Mali's former president Moussa Traore dies at 83

Cover Image

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Mali’s former president Moussa Traore, who ruled the West Africa nation for more than 22 years, has died at age 83, according to his son Idrissa Traore.

Traore seized power in a military coup in 1968, eight years after Mali gained independence from France. He ruled the country as its military leader until 1979 when he installed himself as civilian president of a one-party state. He was the sole presidential candidate in elections held in 1985. Traore was eventually ousted in a coup in 1991 after days of violent protests amid unrest over years of economic decline.

His death comes nearly a month after military leaders in Mali staged a coup on Aug. 18, deposing President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who had three years left in his second term in office.

On Tuesday, the military junta ruling Mali is meeting with a group of West African leaders in Ghana to outline a transition to civilian rule.