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LIEUTENANT COLONEL KALIFA KEITA, Army of the Republic of Mali, currently is a student at the U.S. Army War College. He entered commissioned service in 1975, serving for most of his career in Armor leadership positions in Mali. His previous education includes a B.S. degree from the Military Academy of Mali, military specialty training in the former Soviet Union, and the U.S. Army Armor School. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Lieutenant Colonel Keita has commanded at the level of platoon, company, battalion, and military region. In 1989 and 1990, he served as mayor of the largest suburb (commune) of Bamako-Mali’s capital. His combat experience includes service in the Mali-Burkina War (1985-86) where his performance earned him advanced promotion and the Medal of Military Value. His role during the Tuareg Rebellion in northern Mali involved both military and civil leadership. From 1994 to 1997, he commanded Mali’s 5th Military Region (the area around the historic city of Timbuktu). In that capacity, he was deeply involved in the activities which ended a festering rebellion in his country, and brought about a remarkable national reconciliation. His exceptional service earned him advanced promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and the prestigious award of Chevalier de l’Ordre National.
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Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Kalifa Keita.
June 27, 1990, is a significant date in the recent history of Mali. It marks the beginning of what Malians call "The Second Tuareg Rebellion." The first had been staged against the post-colonial Malian government in 1963. The national government had suppressed that rebellion with harsh coercive measures, and the Tuaregs continued to nurture grievances.