Former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK), who died less than 18 months after being deposed in a coup, was honored by Mali’s military administration on Friday, as the junta that overthrew him confronts deepening international isolation over election delays.
Keita, who went by the initials IBK and died at the age of 76, was last seen on official television under distress after rebellious soldiers surrounded his house and fired bullets in the air. He resigned as president, claiming that he didn’t want to be kept in power by bloodshed.
IBK was famous in France and other Western allies, but he faced mounting political resistance during his second term in government, particularly following disputed parliamentary elections in early 2020.
In the months leading up to his downfall, tens of thousands of people marched in the streets.
New regional sanctions preventing flights to Mali were believed to limit the number of heads of state who may have wanted to attend the burial.
Local official attendee
Malian Prime Minister Choguel Kokala Maiga, a civilian leader in the administration still run by the man behind the August 2020 coup, Col. Assimi Goita, was among those who attended Keita’s state-like burial.
Foreign official attendee
The lone foreign official announced at the event was a representative from neighboring Guinea, which is likewise ruled by a military dictatorship.
Cause of death
According to aides, Keita sought medical care in another country after resigning. Mali’s military administration merely said he died after a long illness in a statement.