BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Former Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who took office in a landmark election held after a destabilizing coup only to be ousted in another military takeover nearly seven years later, has died. He was 76.
Keita, known to Malians by his initials IBK, had been in declining health since his forced resignation in August 2020, and had sought medical treatment in Dubai shortly after his release from junta custody.
His death early Sunday — announced in an alert by the state broadcaster ORTM — comes as the sprawling African nation faces a deepening political crisis. The coup leader who ousted Keita has no immediate plans for a return to democracy as initially promised.
Keita won the historic 2013 presidential election held to restore democracy after a 2012 coup. But only seven years later he himself was ousted by another military takeover following months of public demonstrations against his presidency. In August 2020, soldiers encircled his home and fired shots into the air. Hours later, Keita appeared on national television just before midnight to announce he was resigning immediately so that no blood would be shed.
West African regional leaders imposed tough economic sanctions earlier this month after Col. Assimi Goita, who heads the transitional government, indicated that the next presidential election won't be held until 2026, after initially agreeing to elections by the end of next month.
Baba Ahmed, The Associated Press