• Mali

    Mali

    The Tuareg, the Moors, the Songhay and Peuls represent the largest Indigenous groups in Mali
  • Peoples

    3.5 per cent of Mali’s 17.8 million population are Tuareg or Tamashek-speaking peoples.
    The Tuareg live mainly in the northern regions of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal. The Tuareg, the Songhaï, the Fulani, or the Peul, and the Berabish Arabs represent the largest groups in northern Mali.
  • Rights

    Mali voted in favour of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007.
    However, the state of Mali does not recognise the existence of indigenous peoples on its territory as understood in the Declaration and in ILO Convention 169

Mali

By the end of 2019, Mali’s population stood at more than 20 million inhabitants (four times more than 59 years previously).

The Tuareg (Tamazight speakers), the Moors (Arabic speakers) and, in riverine areas, the Songhay and Peuls (Fulani) are the main communities that inhabit the vast northern space that accounts for two-thirds of Mali. Their political alliances and their conflicts have shaped the history of a region in which there has been an interdependence between nomadic and settled populations, who have participated in vast economic, cultural and social exchange networks across the Sahara.

The Tuareg live in the five administrative regions of northern Mali (Kidal, Timbuktu, Gao, Taoudenit and Menaka), known as Azawad by the autonomy movements. They also have a presence in the border areas of other states (Niger, Algeria, Libya, Burkina Faso).

In 1960, when Mali was created, official figures put the Tuareg at more than 10% of the country’s population. Today, despite no reliable data, official discourse around the conflicts that have pitted the Tuareg against the Malian state puts them at a mere 3% of the global population, a figure that is scarcely credible.

Mali’s official language is French but cultural diversity is recognised in its constitution. For its part, the National Agreement, a peace accord signed with the armed Tuareg fronts in 1992, recognised the specific nature of the regions inhabited by the Tuareg although these provisions were never concretely implemented. Mali voted in favour of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2007. The Malian state does not, however, recognise the existence of “Indigenous Peoples”, as defined by the UNDRIP and ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, on its territory.

Indigenous World 2020: Mali

By the end of 2019, Mali’s population stood at more than 20 million inhabitants1 (four times more than 59 years previously). The Tuareg (Tamazight speakers), the Moors (Arabic speakers) and, in riverine areas, the Songhay and Peuls (Fulani) are the main communities that inhabit the vast northern space that accounts for two-thirds of Mali. Their political alliances and their conflicts have shaped the history of a region in which there has been an interdependence between nomadic and settled populations, who have participated in vast economic, cultural and social exchange networks across the Sahara.

Continue Reading

Massacre on Fulani pastoralists in Mali

On 23 March 2019, more than 150 Fulani pastoralists were killed in their village in Ogossagou in Mopti region in central Mali. The attack started at dawn and was carried out with guns and machetes in a brutal manner. Men and women, young and old were killed, and the victims included many children and small babies. The massacre is believed to be the deadliest incident of ethnic violence in Mali in a generation and is a result of escalating conflict over natural resources.

Continue Reading

STAY CONNECTED

About IWGIA

IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. Read The Indigenous World.

Contact IWGIA

Prinsessegade 29 B, 3rd floor
DK 1422 Copenhagen
Denmark
Phone: (+45) 53 73 28 30
E-mail: iwgia@iwgia.org
CVR: 81294410

Report possible misconduct, fraud, or corruption

NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies.

If you do not change browser settings, you agree to it. Learn more

I understand