Mali Federation

Mali Federation

Fédération du Mali
Flag of Mali Federation
Location of Mali Federation
StatusTerritory of France (1959–1960)
Common languagesFrench
• 1959–1960
Modibo Keïta
Historical eraDecolonization of Africa
• Established
4 April 1959
• Independence
20 June 1960
• Disestablished
20 August[1] 1960
19601,401,282 km2 (541,038 sq mi)
• 1960
CurrencyCFA franc
Preceded by
Succeeded by
French Senegal
French Sudan
Today part of Mali

The Mali Federation (French: Fédération du Mali) was a federation in West Africa linking the French colonies of Senegal and the Sudanese Republic (or French Sudan) for a period of only two months in 1960.[1] It was founded on 4 April 1959 as a territory with self-rule within the French Community and became independent after negotiations with France on 20 June 1960. Two months later, on 19 August 1960, the Sudanese Republic leaders in the Mali Federation mobilized the army and Senegal leaders in the federation retaliated by mobilizing the gendarmerie (national police) which resulted in a tense stand-off and the withdrawal from the federation by Senegal the next day. The Sudanese Republic officials resisted this dissolution, cut off diplomatic relations with Senegal, and defiantly changed the name of their country to Mali. For the brief existence of the Mali Federation, the premier was Modibo Keïta, who would become the first President of the Republic of Mali after the Mali Federation dissolved, and its government was based in Dakar, Senegal.


After World War II, the colonies of French West Africa began pushing significantly for increased self-determination and to redefine their colonial relationships with France. Following the May 1958 crisis, the colonies of French West Africa were given the chance to vote for immediate independence or to join a reorganized French Community (an arrangement which would grant the colonies some self-determination while maintaining ties to France). Only Guinea voted for full independence and the other colonies of French West Africa voted to join the French Community.[2]

In the 1958 election to decide the issue of independence, two major parties split the countries of west Africa: the African Democratic Rally (French: Rassemblement Démocratique Africain, commonly known as the RDA) and the African Regroupment Party (French: Parti du Regroupement Africain, commonly known as the PRA). The two regional groupings of parties struggled against one another on the issue of independence and the extent of ties with France. The RDA was the governing party in the Ivory Coast colony, the French Sudan colony, and Guinea while the PRA was a major governing party in Senegal and had sizable majorities in many countries. The two parties also were part of coalition governments in French Upper Volta, Niger, and French Dahomey. While the two parties struggled with one another to shape the political future of the region, Mauritania often became a neutral party which would break any deadlocks. The vote of 1958 revealed a number of divisions within the parties.[3] The RDA held a congress on 15 November 1958 to discuss the recent election results and the division became clear with Modibo Keïta from French Sudan and Doudou Gueye from Senegal arguing for primary federation (a federation which would include France and the colonies in a unified system) and Félix Houphouët-Boigny of the Ivory Coast dismissing the idea. The resulting deadlock was so severe that the meeting was officially said to have never taken place.[4]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Mali-Federasie
العربية: اتحاد مالي
brezhoneg: Kevread Mali
čeština: Federace Mali
Esperanto: Federacio Malio
한국어: 말리 연방
Bahasa Indonesia: Federasi Mali
Nederlands: Mali-federatie
日本語: マリ連邦
norsk nynorsk: Maliføderasjonen
Simple English: Mali Federation
Basa Sunda: Féderasi Mali
українська: Федерація Малі
Tiếng Việt: Liên bang Mali
中文: 马里联邦