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Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day 2025 and 2026 in Mali

Every 20 January is Armed Forces Day in the West African nation of Mali. This holiday, also called Army Day, is reserved for honouring the country’s current soldiers, national police, and veterans who have now retired. Since Mali’s armed forces were first organised in 1960, they have played a key role in defending Mali and in peacekeeping operations in other parts of Africa.

202520 JanMonArmed Forces Day
202620 JanTueArmed Forces Day
Please scroll down to end of page for previous years' dates.

Mali’s army has faced many challenges in the past. In 2012, they were severely strained in putting down the Tuareg Rebellion, which sought to create a separate state for the Tuareg people, called Azawad, out of northern Mali. In days gone by, they counted on support from the Soviet Union, but that failed following the collapse of the USSR and the end of the Cold War. More recently, Islamic rebels in eastern Mali have been opposed by Mali’s armed forces.

From its small beginnings in 1960, Mali’s army has grown to rank in Africa’s top ten. They have a small air force, two tank battalions, and a small riverboat force for a navy – aside from infantry. On Armed Forces Day, the country gives them a day-long salute and celebrates all the victories they have achieved and all the sacrifices they have made.

Previous Years

202420 JanSatArmed Forces Day
202320 JanFriArmed Forces Day
202220 JanThuArmed Forces Day
202120 JanWedArmed Forces Day
202020 JanMonArmed Forces Day
201920 JanSunArmed Forces Day
201820 JanSatArmed Forces Day
201720 JanFriArmed Forces Day