'Two die' in Mali grenade assault

Two people have died in grenade attacks by Tuareg rebels in Mali's northern city of Gao. A servant was killed in the home of a local official and...

MALI: Abdoulaye: "I only spent three weeks there before they sent me home again...but I'm going back"

GAO Monday, August 04, 2008 (IRIN) - Abdoulaye (not his real name), 27, tried to illegally migrate from Mali to Spain a few months ago, but he was...

MALI: Efforts to quell illegal migration

GAO Monday, August 04, 2008 (IRIN) - Abdoulaye, a Malian, spent more than US$500 to try to reach Spain across the Sahara, but he was caught by the...

MALI: Saving elephants, saving communities

BAMAKO Friday, August 29, 2008 (IRIN) - Implementers of an international project to help endangered elephants in Mali want to prove that by doing so,...

MALI: Civil society cautiously optimistic about prisoner release

BAMAKO Wednesday, September 10, 2008 (IRIN) - Malian civil society organisations say the 09 September release of 44 military prisoners by the rebel...

MALI-NIGER: Insecurity persists despite militia leader's arrest

BAMAKO Monday, September 29, 2008 (IRIN) - Analysts say despite the government's efforts to secure the north through its clampdown of a militia...

National name: République de Mali


Capital: Bamako
Major Towns: Bamako, Mopti, Djenne, Segou, Timbuktu
Location (geographical coordinates/latitude and longitude): Bamako: 12°39'N, 8°0'W
Time Zone: GMT
Size (Land and Sea): 1,240,192 km², Water: 1.6%
Borders with Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania, Sahara Desert
Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Senegal River 23 m, highest point: Hombori Tondo 1,155 m

Head of State: President: Amadou Toumani Touré, Prime Minister: Ousmane Issoufi Maïga
Form of Government: Semi-presidential Republic
Independancy (from France): September 22, 1960
Currency: CFA Franc

Main Industries: food processing; construction; phosphate and gold mining.
Natural resources: gold, phosphates, kaolin, salt, limestone, uranium, hydropower; note: bauxite, iron ore, manganese, tin, and copper deposits are known but not exploited
Agriculture: cotton, millet, rice, corn, vegetables, peanuts; cattle, sheep, goats
Population and People  

Population:  11,995,402 (2007 est.); 13,518,000 (July 2005 est.)
Population density per sq mi: 25
Growth rate:  2.7% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 49.6 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 7.38 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 105.7/1000
Religion: Muslim 90%, indigenous beliefs 9%, Christian 1%
Languages: French, Bambara, Fulani, Malinke, Jola
Ethnic groups / Tribes: Mande 50% (Bambara, Malinke, Soninke), Peul (Fula/Fulani) 17%, Voltaic 12%, Songhai 6%, Tuareg and Moor 10%, other 5%
Age structure: 0-14 years: 48.2% (male 2,921,914/female 2,853,976); 15-64 years: 48.8% (male 2,891,494/female 2,959,142); 65 years and over: 3.1% (male 149,301/female 219,575) (2007 est.)
Life expectancy: 49.5
Literacy: Total population: 38%, male: 45%, female: 31%