Mali has held a state ceremony for former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was removed in a 2020 coup and died last week.
Interim Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga attended the ceremony on Friday at a military camp in the Sahel state’s capital, Bamako, where the former leader’s coffin was draped in the Malian flag.
Keita’s relatives also attended the ceremony. Former Malian Prime Minister Moussa Mara, Guinea’s foreign minister, and foreign diplomats in Bamako were also present.
Thousands of people gathered at the former president’s residence in Bamako to pay their respects.
Keita, who was elected in a landslide in 2013 and won re-election five years later, died aged 76 on Sunday. He was due to be buried at his Bamako residence later on Friday.
Mali’s brutal conflict overshadowed Keita’s presidency, which along with a flagging economy and perceived government corruption, contributed to mass protests against him in 2020.
Young army officers led by Colonel Assimi Goita forced him out of office on August 18, 2020, detaining Keita and other leaders.
Under pressure from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the military group that emerged from the rebellion released Keita on August 27 the same year and sent to his residence in Bamako, under surveillance.
He suffered a mini-stroke the following month, and was sent to the United Arab Emirates for treatment.
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