Republik Mali   
République du Mali (Franz. Sudan)


A republic in West Africa. Formerly the French Sudan, Mali joined Senegal in 1959 to form the independent Federation of Mali. Senegal withdrew from the federation in 1960, and Mali, which called itself the Sudanese Republic during its union with Senegal, proclaimed its independence as the Republic of Mali. Mali maintained a carefully neutralist policy until 1968, accepting economic aid from both the Western and communist blocs. After 1968, Mali followed a pro-communist foreign policy under President Amadou Toumani Traore, until his ouster in 1991. Famine in 1973-74 and drought in the 1980s have plagued the country.

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