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November 2014

On Friday November 20, 2015, a hostage crisis arose in a hotel in Bamako, Mali. Several deaths occurred in the attack and counterattack. Bamako is the capital city with an estimated population of 2.5 million people.

In 1960 Mali became independent from France. In 1991 a military coup ended rule by dictatorship and ushered in democratic rule. The first two democratic elections in 1992 and 1997 elected Alpha Konare as President. He was succeeded by Amadou Toumani Toure, who was also elected for a second term. In 2012 Tuareg militias rebelled in the north. Power was returned to a civilian administration with the appointment of of Interim President Dioncounda Traore. In the democratic presidential election of 2013, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was elected President.

Mali is located in the interior Western Africa and is slightly less than twice the size of Texas. Its terrain is mostly flat to rolling plains in the north and rugged hills in the northeast; in the south there are savannas. The natural resources of Mali include: gold, phosphates, kaolin, salt, limestone, uranium, gypsum, granite, and hydropower.

CIA World Factbook, 11/2015

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