Amadou Toumani Touré, Mali’s former president who led the Sahel nation for a decade before being ousted in a coup, has died in Turkey aged 72.
“Amadou Toumani Touré died during the night of Monday to Tuesday in Turkey,” his nephew Oumar Toure told AFP news agency.
Touré had undergone heart surgery in Bamako before being evacuated to Turkey, said the relative.
Following news of his death, politicians took to social media to express their condolences.
“I am heartbroken to learn of the death of His Excellency Amadou Toumani Toure, former president of Mali. I salute the memory of this renowned figure and present my deepest condolences to his family and the Malian people. May he rest in peace,” Senegal President Macky Sall tweeted.
Touré rose to prominence as a lieutenant-colonel in Mali’s army. He was appointed the head of the transitional committee following a coup d’etat in 1991, ultimately leading to the ousting of former president Moussa Traore. He then served as the head of state during the transition to democracy, affectionately given the title, the “soldier of democracy.”
He then served as a general under Mali’s president Alpha Oumar Konare, who was elected in 1992. Touré soon resigned from the army to run for president, defeating Soumaila Cisse in a second round of votes.
The army veteran led the country from 2002 to 2012. His successor, Ibrahim Boubacar, was ousted in another coup three months ago.
After he was deposed in 2012, Touré lived in exile in the neighboring West African nation of Senegal until December 2019, when he returned home to Mali.