Skip to comments.Ethno-religious violence in Islamic Mali
Posted on 04/25/2012 4:19:59 AM PDT by Milagros
Ethno-religious violence in Islamic Mali
Background: Mali is 90% Muslim, the ethnic Manding are in the majority.
... Mandinka by ethnicity. King Keita (1210-1260 A.D) introduced Islam in the Malian Empire, and by the turn of the 13th century, Mali was one of the first African states (South of the Sahara) to embrace Islam.
King Keita was later succeeded by his grand nephew Mansa Musa (1312-1337). King Musa was a devout Mandingo Muslim, and it was under his rule that Mali became the first country in Africa to make Islam a state religion. He built several mosques as well as Islamic universities and converted public officials as well as members of his own Mandinka tribe to Muslims. In the decades that followed, Mali turned out to be known as "Mandinka Islamic Empire."
The "Tuareg" is a nickname given them by the Arabs and means deserted by God. ... They were suppressed without mercy and persecuted. have been 
From a 2008 report:
The Tuareg are a mainly nomadic people who live in the semi-arid Sahel, ... Thus, Mali is ruled by other ethnic groups like the Bambara, Mandingo, and Peul. .... Political and social oppression tore the social fabric of Tuareg society to shreds.
From a 2012 report: Ever since the end of the colonial era, Tuareg leaders have claimed that they were oppressed and marginalized by the various national governments.
Ethno-Religious cleansing campaign in Mali, Africa, 2012:
Following a March 2012 coup, "Christians were driven out of northern Mali by Islamist." Ethnic Tuareg rebels, including Islamist movement Ansar Dine were driving out the Christians in such areas as Gao and Timbuktu. It came as the Tuareg and Islamist militants, extremists linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), took over a vast area in the desert north. Both Islamic organizations, "Ansar Dine and AQIM are recruiting children in a bid to boost their forces."
And yet, other reports say the Tauregs -Ansar Dine- have taken over towns and imposed Taliban style rules infringing on people’s freedom and shariah law, joining up with AQIM.