Khalifa (mansa)

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Mansa Khalifa was the fourth mansa of the Mali Empire. He ruled the empire for only a year from 1274 to his assassination in 1275.

Mansa Khalifa or Khalifah was an adopted son of the founder of the Mali Empire, Sundiata Keita. Like Mansa Wati before him, Khalifa was actually the son of an imperial general for Sundiata. Khalifa was raised at court and fought in a destructive war with Wati after Mansa Wali's death in 1270.

Mansa Khalifa was defeated and forced into exile while Mansa Wati ruled incompetently for four years. After Wati's death, Khalifa seized the office. His rule is remembered as the worse of all the emperors. Legend holds that Khalifa climbed on the roof of his palace to fire arrows at passerby for sport. During his reign, the recently conquered Songhai kingdom of Gao broke away from Mali. It would not return under Mandinka rule until the reign of Mansa Sakura.

The intolerable behavior of Khalifa was ended by the Gbara or Great Assembly in charge of counciling the mansa. Mansa Khalifa was assassinated and replaced with Sundjata's aging brother, Manding Bory alias Abubakari I.

Preceded by
Ouati Keita
Mansa of the Mali Empire
1274–1275
Succeeded by
Abu Bakr

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