Traoré, Moussa

Traoré, Moussa, 1936–2020, Malian army officer and political leader. He served in the French army and, following independence in 1960, Mali's army, rising to the rank of lieutenant. In 1968 he seized power in a military coup, ousting President Modibo Keita and abolishing the constitution. He later established (1976) a one-party state led by the Democratic Union of the Malian People, and was elected president unopposed in 1979 and 1985. In the 1980s, he moved Mali from alignment with the Soviet Union toward closer relations with France and the United States. A 1991 coup led by Amadou Toumani Touré brought Traoré's rule to an end. He was condemned to death (1993) for the murder of protesters in 1991 and later (1999) for embezzlement; both sentences were commuted to life in prison by President Konaré, who later (2002) pardoned him.

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