Mali: From coup to concession

Key events in the west African state of Mali from the government's overthrow in March 2012 until former finance minister Soumaila Cisse conceded defeat in the country's presidential election.

--2012--

- March 22: Mutinous Malian soldiers led by Captain Amadou Sanogo say they have overthrown the Bamako government because it has failed to give them the means to defeat a rebellion in the north. Junta leaders detain president Amadou Toumani Toure and suspend the constitution.

In January, Tuareg fighters from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and other rebels had launched an offensive and seized several northern towns.

- March 30-April 1: Tuareg separatists and Islamist rebels allied to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) capture the capitals of the three northern regions: Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu.

Several groups take part in the offensive alongside the Tuareg MNLA, including the Islamist Ansar Dine (Defenders of the Faith), Al-Qaeda offshoot MUJAO (the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa), and other AQIM militants.

The Tuaregs are quickly ousted by the Islamists, who come to dominate the northern region.

- April 12: New interim leader Dioncounda Traore takes the oath of office in Bamako, under an accord between Captain Sanogo and regional grouping ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States), which provides for a return to civilian rule.

- December 11: Traore names Diango Sissoko as prime minister to replace Cheick Modibo Diarra, who quit under pressure from former putschists.

--2013--

- January 11: The French armed forces launch an operation to support the Malian army and drive back the Islamists, who are pushing south towards the capital Bamako.

- January 26-28: French-led troops recapture Gao and Timbuktu. On the 30th, French troops retake a strategic airport in the northeastern town of Kidal.

In late February Algerian AQIM leader Abdelhamid Abou Zeid is killed during clashes in the mountainous Ifoghas region.

- July 1: United Nations peacekeeping force MINUSMA takes over security duties from African troops deployed to the Sahel nation.

- July 5: Malian troops enter Kidal to secure it for the presidential election, following a ceasefire accord between the government and Tuareg rebels holding the town.

- July 7: The election campaign officially begins a day after the transitional government lifts a near six-month state of emergency.

- July 28: Mali votes for a new president, under heavy security and without incident, in the first poll since the 2012 coup.

- August 2: The government announces that the election will go to a second round on August 11 pitting former prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and against ex-finance minister Cisse.

- August 7: The Constitutional Court says that Keita garnered 39.8 percent of the first round vote, while Cisse got 19.7 percent.

- August 12: Cisse concedes defeat in the second round and wishes Keita "good luck for Mali".

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