The former Malian head of state, Amadou Toumani Toure, is dead. He died on Monday night in a Turkish hospital at the age of 72.
Toure led Mali from June 8, 2002, until March 22, 2012, when he was deposed in a coup d’etat led by Gen. Amadou Haya Sanogo.
He had been seriously ill and according to family sources, before his evacuation to Turkey, he had a heart operation in the Malian capital, Bamako. After the failure of the operation, he was evacuated by a regular flight to Turkey where he died.
Since the announcement of his death, several Malians have been expressing their condolences to the bereaved family.
A citizen, Olivier Mumbere, said that the death of Toure who led the 1992 coup against Gen. Moussa Traore, was an enormous loss for Africa.
According to Mumbere, the former head of state seized power from Traore and relinquished it without any resistance, which is an example to be emulated.
For Aissata Haomoye Maiga, the former leader was a grand builder of his nation.
“He implanted his footsteps on the sands of time. In the 90s he had a library in his foundation which was accessible to everyone. People came from all over to read there and sometimes meet him there, ” Madou Keita said.
Djibril Saidou remembers Amadou Toure as a soldier who favoured the installation of democracy in Mali.
Some African leaders have already extended their condolences to the bereaved family and to the Malian nation.
In his twitter handle, the Senegalese President, Macky Sall, who hosted Toure during his exile in Senegal declared: “I am at pains to learn of the death of His Excellency Amadou Toumani Toure, the former President of the Republic of Mali. I salute the memory of the illustrious late president and I extend my condolences to his family and the Malian people”.
The former president of the Ivorian National Assembly, Guillaume Soro, in his own message said he was ready to attend the funeral of the late former head of state.
The funeral programme of the late Malian leader is still to be announced.
Touré was head of President Moussa Traoré’s personal guard (and parachute regiment) when a popular revolution overthrew the regime in March 1991 and he 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 June 6, 1992.
Ten years later, after retiring from the army as a general, Toure entered party politics and won the 2002 presidential election with a broad coalition of support.
He was re-elected in 2007 to a second and final term.
In March 2012, shortly before his scheduled departure from office, soldiers organised 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 April 8, 2012, and 11 days later he went into exile.