Skip to main content
// //

Col. Assimi Goita, who has declared himself the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, arrives to meet with former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, at the Ministry of Defense in the capital Bamako, Mali on Aug. 24, 2020.

The Associated Press

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the Malian president ousted in a military coup last month, was hospitalized late Tuesday at a private clinic, intensifying fears about the 75-year-old’s health after being detained for 10 days by the junta now in power.

Keita’s condition was not immediately known, and it was unclear whether he would be evacuated abroad for medical treatment given the circumstances.

His hospitalization was confirmed to The Associated Press by two people at the clinic who spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

Story continues below advertisement

The former Malian president has appeared gaunt in recent photographs, and concerns only mounted during his time in military custody in the barracks at Kati outside the capital.

Keita, who was first elected in 2013, had three years left in his term when mutinous soldiers detained him at his residence after firing shots outside the house. Hours later, he appeared in a midnight broadcast on state television, telling Malians he would resign immediately so that no blood would be shed for him to stay in power.

Officials from the junta, called the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, had said Keita was only being held at the barracks for his own protection. A protest movement against Keita’s presidency saw tens of thousands demonstrate in the streets in the months leading up to his overthrow.

The international community has decried the ouster, and the regional bloc ECOWAS already has placed sanctions on Mali, shutting borders, halting financial flows and threatening further sanctions.

A mediation delegation led by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan met with Keita while he was in military custody, and they later told journalists that Keita did not want to try to return to power.

France, the United Nations and others called for his immediate release, and he ultimately was taken to his home Thursday where he remained under military surveillance. A relative told AP that Keita had been unable to see his personal doctor.

Even with his release, ECOWAS has continued to press for a return to civilian rule within one year. However, the junta has proposed waiting until 2023 to hold new elections, which the French defence minister said over the weekend was “out of the question.”

Story continues below advertisement

There is widespread fear Mali’s political upheaval could again allow Islamic extremists to extend their reach, upending more than several years of international support including a U.N peacekeeping mission that has been working to stabilize the country. After Mali’s last coup in 2012, extremists seized power in towns across the north only to be ousted the following year by a French-led military intervention.

More than seven years on, peacekeepers and soldiers still come under frequent attacks from the jihadists, and the instability undermined Keita’s popularity as president.

Follow related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies