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By Andrea L. Stamm, Dawn E. Bastian, Robert A. Myers

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On 18 January 1968, the National Assembly, created at Mali's independence in 1960, dissolved itself and granted Keita the authorization to appoint a legislative delegation. The 1968 coup and dictatorship of Moussa Traoré The Popular Militia became increasingly visible throughout Mali in 1968, and more daring in its treatment of the army. On 19 November 1968, a group of fourteen young officers led by Moussa Traoré launched a nearly bloodless coup d'état which overthrew the Keita regime. They established the Military Committee of National Liberation (Comité Militaire de Libération Nationale or CMLN), with Traoré as its president and Yoro Diakité as vice-president; on 22 November, a provisional government was established with Diakité as president, a position he held until Traoré replaced him in September 1969.

Mali's borders were again altered in 1947, when some of its territory was transferred to Mauritania and the newly re-created colony of Upper Volta. Between 1880 and 1892, and again from 1899 to 1904, the colony was subordinate to Senegal. It was administered by military officers, commandants-supérieurs, from 1880 to 1892, and thereafter by lieutenant governors and governors. Decolonization, independence, and the rise of Malian socialism After the Second World War, a strong nationalist movement developed in the French Sudan and other African colonies which forced France to gradually relinquish control.

The Dogon, whose art and culture have become known throughout the world, inhabit the plateau region around Bandiagara. The Senufo and a related group, the Minianka, are farmers living in southeastern Mali. Other Malian ethnic groups include the Bozo and Somono, who are fishermen, the Tuareg of the northeast and the Maure (Moors) of the Sahel, both primarily nomadic pastoralists, and the Diawara, Khassonké, Tukulor, and Dioula. Mali's official language is French; in addition, a number of indigenous languages and dialects are spoken.

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