“President “IBK” [Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta] died this morning at 9 a.m. [10 heures, heure de Paris] at his home “, in Bamako, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) a member of his family, Sunday, January 16. This information was confirmed by several members of Mr. Keïta’s family and entourage, but the cause of death was not specified. Elected president of Mali in September 2013, he was overthrown by soldiers in August 2020. He was 76 years old.
Mali, plunged into a serious security and political crisis since the outbreak of separatist and jihadist insurgencies in 2012, has also been confronted for a week with heavy sanctions from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Prime Minister from 1994 to 2000
Mr. Keïta, who claimed to be from the left, experienced a meteoric rise during the two terms of Alpha Oumar Konaré, the first president of Mali’s democratic era (1992-2002). “IBK” was notably Prime Minister from 1994 to 2000. Unlucky candidate in the 2002 presidential election, he got his revenge by gaining access to the Koulouba Palace, the seat of the Malian presidency in Bamako, in 2013. He was re-elected in 2018 against Soumaïla Cissé, then leader of the opposition, died in December 2020 from Covid-19.
His presidency is marked by a jihadist insurgency linked to Al-Qaeda in the north of the country. Accusations of corruption, disputed legislative elections and an economy in crisis had ended up leading several tens of thousands of people to demonstrate in the streets of the Malian capital in 2020 to demand his departure.
The coup that overthrew him on August 18, 2020 was followed by a second in May 2021. The junta led by Colonel Assimi Goïta announced its intention to lead the country for several years, as it s t was previously committed to organizing presidential and legislative elections at the end of February in order to allow civilians to return to power.