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Just In: Mali’s ousted president, Keita, passes on @76

By News Desk

The Malian ousted president, Ibrahim Keita, has been confirmed to have died at the age of 76 in the country’s capital, Bamako, barely one year and a half after the military took over the leadership of the West African nation.

As gathered, Keita, who led the West African country from 2013 until he was ousted in a coup in 2020, died in his home while waiting for the military to hand over power as promised to the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and the people.

The ousted president was confirmed to have died at about 10:00 am on Sunday by members of his family, although the cause of death was not released.

Confirming his death, a member of the family told newsmen he died at the early hours of the day but the medical experts were yet to officially declare what caused his demise.

After his removal by the military, the deceased suffered a mini-stroke the following month and was sent to the United Arab Emirates for treatment.

Keita was two years into his second five-year term when he was toppled by the military in 2020 and since then the country had been under military administration.

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.

ECOWAS this month agreed to sanction Mali after the junta proposed it would 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.

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