In 1979, President Moussa Traoré implemented a rigorous
economic program designed by international banks and the
International Monetary Fund, the IMF. That led to student
protests in November 79, which teachers also joined. The
repression was rampant: 13 students were tortured and killed
by police and about 100 put in jail.
From 1983, Mali strengthened ties with France. At the
same time, Moussa Traoré distanced himself from the Soviet
Union, which had provided economic and educational
assistance in the 1970s.
the economic situation continued to deteriorate in the key
sectors such as agriculture. Mali is part of the Sahel Belt
and the continued drought there brought further reductions
in the cattle population.
In June 85, Traoré was re-elected as President for a
second term. As the only candidate, he got 99.94% of the
In 1988 demonstrations were again conducted among
students, teachers and public servants. The government was
transformed and an economic and social council was set up,
led by General Amadou Baba Diarra.
In the financial field, the government was faced with a
huge foreign debt, which in 1988 reached 125% of gross
domestic product, whose interest and repayments exceeded
export revenue by 25%. The government entered into
negotiations with the IMF on the implementation of a
structural adjustment program and began to privatize the
banks - financed by France with a loan of Franc 8 billion (DKK
On April 10, 1991, a popular and military uprising was
carried out against Traore's regime. It brought Colonel
Amadou Tumani Touré to power at the head of a People's
Transition and Salvation Council (CTSP). He vowed to hand
over power to civilians in early 1992.
CTSP also included figures from the crashed dictatorship.
It plunged popular distrust of the military and spurred
student organizations to violent acts against public
buildings symbolizing the dictatorship.
Old parties were reorganized and new ones emerged.
Professional organizations were formed that demanded, among
other things, wage increases and stops for the privatization
of public companies. This was the case in
telecommunications, the railways and the textile,
pharmaceutical and cement industries.
In June 1991, the Tuaregs in the north and the Moroans in
the east carried on a riot, which helped to increase social
tensions. The new President met with his colleagues from
Algeria and Mauritania to discuss the Tuareg issue jointly.
On July 14, parts of the armed forces conducted a coup
attempt against President Tumani Touré, forcing him to give
soldiers and civil servants a 70% pay rise in an effort to
In December 1991, negotiations between the Mali
authorities and the Tureg rebels were resumed, ceasefire was
introduced and exchanged prisoners.
In March 92, the government of Mali and the Tuaregs, with
Algeria, reached a peace agreement that ended 2 years of
armed conflict. In April, the final peace agreement was
signed by Azawad's United Fronts and Movements, which
consists of four bilateral opposition groups.
In the March 1992 parliamentary and municipal elections,
the Alliance for Democracy in Mali (ADEMA) won 76 out of the
116 seats in the National Assembly. The rest was divided
between other political alliances and representatives of
On April 26, Alpha Oumar Konaré - leader of ADEMA - was
elected president in the first multi-party elections since
independence in 1960. His main opponent was Tiéoulé Mamadou
Konaté, leader of the Sudanese Union - the African
Konaré is an education teacher. He had played a key role
in the rebellion against Moussa Traore's regime in 1991.
Konaré and Konaté were through a second round of
elections, as neither of them achieved an absolute majority
in the first round of elections on April 12. 7 candidates
left after the first round. Both elections were
characterized by low turnout - in the last round, only 21%
of eligible voters voted.
Most political parties had boycotted the parliamentary
elections and questioned the electoral mechanisms, which
they also blamed for the low turnout.