Dioncounda Traoré (born 23 February 1942) is a Malian politician who has been President of Mali in an interim capacity since April 2012. He has been President of the National Assembly of Mali since September 2007, and President of the Alliance for Democracy in Mali-African Party for Solidarity and Justice (ADEMA-PASJ) since 2000. He was also President of the Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP), an alliance of parties that supported the re-election of President Amadou Toumani Touré in 2007.
Traoré was born in Kati. After studying abroad in the Soviet Union, at the University of Algiers, and at the University of Nice, he taught in Mali at the Teachers' College (ENSUP) from 1977 to 1980. He was then arrested for trade union activities and sent to Ménaka in northern Mali. Subsequently, he became director-general of the National School of Engineering. He participated in the struggle for democracy that culminated with the overthrow of President Moussa Traoré in March 1991. He was a founding member of ADEMA, and at its constitutive congress, held on 25–26 May 1991, he was elected as its Second Vice-President, while Alpha Oumar Konaré was elected as the party's President and Mohamed Lamine Traoré was elected as its First Vice-President.
After Konaré was elected as President of Mali in the 1992 presidential election, Traoré was appointed Minister of the Civil Service, Labor, and the Moderization of Administration on 9 June 1992, in the first government under Konaré's presidency. He was then named Minister of State for Defense on 16 April 1993, holding that position until he became Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on 25 October 1994. At ADEMA's first ordinary congress, held in September 1994, Traoré was elected as the First Vice-President of the party, while Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was elected as its President.
He was elected as a Deputy in the National Assembly from Nara in 1997 and resigned as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on 24 August 1997 to take his seat. In the National Assembly, he became President of the ADEMA Parliamentary Group, and following the resignation of Keïta as ADEMA President in October 2000, Traoré was elected as ADEMA President at the party's first extraordinary congress, held on 25–28 November 2000. In the 2002 parliamentary election, he was defeated in Nara and lost his seat.
In the July 2007 parliamentary election, Traoré ran again at the head of an ADEMA list in Nara, where three seats were at stake. In the first round, his list won 39.59% of the vote, and in the second round it prevailed with 58.41% of the vote. When the new National Assembly held its first meeting on 3 September 2007, Traoré was elected as President of the National Assembly, receiving 111 votes against 31 for Mountaga Tall of the National Congress for Democratic Initiative (CNID), another member of the ADP.
Following the March 2012 military coup, which precipitated economic sanctions and a blockade by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against Mali, a deal, brokered in Burkina Faso by President Blaise Compaoré under the auspices of ECOWAS, was signed on 6 April 2012 that would see the head of the military junta, Captain Amadou Sanogo, cede power to Dioncounda Traoré to assume the presidency in an interim capacity until an election could be held. Traoré had left the country following the coup, but returned on 7 April.
Traoré was sworn in as President at a ceremony on 12 April 2012. He pledged to "wage a total and relentless war" on the Tuareg rebellion in Mali's north unless it relinquished its control of northern Malian cities and its declared state of Azawad.
On 13 August, he reappointed Cheick Modibo Diarra as prime minister, giving Diarra three days to form a unity government.
May 2012 attack
On 21 May 2012, soldiers allowed a group of pro-coup demonstrators into Traoré's office in Bamako. The demonstrators, who had been carrying a mock coffin with Traoré's name written on it, fought past two Red Beret guards to attack him. When one of the guards put a helmet on Traoré's head to protect him, a member of the crowd removed it and used it to beat Traoré. Other members of the crowd punched and kicked him. Traoré was then stripped naked, with members of the crowd carrying away pieces of his clothing. Jeune Afrique reported that members of the crowd shouted triumphantly that he was dead.
He was brought to Point G Hospital but was not conscious when he was brought in, apparently suffering from a head injury. Three protesters were killed and others wounded when Traoré's security fired on the attackers. After an examination showed no serious injury, Traoré was taken to a secure location. PM Cheick Modibo Diarra called for calm and an end to protest marches, stating that the attack was "not worthy of our country". On 23 May, it was announced that Traoré would travel to France for further health checks, reportedly including an examination of his pacemaker. He remained there for two months, returning on 27 July.
On 5 June, coup supporters Boubacar Bore, Yacouba Niare and Mamadou Sangare were arrested in connection with the attack. A video of the attack was posted by Jeune Afrique on 29 June.
- "Dioncounda Traoré : UNE RICHE EXPÉRIENCE", L'Essor, n°16025, 4 September 2007 (French).
- "Soumeylou Boubèye Maiga exclu de l’ADEMA", Panapress, 26 February 2007 (French).
- "Dioncounda Traoré, président de l'Assemblée : Un "para" à la tête de l'Hémicycle", L'Independant, 6 September 2007 (French).
- "Membres du conseil exécutif de l'Adéma-PASJ élus au congrès constitutif du 25 et 26 Mai 1991.", ADEMA website (French).
- "Membres du conseil exécutif de l'Adéma-PASJ élus au premier congrès ordinaire de Septembre 1994.", ADEMA website (French).
- "L'AGENDA DU PREMIER QUINQUENNAT 1992–1997", L'Essor, 6 June 2002 (French).
- "LISTE EN BALLOTAGE POUR LE DEUXIÈME TOUR", L'Essor, 20 July 2007 (French).
- "LISTE PROVISOIRE DES DÉPUTÉS ÉLUS au 2è TOUR", L'Essor, n°15998, 26 July 2007 (French).
- "Dioncounda Traoré élu président de l'Assemblée nationale : PRESQUE UN PLÉBISCITE !", L'Essor, n°16026, 4 September 2007 (French).
- "Mali: Dioncounda Traoré élu président de l'Assemblée nationale", AFP, 3 September 2007 (French).
- "Mali junta says power transfer 'within days'". Al Jazeera. 7 April 2012. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/04/201246232416740914.html. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- "Parliament head returns to Mali as interim president". USA Today. Associated Press. 7 April 2012. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-04-07/Mali-head-interim-president/54099308/1. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- "Mali's new leader threatens 'total war' against Tuareg rebels". The Telegraph. 13 April 2012. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/mali/9201664/Malis-new-leader-threatens-total-war-against-Tuareg-rebels.html. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
- "Mali's Traore 're-appoints' prime minister". Al Jazeera. 13 August 2012. Archived from the original on 15 August 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/69yZZU31B. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- "Mali President Dioncounda Traore 'in hospital after attack'". BBC News. 21 May 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18142488. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- D Turf, Mali's transitional president beaten up by demonstrators, Ground Report, 23 May 2012
- "Exclusif - Mali : la vidéo du lynchage de Dioncounda Traoré au palais de Koulouba" (in French). Jeune Afrique. 29 June 2012. http://www.jeuneafrique.com/Article/JA2685p017.xml0/mali-manifestation-cedeao-bamakoexclusif-mali-la-video-du-lynchage-de-dioncounda-traore-au-palais-de-koulouba.html. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- "Vidéo de l'agression du président malien" (in French). Le Figaro. 29 June 2012. http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2012/06/29/97001-20120629FILWWW00731-video-de-l-agression-du-president-malien.php. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- "Interim president of Mali injured, witness says". Associated Press. 21 May 2012. http://news.yahoo.com/interim-president-mali-injured-witness-says-163743437.html. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- "Mali interim president injured in attack". Al Jazeera. 22 May 2012. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/05/201252116529704653.html. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- Adama Diarra and David Lewis (23 May 2012). "Mali leader to head to France for health checks-sources". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/23/mali-president-idUSL5E8GNCZR20120523. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
- "Mali's President Dioncounda Traore returns from Paris". BBC News. 27 July 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19022349. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
- "Three charged over attack on Mali president". Google News. 5 June 2012. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g78LpLwUpllWbUvYwrsHVyMQCeCA?docId=CNG.9231c4dfc53b09517dfd13cfee533c84.501. Retrieved 29 June 2012.