Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa with an overwhelmingly Muslim population. Christians, Muslims and followers of traditional African religions there lived together peaceably, as they had for centuries, until 2012, when war broke out in the northern part of the country, much of which lies within the Sahara Desert region.
Mali has offered an example of a well-functioning dialogue between Christians and Muslims for the whole of West Africa. But the Malian form of Islam is a more tolerant one. This is continuing but since 2008 we have been observing a gradual Arabization of Islam, and this makes the situation overall more difficult.