Former Mali president is back to Bamako

FILE - In this Tuesday, June 30, 2020 file photo, Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita poses for a group photograph during the G5 Sahel summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Mutinous soldiers surrounded the private residence of Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 firing shots into the air and deepening fears of a coup attempt following several months of demonstrations calling for his resignation. (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP, File)/NAI105/20231633785110/TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2020 POOL FILE PHOTO/2008181938

Former Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, overthrown in mid-August by a military coup, returned to Bamako Wednesday evening after a medical stay in the United Arab Emirates. His supporters were there to welcome him.

The procession arrives at the private home of former president Ibrahim Boubakar Keïta. The vehicles enter … we will not see the former head of state in person, but outside, his supporters rejoice. “I am very very very happy!” exclaimed a lady who had been waiting there for an hour. The security of the house of the former president is reinforced. A young shopkeeper also welcomes him: “I welcome him, better health, healing (…) that he remains in his country, like a head of family …”

Arrested by the military on 18 August, President Keïta, 75, resigned a few hours later. Detained by the junta for more than two weeks, he was allowed to leave Mali on September 5 to receive treatment in the United Arab Emirates. His decision to go abroad for treatment was made after a fall due, according to his doctors, to a short stroke.

The former president came back quite healthy after the care he received, so perhaps it is not politically appropriate to make it a thing of the past right away. One of his supporters, who came to welcome him, shows us pictures stuck to a banner: “These are my mother and my children, we all support IBK! ».

At a time when the transition president Bah N’Daw’s beginnings are rather laborious, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta’s next actions will be observed with a magnifying glass.


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