Mali e a reforma islâmica

PARIS – O Mali é um país da África Ocidental, rodeado de terra, com 15 milhões de pessoas. Tem uma área de 1 240 000 quilómetros quadrados (478 800 milhas quadradas), sendo três quartos constituídos por deserto. No século XIV, o poderoso Império Mali incluía partes dos actuais Senegal, Guiné e Níger. Derrotado e dividido, tornou-se numa colónia francesa, no século XIX, recuperando a independência em 1960.

A população do Mali é diversa: nómadas do deserto, especialmente tuaregues, no Norte, e uma maioria de populações negras sedentárias, no Sul. São faladas muitas línguas, mas o Islamismo, ao qual quase 95 por cento da população adere, é um factor unificador. A agricultura é a principal actividade económica, particularmente no vasto delta interno do rio Níger, lar de muitas tribos, incluindo os Dogon, um povo extraordinário pela sua escultura e arquitectura.

Sob uma ditadura militar, durante muito tempo, Mali tornou-se numa história africana de sucesso democrático entre 1991 a 2012, antes de um golpe mutilar as suas instituições públicas rudimentares. No Norte, os tuaregues que viajavam para a Mauritânia, Argélia e Níger, ficaram particularmente enfraquecidos devido à seca persistente e ao colapso da economia de caravana. Muitos optaram pelo tráfico de armas, de escravos ou de ouro; alguns estão a exigir a independência.

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