The Mali Federation began as the The Sudanese Republic and Senegal before becoming independent from France in 1960. After independence, Senegal formally withdrew from the Mali Federation, and thus the nation became known as Mali. It is located in the interior of Western Africa, neighbored by Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and west of Niger. After a coup in 1991, the Mali government transitioned from dictatorship to democratic rule and has stayed as such since then. Mali’s population rests at 16,455,903.