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Amadou Toumani Touré

Amadou Toumani Touré , byname ATT (born November 4, 1948, Mopti, French Sudan [now in Mali]), Malian politician and military leader who twice led his country. He served as interim president (1991–92) after a coup and was elected president in 2002. In March 2012 he was deposed in a military coup. He officially resigned the next month.

Touré studied to be a teacher and later joined the army in 1969, receiving military training in France and the U.S.S.R. At one time he was a member of the Presidential Guard in Mali, but he had a falling out with the president, Gen. Moussa Traoré, and lost this position.

Touré first came to international prominence on March 26, 1991, as the leader of a coup that toppled Traoré (who had himself come to power in 1968 in a coup against Modibo Keita). Touré’s coup was generally welcomed because of Traoré’s repressive policies, which had led to popular unrest, often manifested in violent riots, in 1990–91. It was after days of such rioting that the coup took place, and it seemed to many that Touré had acted in the name of the people and brought stability and democracy to the country. Be this as it may, the pro-democracy forces in the country lost little time in organizing the 1992 presidential election, in which Touré did not stand, and he retired as president on June 8, 1992.

For the next decade Touré occupied himself with nonmilitary activities, mostly concerned with public health. In 1992 he became the head of Mali’s Intersectoral Committee for Guinea Worm Eradication, and he was associated with campaigns to eliminate polio and other childhood diseases as well as working for the control of AIDS in Africa, often collaborating with the Carter Center, the nonprofit humanitarian organization run by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter. Touré also was active in trying to resolve disputes in the Great Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi, and Democratic Republic of the Congo) and served as a United Nations special envoy to the Central African Republic after a coup occurred in that country in