Former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi, who ruled the country with an iron fist between 1978 and 2002, has died aged 95, AFP reports from Nairobi.

Moi’s 24-year rule saw his country become a one-party state where critical voices were crushed, corruption became endemic and tribal divisions were stoked and turned bloody. “It is with profound sadness that I announce the death of a great man of an African state,” Kenyatta said in a statement. He ordered a period of national mourning until a state funeral is held, on a date not yet announced. The former president died “in the early morning of February 4 at Nairobi hospital in the presence of his family,” Kenyatta said. Moi fought off rivals in a bitter contest to take the top job in 1978, succeeding Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, when he died.