Sonni Ali


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(died 1492)

Ruler of Songhay from 1464 or 1465, and the real founder of the Songhay empire. He made Songhay independent and then enlarged its boundaries. In 1469 he took Timbuktu, and in 1473 Jenné. Timbuktu chroniclers describe him as cruel, irreligious, and of immoral habits, and report that he persecuted men of religion, despite pretending to be a Muslim. He died by drowning, and was succeeded by his son Bakari, the last of his line.

Subjects: World History.

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