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 demise 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 Navy 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 real 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 searching for Western funding in his nation, significantly in its gold mines — “our historic wealth,” as he put it in an interview with The New York Instances.
“Folks suppose Africa is poor, however we’ve got many of the world’s uncooked supplies,” he stated.
Three years later Mr. Traore was ousted in an in a single day coup that adopted years of financial decline, which had prompted protests during which at the very least 200 folks have been killed. Greater than 50 folks have been reported killed after the coup, together with two prime Traore supporters who have been burned to demise.
Mr. Traore was later tried for the killings of protesters and sentenced to demise, 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 demise got here almost 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 the moment ruling Mali met with a bunch of West African leaders in Ghana to stipulate 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 obtainable.
The New York Instances contributed reporting.