Nioro du Sahel

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Nioro du Sahel
Commune and town
Nioro du Sahel is located in Mali
Nioro du Sahel
Nioro du Sahel
Location in Mali
Coordinates: 15°11′N 9°33′W / 15.183°N 9.550°W / 15.183; -9.550
Country  Mali
Region Kayes Region
Cercle Nioro du Sahel Cercle
Government
 • Mayor Abbas Sylla
Population (1998)
 • Total 60,112
Time zone GMT (UTC+0)

Nioro du Sahel often referred to as simply Nioro is a town and urban commune in the Kayes Region of western Mali, 241 km from the city of Kayes. It is located 275 miles ( by road) north-west of the capital Bamako. The commune as of 1998 had a population of 60,112 although current estimates are nearer 69,100 people.

Founded in the 16th or seventeenth century by a slave named Diawandé, Nioro attained its greatest height in the eighteenth century when it served as the capital of the Bambara kingdom of Kaarta. The town became an important trading center between Upper Senegal and the Sudan.

In the early 1850s, Toucouleur conqueror El Hadj Umar Tall invaded Kaarta, forcing the kingdom's conversion to Islam; he built a great mosque in Nioro in 1854.

The town has an airstrip at Nioro Airport.

Coordinates: 15°11′N 9°33′W / 15.183°N 9.550°W / 15.183; -9.550