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a French colony in West Africa, along the upper and middle courses of the Senegal and Niger rivers, in 1894–99 and 1920–58. From 1899 to 1920, the French Sudan, together with Niger and Upper Volta, formed the colony of Upper Senegal and Niger. In 1958 the French Sudan was granted autonomy and became a member of the French Community under the name of the Sudanese Republic. In September 1960, the Sudanese Republic became the independent Republic of Mali.