Country of the World Mali

About the country Mali, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: Landlocked in central West Africa. Sandstone plateaus, edged by sharp cliffs, interrupt the generally level terrain. The Sahara Desert in the north gives way to arable land in the south. The lifeblood of the country is the Niger River, which (hopefully) floods over every year to enrich the nearby soil.

Size: 478,822 sq. mi. (1,240,142 sq. km.), about 4/5 the size of Alaska.

Population: 6.1 million.

Who Rules: Mali is in a state of political limbo. A constitution approved in 1974 takes effect in 1980. The document calls for the creation of a single party, the Democratic Union of Mali People, and an elected president with broad discretionary powers. Blackballed from participation in any future government, however, is anyone who was in office prior to the military coup of 1968. There are no political parties at present.

Who REALLY Rules: Until 1980, the Military Committee of National Liberation will discharge all executive and legislative functions. The committee's presiding officer is Moussa Traore, who has run Mali since the 1968 coup.

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