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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Ex-President Keita of Mali is laid to rest

On Friday, Mali hosted a formal funeral for former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was deposed in a coup in 2020 and died last week. 

Interim Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga was present at the event, which took place at a military base in Bamako, the capital of the Sahel state. The ex-coffin presidents were covered in the Malian flag. 

Former Malian Prime Minister Moussa Mara, Guinea’s foreign minister, and international diplomats in Bamako were among those who attended. 

Thousands of people also gathered to pay their respects at the former president’s mansion in Bamako. 

Keita, who won a landslide election in 2013 and was re-elected five years later, died on Sunday at the age of 76. He will be laid to rest at his Bamako home later on Friday.  

Mali’s violent terrorist insurgency overshadowed Keita’s leadership, contributing to major rallies against him in 2020, coupled with a faltering economy and apparent government corruption. 

On August 18, 2020, young army officers led by Colonel Assimi Goita deposed him and detained Keita and other leaders. 

The junta that arose from the insurgency freed Keita on August 27 and restored him to his apartment in Bamako, under monitoring, following pressure from the West African bloc ECOWAS. 

The following month, he had a mini-stroke and was flown to the United Arab Emirates for treatment. 

In May 2021, the governing junta would undertake another coup attempt.  

Mali was sanctioned by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in December when the junta suggested staying in power for up to five years before holding elections, despite international requests that the vote be held in February. 

The ruling junta’s leader, Goita, has established a three-day national holiday in Keita’s honor, beginning on Friday.  

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in December agreed to sanction Mali after the junta proposed staying in power for up to five years before staging elections — despite international demands to respect a promise to hold the vote in February. 

Goita, the head of the ruling junta, has declared a three-day national holiday in Keita’s honor, starting from Friday. 

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