Keita, Mali’s Ousted President Hospitalized


The Malian president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 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 that seized power.

Mr. Keïta’s condition was not immediately known, and it was unclear whether he would be evacuated abroad for medical treatment. His hospitalization was confirmed to The Associated Press by two people at the clinic who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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

Mr. Keïta, who was first elected in 2013, had three years left in his second term when mutinous soldiers detained him at his residence. 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.

Tens of thousands of people had demonstrated against the government in the months leading up to Mr. Keïta’s overthrow. But the international community has denounced his ouster, and a group of regional governments has placed sanctions on Mali, shutting borders and halting financial transactions.

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 The A.P. that Mr. Keïta had been unable to see his personal doctor.

There is widespread concern Mali’s political upheaval could allow Islamic extremists to extend their reach, upending 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. SOURCE: The New York Times.


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