Mali’s ousted leader Keita leaves hospital

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Mali’s former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, ousted recently in a coup, left the hospital on Thursday after being treated for a mini-stroke, sources said.

 

Keita may now head to the United Arab Emirates for further treatment, they added.

“Everything is going well. The test results look good,” said a medical source at the private health facility in the capital Bamako where the former president was treated.

A member of Keita’s entourage told AFP that he had returned home in the evening, adding that “the United Arab Emirates has agreed to send a medical plane to pick him up,” though details still had to be worked out.

Keita was forced out of office on August 18 by young military officers who staged an uprising at a base near Bamako before heading into the city, where they seized Keita and other leaders.

Under pressure by the West African bloc ECOWAS, the junta that emerged from the rebellion released Keita on August 27 and returned him to his residence in Bamako, under surveillance.

Keita, 75, was admitted to the private hospital on Tuesday after suffering what is called a transient ischaemic attack.

This occurs when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted for a few minutes, causing stroke-like symptoms such as numbness on one side of the body, vision difficulties or confusion in understanding speech.

These events are viewed seriously by doctors as they can be a precursor for a full-fledged stroke.

Earlier Thursday the head of Mali’s new junta visited the man he ousted in hospital.

“A delegation from the ruling military, led by Colonel Assimi Goita, visited (the) former president in the clinic,” a doctor told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Relatives of Keita confirmed the visit.

The junta has said that Keita is authorised to leave the country for medical care if need be.

Keita was ousted two years into his second five-year term.

In the weeks before the coup, he had been struggling with protests fuelled by his handling of a jihadist insurgency and failure to turn around Mali’s floundering economy.

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