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Ousted president of Mali, Boubacar Keïta dies at 76 » ™

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Former Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keta has died at the age of 76, according to family and former colleagues.

He suffered a minor stroke two years ago, but the cause of his death on Sunday was not immediately known.

He died at his home in the capital Bamako at 09:00 GMT, a family member told the AFP news agency.

Mr Keta was Mali’s president for seven years until he was deposed in a coup in 2020, following massive anti-government protests over his handling of jihadist unrest.

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Economic distress and contested elections fueled demonstrations against his rule as well.

Mr Keta was a politician for over three decades, serving as socialist prime minister from 1994 to 2000.

More about the late Boubacar Keïta 

Born in the southern city of Koutiala to a civil servant father, he went on to study literature, history, and international relations in Paris. He spent decades living and working in France, including teaching at the University of Paris, before returning to Mali in 1980, initially as a consultant to the European Development Fund.

According to AFP, his entourage remembers him as a generous, irascible, and divisive figure.

Since the outbreak of independence and jihadist insurgencies in 2012, Mali has been engulfed in a security and political crisis, the BBC’s Lalla Sy reports.

President Keta went on to win a landslide victory in 2013 on a promise to “bring peace and security.” However, his government was unable to address Mali’s grave security challenges, and he was deposed in August 2020 by the military.

He suffered a minor stroke a few weeks later and was flown to the United Arab Emirates for treatment.

Mr Keta maintained a low profile thereafter, according to Francophone African news site Jeune Afrique, living in Bamako with his wife Aminata, who made frequent trips to Ivory Coast to visit their sons.

In May of last year, Mali’s new military rulers staged a second coup, announcing a further three-year delay of elections scheduled for this February.

This latest action has resulted in sanctions being levied against them this week by the EU and its neighbours in the West African regional bloc Ecowas.

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