Capital: Bamako

The United States established diplomatic relations with Mali in 1960, following its independence from France. In 1992, Mali moved from a one-party state to multiparty democracy. In March 2012, Mali's elected civilian government was removed in a military seizure of power, and an interim administration was subsequently put in place. There are rebel groups still active in northern Mali, and an ongoing international military intervention in the north to dislodge and disrupt terrorist organizations and return security and territorial integrity to Mali.

U.S.-Mali relations have been strong for decades and have been based on shared goals of strengthening democracy and reducing poverty through economic growth. The country’s democratic government had been in place for two decades and had significantly reduced poverty and improved the quality of life for many Malians. However, Mali remained near the bottom of the Human Development Index, notably in health and education. It also faced security challenges in the north.

The United States condemned the March 2012 coup d’état and has called on the junta to cease its interference in political affairs and allow for the full return of constitutional rule. The junta's continued interference in the government has undermined democracy in Mali, and the political chaos in Bamako created by the coup d’état enabled terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and armed rebel groups to capture northern towns and cities and effectively gain control over the northern two-thirds of Mali. These groups controlled the major population centers of northern Mali, including Gao and Timbuktu, until the international intervention by French and African forces in early 2013 stopped the southward advance of AQIM and associated elements and restored much of the northern territory to Mali’s political control. The United States continues to call for the swift return of democratic government through free, fair, and inclusive elections, and supports credible negotiations between the Malian Government and all parties in the north who have cut ties to terrorist organizations and who recognize, without conditions, the unity and territorial integrity of the Malian state. Only a democratically elected government viewed as legitimate by the Malian people will have the strength and credibility to address the political, security, humanitarian, and development crises facing the country.

Media Releases for Mali

AFRICOM's Humanitarian Assistance Program Helps Ranchers in Mauritania 6/19/2013
United States Africa Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program Helps Ranchers in Mauritania Right behind agriculture, ranching is the biggest source of nutrition in West Africa, so for ranchers, a safe and secure place to bring their livestock for vaccinations and de-worming medication is Full Story
100th ARW Flies 100th Refueling Mission for French Operations in Mali 3/20/2013
100th ARW Flies 100th Refueling Mission for French Operations in Mali SOUTHWEST EUROPE -- Airmen flying KC-135 Stratotankers from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England, completed the 100th refueling mission March 17, 2013, supporting French fighter Full Story
Pentagon Spokesman Commends France's Efforts in Mali 1/23/2013
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little today praised French allies and said the United States will continue providing intelligence and airlift support against an al-Qaida-affiliated group in Full Story
Dempsey: France Requests U.S. Enablers for Forces in Mali 1/17/2013
The French government has asked for U.S. military assistance for their actions against an al-Qaida-affiliated group in Mali, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today. Full Story
Panetta: U.S. Support to French in Mali Aimed at al-Qaida 1/14/2013
SECDEF Panetta U.S. and French defense leaders are hammering out details of intelligence, logistics and airlift assistance the United States will provide to French forces in Mali, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta Full Story
Collaborating Extremist Groups Worry AFRICOM Commander 12/4/2012
Extremist groups collaborating in Africa pose a threat beyond the region that extends to Europe and the United States, U.S. Africa Command's top military officer said here today.
Full Story
Panetta Details Steps Needed to End al-Qaeda Threat 11/27/2012
For the United States and its allies, ending the al-Qaida threat calls for a modified military footprint, close work with partners and continued U.S. involvement in regions of the world where Full Story
RESEPI Meeting Helps African Nations Come Together to Control Animal Diseases Across Borders 9/28/2012
U.S. AFRICOM Photo Across Africa, outbreaks of disease in animals pose a particular threat to the food supply and economies, rippling past borders and undermining precious stability. "With the movement of animals Full Story
TRANSCRIPT: Clinton's Remarks at UN Secretary General Meeting on the Sahel 9/26/2012
At the UN Secretary General Meeting on the Sahel, September 26, 2012, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the international community cannot afford to ignore the chaos and violence in Full Story
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