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Leader of 2012 military coup in Mali promoted: government

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Malian captain Amadou Haya Sanogo (C), head of the coup that overthrew President Toure in 2012, in Koulouba on February 13, 2013. The army captain who led a coup that ousted Mali's government last year and paved the way for Islamist rebels to seize over half the country has been promoted, the government said on Wednesday.AFP/File

The army captain who led a coup that ousted Mali's government last year and paved the way for Islamist rebels to seize over half the country has been promoted, the government said on Wednesday.

"Today, the cabinet approved the nomination of Captain Amadou Sanogo for the grade of Lietenant-General," a spokesman for the defence ministry, told AFP.

The announcements came after former prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was named Mali's new president after his rival conceded defeat Monday in the first election since the coup.

Sanogo led a group of fellow mid-level officers to overthrow then-president Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22 last year, upending what had been considered one of west Africa's flagship democracies.

The mutiny precipitated the fall of northern Mali to Islamist militants linked to Al-Qaeda but a military intervention by French and African troops in January chased the rebels from the region's main cities.

Two weeks after the coup Sanogo handed power to an interim government but fiercely opposed the French-led action and continued to wield considerable influence in Bamako

He was installed in February as head of a military reform committee, a post created for him as an incentive to accept a transitional government tasked with steering the country to elections.