Pierre Guy Balancy, 55, ambassador of Mauritius to the United States since 1968, died Saturday at George Washington University Hospital of complications following abdominal surgery.
He was considered a major spokesman for the causes and problems of African Nations at the State Department.
A month after Mauritius gained its independence from Great Britain in March 1968, Mr. Balancy appeared before the United Nations to seek admission of his country as the 124th member of that organization. He came to Washington in June of that year.
While his main diplomatic post was in Washington, he also served as his country's chief diplomatic representative to Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Jamaica, Canada, Barbados and Trinidad-Tobago, and made frequent visits to those countries.
Mr. Balancy was born in Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. He was educated at a branch of London University there.
He became a well known journalist and was founder and editor of one of the most important daily newspapers in Mauritius, "L'Express." It was written in French but also carried articles written in English. While English is the official language of Mauritius, French is the popular language there.
He became on of his country's major writers. He was the author of a book, "Human Brotherhood in a Multi-Racial Society.
Mr. Balancy was elected to the Mauritius Parliament for the first time in 1959 from an area that included Port Louis. He became a cabinet minister in 1964, and held several different portfolios before he became an ambassador.
For his service to Mauritius, he was honored as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
He is survived by his wife, Therese, and five children, Gerard, Clairette, Josiane Domenici, Ginette Jahier, and Gilles, all of whom are in Washington, and four brothers and three sisters who are in Mauritius.