Bridge Stamp from Mali
Present-day Mali, at nearly twice the size of Texas, is the largest country in West Africa. Mali is bordered by seven other countries: Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Mauritania. Most of the northern half of Mali falls within the largest desert on the planet, the Sahara. The central section of Mali is made up of semi-arid land that is part of a larger region known as the Sahel. Sahel is an Arabic word meaning, “shore,” although, in this case, it can be thought of as the shore of the desert rather than the ocean. The Sahel is nearly 3,000 miles long and from 200 to 700 miles wide in a span across the continent of Africa. It is an area that is gradually being taken over by the southward creep of the Sahara Desert. In the southwestern region of Mali, rainfall and rivers are more plentiful and the climate is slightly more hospitable.
Mali's most important geographic feature is the Niger River. The Niger River stretches over 2,500 miles through four countries: Guinea, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria. It arches up alongside the Sahara until it turns south towards the sea. Mali sits at the top of this arc, where the river spreads out and opens into an inland delta.
In the French constitutional referendum of 1958, French Sudan voted to join the French Community as the autonomous Sadanese Republic. This new republic joined with Senegal in 1959 to form the Mali Federation. This union was quickly disbanded and was renamed the Republic of Mali, a fully independent region in 1960. President Keita led the country during the next eight years, a time marked by instability. President Moussa Traoré led Mali from 1968 to 1991. During this time the country suffered from periods of internal and external strife as well as from severe drought in the 1970s and 1980s. Moussa Traoré was eventually overthrown in 1991 when the military took control. Mali held its first democratic election in 1992 when Alpha Konaré of the Alliance for Democracy (ADEMA) was elected president. Throughout the early 1990’s Malians battled against the Tuareg ethnic group in the north, who rebelled against alleged government takeover of its land and the suppression of its culture and language. A peace agreement was reached and in 1995 thousands of refugees returned to Mali. Konaré was easily reelected in 1997.
The official site for the postal agency in Mali is http://mali.viky.net/onp/.
Below is a stamp issued by the Republique De Mali and contains the side bar with Jeux De Societe. There is no year of issuance.