Ibrahim Boubacar Keita
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita

Mali ex-President, Ibrahim Keita is dead

NEWS DIGEST – Mali’s former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who led the West African country from 2013 until he was ousted in a coup in 2020, died at the age of 76 in the capital Bamako on Sunday, his family said.

“President IBK died this morning at 0900 GMT in his home” in Bamako, a family member told AFP using the ex-leader’s initials, with several other family members confirming his passing.

The cause of Keita’s death was not given.

Keita was two years into his second five-year term when he was toppled by the military in 2020.

In the weeks before the coup, he had been struggling with protests fuelled by his handling of a jihadist insurgency and failure to turn around Mali’s floundering economy.

Keita was forced out of office on August 18, 2020, by young military officers who staged an uprising at a base near Bamako before heading into the city, where they seized Keita and other leaders.

Under pressure from the West African bloc ECOWAS, the junta that emerged from the rebellion released Keita on August 27 and returned him to his residence in Bamako, under surveillance.

He suffered a mini-stroke the following month and was sent to the United Arab Emirates for treatment.

The ruling junta would stage another coup in May 2021.

ECOWAS this month agreed to sanction Mali after the junta proposed it would to stay in power for up to five years before staging elections — despite international demands that it respect a promise to hold the vote in February.

AFP