Islamic extremists who freed three European hostages in northern Mali this week have landed in Bamako, where they held emotional meetings with family members and were greeted by government officials in the country's capital. Their release comes less than a week after the Malian government released nearly 200 fighters and sent them back to northern Mali, raising fears that an imminent prisoner exchange could further destabilize the country. The Malian government responded by submitting a plan for a protected forest area in southern Mali that forms a significant green belt around the city of Bamkoa, but sanctions have been imposed on the military government and CNSP, which are pushing for a quick transfer of power.
It consists of eight districts and is located in a fast dividing line between the upper and middle Niger valleys in the southwest of the country. Ethical groups in Mali, consisting of Mande (50 percent) and Manda (25 percent), and the ethnic and religious groups of Bamkoa.
Attractions include Point G Hill with caves and rock paintings and the National Park. Sights in Bamako include the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, the Palace of St. Louis and the Royal Palace.
If you are planning a trip to Mali, you can find out in our Coronavirus section what you need to know about coronaviruses there. If you are in Bamako and need urgent help from the UK Government, please call the FCDO on 0808 888 488 5555. The UK's National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) is based in Mali, and Mali is the only international centre for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases worldwide.
The exact date of its foundation is unknown, although it first came to the fore as the urban centre of the Mali Empire.
The area that is now Bamako has probably been inhabited for more than 150,000 years, but has undergone a number of changes throughout its history. The French ruled large parts of West Africa at the end of the 19th century and in 1883 Mali, which became part of the colony of French Sudan and was its capital since 1908. At the beginning of 1959, the Union of Mali and Senegal became the Mali Federation, which gained its independence from France on 20 June 1960. To promote national unity and celebrate traditional Malian culture, the Sudanese Museum becomes the National Museum in Mali.
In 1908 Bamako was declared the capital of the French Soudan colony and in that year a fortress was built there. The National Library of Mali was first founded in 1944 and became a government library after Mali gained independence in 1960. Later it was renamed again into Senegal's National Library and later into Mali's National Museum. In 1961, a Rassemblement Democratique Africain (RDA) was founded in the Federation of Mali to end colonialism in francophonic Africa.
The region's early kingdoms became rich by establishing trade routes that connected West Africa to the Sahara and led to North Africa and Europe. The fertile land in the Niger Valley offered abundant food to the people and Bamako became a crossroads of West Africa. It was home to a diverse population, made up of people of different ethnicities, races, religions and religious beliefs. The Malian Empire of 1235, which included Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and the United Arab Emirates, became rich with cotton and salt.
The most important places in and around Bamako are a clear illustration of Bamako's progress on the urbanization front. Its largest building is the BCEAO Tower, which houses the headquarters of the Central Bank of West African States, the Central Bank of the country and the capital of Mali. It is home to several Franco-French and West African nations, provided by the central banks of Burkina Faso, Chad, Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Egypt.
The BCEAO Tower is inhabited by the Central Bank of West African States, the Central Bank of Burkina Faso, Chad, Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Egypt, which provides financial support for Bamako's development and economic development. Mali is an important destination for women and children who are abducted for forced labour and sexual exploitation.
The Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook ranks Mali in fourth place with the youngest population, with a population growing at 4.5% per year. This is fitting, because Mali is the poorest country in the world with only 1.2 million inhabitants. Bamako is the second largest city in West Africa after Burkina Faso and the third largest in Africa.
Bamako Senou International Airport is located 15 kilometres from the city and was opened to passengers in 1974. It borders Paris with Air France and Dakar with Ethiopian Airlines, as well as Doha, Qatar Airways and Dubai Airline.