Mali ex-president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita dies aged 76

Monday January 17 2022
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita

Mali's former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita who died at the age of 76 in the capital Bamako on January 16, 2022. PHOTO | POOL | AFP



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. However, reports indicate that the deposed leader had been sick for several years and had been allowed to leave the country for treatment abroad in the last few years since his ouster, including at least two stays in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Keita was elected President in 2013 and re-elected in 2018. He was two years into his second five-year term when he was toppled by soldiers led by Col. Assimi Goita 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 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.