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