Former Malian President Amadou Toumani Touré has died aged 72, an aide said on Tuesday.
Toure, an army general who won acclaim for pursuing democratic reforms before being toppled by a military coup in 2012, died early Tuesday in Turkey where he was undergoing treatment, his chief of staff Seydou Cissouma said.
He arrived in Turkish commercial capital, Istanbul, a few days ago.
Before his departure from Mali, he had undergone an emergency heart surgery in the capital, Bamako.
He was Mali’s president from 2002 until he was deposed by General Amadou Haya Sanogo in a military coup in March 2012.
Mr Touré was hailed for ending years of military rule and handing power to civilians after organising elections in 1992.
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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