Mali held a state funeral on Friday for ex-dictator Moussa Traoré who recently passed away at 83 on September 15th and was in power for 22 years after instigating a coup as a young lieutenant in 1968 that ousted Modibo Keita, the nation’s first president following independence in 1960 from coloniser France.
In attendance, along with other former leaders of the Sahel state, was the head of the National Committee of the Salvation for the People, Colonel Assimi Goïta, i.e. the junta which staged a coup d’etat that saw the stepping down of ex-president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18th.
The former autocrat was buried at a Bamako military camp against a soundtrack of a funeral band at the arrival of his coffin which was draped in the Malian flag.
Soldiers dressed in full regalia stood at attention, while two planes performed a flypast overhead in Traore’s honour.
Traoré himself was ousted from power in a coup in 1991 but was increasingly seen as an elder statesman within the country — with politicians soliciting his advice in recent years.