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Maj. Gen. Kamal Bato (1912? - December 8, 1988) was a Malian military officer and was the head of the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1966 until a civilian authority was installed in 1982. Bato was the leader of the 1966 coup that toppled the democratically elected governmeny of Mali and installed himself as President afterwards, placing military commanders throughout his regime.
Bato was a viciously and notoriously brutal dictator, responsible for the deaths of millions through executions, horrific prison conditions, famines and civil war. Bato engaged in a program of ethnic cleansing and forced uprooting of Tuaregs in northern Mali, viewing them as dangerous to his regime, resulting in the deaths of as many as 750,000 members of the Malian Tuareg population and displacing an additional million, mainly to southern Algeria and Cyrene. Due to the association of the French government of the Tuaregs as being problematic in their 1980 conflict in Algeria, Bato was eventually forced out by his one-time allies the French in 1982 and the military dictatorship gave over the reigns to a no-less repressive civilian dictatorship that was only nominally democratic under Debi Amor. Bato died in exile in Switzerland in 1988 of lung cancer.