Mali’s former president, Amadou Toumani Touré, has died at the age of 72.
“Amadou Toumani Toure died during the night of Monday to Tuesday in Turkey,” where he had been taken for health reasons, his nephew Oumar Toure revealed.
The former army general ruled for 10 years and was celebrated for enacting democratic reforms in the West African nation, before being ousted in a military coup in 2012.
Touré was head of President Moussa Traoré’s personal guard (and parachute regiment) when a popular revolution overthrew the regime in March 1991 and Colonel Touré arrested the President and led the revolution.
He presided over a year-long military-civilian transition process that produced a new Constitution and multiparty elections; Touré handed power to Mali’s first democratically elected president, Alpha Oumar Konaré, on 6 June 1992. Konaré promoted Touré to the rank of General.
Ten years later, after retiring from the army, he entered politics as a civilian and won the 2002 presidential election with a broad coalition of support. He was easily re-elected in 2007 to a second and final term.
On 22 March 2012, shortly before his scheduled departure from office, disgruntled soldiers initiated a coup d’état that forced him into hiding. As part of the agreement to restore constitutional order to Mali, Touré resigned from the presidency on 8 April, and eleven days later he went into exile.
Touré was a member of the Earth Charter International Commission.
By: Naa Ayorkor Laryea