Nevertheless, the Tuareg rebels have seized control of some cities again in 2014. This year, the Malian government and the rebels have started a round of talks to end the conflict. Nothing has been decided up to this moment.