Since 2016, Mali has been divided into ten regions and the District of Bamako. Each region has a governor.

The implementation of the two newest regions, Taoudenit (formerly part of Tombouctou Region) and Menaka (formerly Ménaka Cercle in Gao Region), has been ongoing since January 2016; a governor and transitional council has been appointed for both regions.

The ten regions in turn are subdivided into 56 cercles and 703 communes.

Extent of central government control

In March 2012, the Malian government lost control over Tombouctou, Gao and Kidal Regions and the north-eastern portion of Mopti Region.

On 6 April 2012, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad unilaterally declared their secession from Mali as Azawad, an act that neither Mali nor the international community recognised. The government later regained control over these areas.