Moussa Traore, who gained energy within the West African nation of Mali in a army coup and misplaced it in one other coup greater than 22 years later, has died. He was 83.
His son Idrissa Traore confirmed the dying however didn’t say when or the place Mr. Traore died or specify the trigger.
Mr. Traore, who had studied at a French army academy and served within the French military, seized energy in 1968, eight years after Mali gained independence from France, amid rising discontent with Modibo Keita, the nation’s first president. Mr. Keita had turned Mali right into a socialist state, with collective farms, commerce with the Soviet Union and China and Chinese language-built state-owned factories.
Mr. Traore and different officers arrange the Army Committee for Nationwide Liberation, abolished the nation’s structure and established a regime. He served because the nation’s army chief till 1979, when he put in himself as civilian president of a one-party state. He was the only presidential candidate within the election held in 1985.
In 1988 he was solely the second chief of a Black African nation to be honored with a state go to to the White Home by President Ronald Reagan. On the time, Mr. Traore was additionally chairman of the Group of African Unity and valued by the Individuals for his pro-Western leanings.
Mr. Traore was looking for Western funding in his nation, significantly in its gold mines — “our historical wealth,” as he put it in an interview with The New York Occasions.
“Individuals suppose Africa is poor, however we now have many of the world’s uncooked supplies,” he stated.
Three years later Mr. Traore was ousted in an overnight coup that adopted years of financial decline, which had prompted protests wherein no less than 200 folks had been killed. Greater than 50 folks had been reported killed after the coup, together with two prime Traore supporters who had been burned to dying.
Mr. Traore was later tried for the killings of protesters and sentenced to dying, however Alpha Oumar Konare, who was president from 1992 to 2002, commuted his sentence to life imprisonment and pardoned him in 2002.
Mr. Traore’s dying got here practically a month after army leaders in Mali staged a coup and deposed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who had three years left in his second time period.
On Sept. 15, the army junta at present ruling Mali met with a bunch of West African leaders in Ghana to outline a transition to civilian rule.
Within the final 5 years, Mr. Traore had been a mediator inside Mali. He was lately visited by Col. Assimi Goita, who’s heading Mali’s junta.
Moussa Traore was born on Sept. 25, 1936, within the western area of Kayes, then a part of French Sudan. Info on his survivors was not accessible.
The New York Occasions contributed reporting.