Over 10 days, 20th-30th April 1995, without warning, the Malian government bulldozed the neighbourhood of Senou for expansion of the Bamako Airport zone. Approximately 3,707 families, about 30,000 people, were forcibly evicted . A plot of land was assigned to evictees to construct a new neighbourhood. The ‘airport zone’ covers more than 7,194 hectares. It was classified as a plot of land for airport company use in 1999 .
In 2007-2008 a US Government's Millennium Challenge Account project occupied some of the land . Farmers were displaced and trees felled for a fertilizer factory for the Toguna industrial group, apparently without prior environmental and social impact assessment, including the development of an Environmental and Social Management Plan as well as a Resettlement Action Plan for affected populations in accordance with the requirements of Malian regulations and environmental procedures . There is also a gold refinery, Kankou Moussa, within the airport zone boundary .
In July 2009, residents were enjoined to leave the land by January 2010. The village leaders took that request as a war declaration, and prepared to resist . Residents contested government claims that their occupation of the airport zone is illicit; they have lived on the land for many generations. Land grabbing and speculation are rife. Several villages are impacted. Between 1995 and 2014 about 4,712 families were the victims of evictions .
A drive to clear remaining communities from the entire airport zone area, impacting on about 20,000 families in 11 neighbourhoods, began in 2021, after a number of earlier attempts in 2016-17 , made to the advantage of politicians formerly sentenced to for land speculation  , and which triggered street protests by the people that would be obliged to leave their lands . A major demolition using bulldozers began early in the morning of 14th January 2021, affecting an area of 1,600 hectares [12-15]. Evicted people were left destitute without shelter, but the press and the Real Estate Promoters’ Association supported the demolition as they claimed people were occupying the land illegally  . More than 800 people claimed they had permits to occupy the land  , and claimed the land back . Then a second phase of demolitions occurred affecting an area of 5,534 hectares . One of the areas affected, Gouana, was inhabited by many elderly people . An organization of inhabitants has been established - Plateforme des habitants de la zone dite aéroportuaire (PHZA) . There are active groups in several of the affected villages, sometimes holding different views over land management . L’Union des Associations et Coordinations d’associations pour le Dévelopement et la Défense des Droits des Démunis (UACDDDD) supports the struggle    . Women, some of them elderly, play a prominent role in resistance against eviction from the ‘so-called airport zone’ and have protested demanding that the airport relocate . Demonstrations and meetings have been attended by hundreds of people. UACDDDD reported plans for the airport zone include a financial center, hotels and theme parks. The case escalated into a political dilemma for Prime Minister C.K. Maïga is torn between the reasons of the communities residing near the area allocated for the airport and the construction companies  . An independent national commission of inquiry to investigate demolitions in the airport area was created in November 2021 . In January, following the inability of Mali’s transition government to enact presidential elections by due terms, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decide to apply sanctions to Mali: in this predicament, despite ongoing demolitions, the PHZA decided to declare a truce with the government .