Mali: Former President Boubacar Keïta Dies in Bamako

ADDIS ABABA – Former President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, has died aged 76.

Keïta died at his home in the capital Bamako on Sunday, a member of his family told AFP news agency.

The cause of death has not been specified.

Chairperson of AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat extended his condolences to his family and the people of Mali.

Keïta led the Weste African nation for seven years until he was removed in coup 2020 following huge anti-government protests over his handling of jihadist unrest.

An economic crisis and disputed elections also fuelled the demonstrations against his rule.

Weeks after he was ousted he suffered a minor stroke and was flown to the United Arab Emirates for medical treatment.

Mali’s new military rulers staged a second coup in May of last year, announcing a further three-year delay to elections that were meant to happen this February.

This last action made them the target of sanctions this week by the EU as well as its neighbours in the West African regional bloc Ecowas.

Mali has struggled to regain stability since 2012, when ethnic Tuareg rebels and loosely aligned armed groups seized the northern two-thirds of the country, leading former colonial power France to intervene to temporarily beat them back.

Ethnic killings and armed forces’ abuses had become a defining feature of Keita’s presidency, despite thousands of French and international troops deployed to contain the armed groups.

– EM/News Agencies


Featured Image Caption: Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was toppled by a military coup in 2020. [Photo BBC/GETTY IMAGES]