Republic of Mali
The present day Republic of Mali (République du Mali) was once part of the Ghana Empire, one of the Sahelian kingdoms that controlled trans-Saharan trade routes from the 8th to 11th centuries. The Mali Empire (1230s to 1600) spread from the West African coast to present day Mali, with its center of trade and learning at Timbuktu. Mali fell under French control in the 19th century, when it was considered a part of French Sudan. After joining briefly with Senegal (which withdrew shortly thereafter) to form the Mali Federation, the nation achieved its independence from France on 20 June 1960. After Mali's first president was overthrown in a bloodless coup, Mali was governed as a military regime until 1991 when a brief coup and transitional government brought about a new constitution and a democratically elected government.
The Armed Forces of Mali consist of the Army, Air Force, Gendarmerie, National Guard (formerly the Republican Guard), and the National Police (Sûreté Nationale).
Camouflage Patterns of Mali
- The oldest documented camouflage pattern in use with Mali's armed forces is a copy of the French tenue de leópard or lizard pattern. This has continued to be worn in various guises into the present era.
- A unique variant of the French lizard design utilizing desert colors is also worn by some units in Mali. This "desert lizard" pattern is more commonly associated with Mali's neighbor Mauritania.
- The "Chinese lizard" design, loosedly based on the original French pattern, is also worn.
- Some military personnel in Mali are known to wear Asian-made copies of the US m81 woodland camouflage pattern.
- A three-color desert DPM derivative camouflage pattern, having dark brown and dark green disruptive shapes on a sandy background is one of the more commonly worn patterns seen today.
- An Asian-made copy of the US tricolor desert pattern is also known.
- A copy of the French military Centre Europe "wooland" pattern is also worn by personnel of the armed forces.
- Air Force personnel wear a blue DPM pattern similar to that worn by many National Police organizations in the Middle East.
- The Garde Nationale (National Guard) have been documented wearing a copy of the six-color chocolate chip camouflage pattern originally designed by the USA.
- Members of the Gendarmerie wear a variation of the six-color "chocolate chip" pattern desert camouflage with blue colorway, similar to that worn by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
- In addition to some of the above camouflage designs, La Police Nationale are also being issued this brightly colored woodland-based camouflage design.
- Mali's Custom Agents (La Douane) now wear a pixelated urban pattern, seen below.
- The Federal Forest & Wildlife Service (Eaux et Forets) wear a variation of the old USMC "standard" camouflage design, with the addition of animal symbols like, paw prints and buffalo and lion heads.
- The Para-Commandos have recently (2013) been observed wearing a woodland-style camouflage design with a brown/tan colorway, seen here.