Former Mali president Toure, democratic icon toppled in coup, has died

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Former Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure.
Former Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure.
Eric Feferberg / POOL / AFP

Former Mali President Amadou Toumani Toure, an army general who won acclaim for pursuing democratic reforms before being toppled by a military coup in 2012, has died at the age of 72, an aide said on Tuesday.

He died in Turkey on Monday night, his chief of staff Seydou Cissouma told Reuters, providing no further details.

Toure's life, in many ways, symbolised the stop-start nature of democracy in the West African country, where his successor, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, was overthrown in another coup this August.

Widely known by his initials ATT, Toure was a former paratrooper who seized power in 1991 after military ruler Moussa Traore's security forces killed more than 100 pro-democracy demonstrators.

He organised democratic elections the following year and handed over power to a civilian president, earning him the nickname of “Soldier of Democracy”.

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