The Republic of Mali is situated in West Africa and shares a border with Algeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Guinea, Senegal and Mauritania. Its ancient city of Timbuktu was for many years a key trading hub and centre of Islamic culture. Following independence from France in 1960, Mali suffered droughts, civil unrest, a coup and 23 years of military dictatorship until democratic elections in 1992. In recent years a jihadist insurgency in the north of the country have carried out terrorist attacks.
President: Ibrahim Boubacar Keita
Population: 14.5 million
Languages: French, Bambara, Arabic, Berber