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OBITUARIES | Passings | Serigne Saliou Mbacke, 92

Leader of Muslim sect in Senegal

January 01, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Serigne Saliou Mbacke, 92, spiritual leader of the Mourides, the most powerful Muslim brotherhood in Senegal, Africa, died Friday in the city of Touba.

Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade declared a three-day period of national mourning in honor of Mbacke, who was the president's religious advisor.

Mbacke is credited with helping to build up the Muslim holy city of Touba, which is now one of the largest cities in the country, with a population of about 1 million. It includes a Muslim university with about 5,000 students, a large mosque and a public library. With investments in agriculture, Mbacke also boosted the financial standing of the Mouride brotherhood.

In addition to religious leadership, Mbacke's political endorsement helped win votes for the country's democratically elected leaders.

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