Tombouctou Region

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Tombouctou Region
Mali - Tombouctou.svg
Location within Mali
Coordinates: 21°8′45″N4°1′15″W / 21.14583°N 4.02083°W / 21.14583; -4.02083 Coordinates: 21°8′45″N4°1′15″W / 21.14583°N 4.02083°W / 21.14583; -4.02083
Country Flag of Mali.svg  Mali
Capital Timbuktu
Area
[1]
  Total496,611 km2 (191,743 sq mi)
Population
 (2009 census) [2]
  Total681,691
  Density1.4/km2 (3.6/sq mi)
Time zone UTC±0 (UTC)
HDI (2017)0.309 [3]
low

Tombouctou Region (Bambara: ߕߎߡߎߕߎ ߘߌߣߋߖߊ tr. Tumutu Dineja) is one of the administrative regions of Mali. It is the largest of Mali's eight regions and includes a large section of the Sahara Desert. For administrative purposes, the region is subdivided into five cercles.

Contents

The region is part of northern Mali that was separated and declared independent by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) during the Tuareg rebellion of 2012. In the course of the conflict, the MNLA lost control of the territory to Islamist militias.

Tombouctou Region is world-famous for its capital, the ancient city Timbuktu (French : Tombouctou), synonymous to 19th-century Europeans with an elusive, hard-to-reach destination. The city gained world fame in 1390 when its ruler, Mansa Musa, went on a pilgrimage to Mecca, stopping with his entourage in Egypt and dispensing enough gold to devalue the Egyptian currency. This started the legend of a city in the interior of Africa, where roads were said to be paved with gold and buildings topped with roofs of gold.[ citation needed ]

History

The city is located at the southern edge of the Sahara, near the Niger River, which has headwaters in the highlands very near the Atlantic coast before its long 3,200 kilometres (2,000 mi) journey to the north east, before finally turning south to reach the Atlantic. The riches of the kingdom were due to Tombouctou's position as the southern terminus of the trans-Saharan trade in gold, salt, kola nuts, copper and slaves.

Timbuktu's decline began with the capture of the city by Morocco in 1592. Many Islamic scholars were dispersed, some to Morocco. Morocco had difficulty holding onto the city, as the supply lines were long compared to the closer kingdoms vying for dominance of the region. Ultimately, however, it was the rise of sea trade along the West Africa coast that doomed the overland routes that connected North Africa to sub-Saharan Africa. The city lost its economic base and its fine university was not enough to save Timbuktu from decline.

Cut off from major trade routes, the city retained an aura of spectacular treasure. When French explorers rediscovered the city in 1815 they were disappointed to find a sand-blown city of low mud buildings.

The region was marginalized under French colonial control, which ended in 1960. The French opened up shorter trade routes to the Atlantic, cutting into the trans-Sahara trading economy and people in the city.

In early 2012, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad and other militant groups opposed to the government of Mali swept through the region, entering Timbuktu without a fight after making a deal with local Arab militias. On 6 April 2012, the region was declared independent from Mali as part of the new country of Azawad. However, Mali refused to acknowledge the Azawadi Declaration of Independence, and the international community continues to recognise Bamako's claim to the region.

Cercles of the Tombouctou Region Tombouctou cercles.png
Cercles of the Tombouctou Region

Administrative subdivisions

The region is divided into five cercles: [4] [5]

Cercle nameArea (km2)Population
Census 1998
Population
Census 2009
Niafunké 12,000119,900184,285
Diré 1,75076,960111,324
Goundam 92,688113,897150,150
Tombouctou 347,48868,228124,546
Gourma-Rharous 45,00063,634111,386

See also

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Goundam Cercle Cercle in Tombouctou Region, Mali

Goundam Circle is a second-level administrative subdivision of the Tombouctou Region in northern Mali. Its administrative center is the town of Goundam, although the most populous commune is that of Tonka. In the 2009 census, the circle had a population of 150,150.

Bougouni Cercle Cercle in Sikasso Region, Mali

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Douentza Cercle is an administrative subdivision of the Mopti Region of Mali. The administrative center (chef-lieu) is the town of Douentza.

Youwarou Cercle Cercle in Mopti Region, Mali

Youwarou Cercle is an administrative subdivision of the Mopti Region of Mali. The administrative center (chef-lieu) is the town of Youwarou.

Diré Cercle Cercle in Tombouctou Region, Mali

Diré Cercle is an administrative subdivision of the Tombouctou Region of Mali. The administrative center (chef-lieu) is the town of Diré.

Gourma-Rharous Cercle Cercle in Tombouctou Region, Mali

Gourma-Rharous Cercle is an administrative subdivision of the Tombouctou Region of Mali. The administrative center is the town of Gourma-Rharous.

Niafunké Cercle Cercle in Tombouctou Region, Mali

Niafunké Cercle is an administrative subdivision of the Tombouctou Region of Mali. The administrative center (chef-lieu) is the town of Niafunké. In the 2009 census the cercle had a population of 184,285. The Niger River runs for 100 km through the cercle.

Timbuktu Cercle Cercle in Tombouctou Region, Mali

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Koumaira Commune and village in Tombouctou Region, Mali

Koumaïra is a rural commune and village of the Cercle of Niafunké in the Tombouctou Region of Mali. The village is on the south bank of the Bara-Issa, a branch of the Niger River that flows when the river is in flood. It lies 21 km south east of the town of Niafunké and 65 km north east of Lake Debo. The commune contains around 36 small settlements.

Haribomo Commune in Tombouctou Region, Mali

Haribomo is a rural commune of the Cercle of Gourma-Rharous in the Tombouctou Region of Mali. The commune contains 29 villages and in the 2009 census had a population of 7,389. The principal village (chef-lieu) is Daka Fifo.

Lafia, Mali Commune in Tombouctou Region, Mali

Lafia is a commune of the Cercle of Timbuktu in the Tombouctou Region of Mali. The administrative center (chef-lieu) is the village of Aglal.

References

  1. Synthèse des 108 Plans Communaux Sécurité Alimentaire de la Région de Tombouctou 2006-2010 (PDF) (in French), Commissariat à la Sécurité Alimentaire, République du Mali, USAID-Mali, 2006, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-19.
  2. Resultats Provisoires RGPH 2009 (Région de Tombouktou) (PDF) (in French), République de Mali: Institut National de la Statistique.
  3. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  4. Loi N°99-035/ du 10 Aout 1999 Portant Création des Collectivités Territoriales de Cercles et de Régions (PDF) (in French), Ministère de l'Administration Territoriales et des Collectivités Locales, République du Mali, 1999, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-09.
  5. Communes de la Région de Tombouctou (PDF) (in French), Ministère de l’administration territoriale et des collectivités locales, République du Mali, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-19.