Azawad is the name for the northern part of Mali. The name translates to Savannah. The region is mostly desert-like. Between 2012 and 2013 it was independent from Mali. It is split into the regions Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal. The territorry has a size of about 882,000 square kilometres (341,000 sq mi). The biggest cities are Gao with about 87.000 people, and Timbuktu with about 55.000.