Traore, who led Mali’s first mil­i­tary coup, dies

Daily Dispatch - - World News -

Mali’s for­mer mil­i­tary leader Moussa Traore, who over­threw his pre­de­ces­sor in a 1968 coup, has died at the age of 83, a spokesper­son for the coun­try’s mil­i­tary junta said.

Traore ousted Modibo Keita, Mali’s first demo­crat­i­cally elected pres­i­dent since the West African na­tion’s in­de­pen­dence from France in 1960, and ruled un­til 1991 when he him­self was over­thrown in a mil­i­tary takeover.

Traore’s 23-year rule was marked by wide­spread rights abuses. In 1993, a Mali court found him guilty of the mur­der of 106 peo­ple who par­tic­i­pated in the demon­stra­tions that led to his down­fall.

He was con­demned to death but the sen­tence was later com­muted, and he was par­doned in 2002. Traore was forced out af­ter he was ar­rested by sol­diers af­ter weeks of protests in 1991.

Mali has strug­gled to find sta­bil­ity since in­de­pen­dence, and the last decade has been marked by mil­i­tant vi­o­lence af­ter a Tuareg re­bel­lion in 2012 was hi­jacked by Al-Qaedalinke­d ji­hadists who oc­cu­pied most of the north of the coun­try. —

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