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Mali ex-president Keita dies two years after coup ouster

Mali’s interim government issued a statement hailing the memory of the illustrious Keita

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Mali ex-president Keita dies two years after coup ouster
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Bamako: Mali’s former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who led the West African country from 2013 until he was ousted in a coup in 2020, died at the age of 76 in the capital Bamako on Sunday, his family said.

Looming over most of Keita’s presidency was the militant insurgency that has rocked the poor Sahel country since 2012, while his toppling marked the rise of the military junta which is now under regional sanctions for failing to restore civilian rule.

Mali’s interim government issued a statement hailing “the memory of the illustrious” Keita, adding that the former president died “after a long illness”.

Keita was forced out of office on August 18, 2020, 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.

Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop said he was “saddened to learn of the death of former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita”, adding that “it is with great emotion that I bow before his memory”.

Macky Sall, president of neighbouring Senegal, said in a Tweet he was “saddened” by the news, while Niger’s ex-president Mahamadou Issoufou, a former comrade of Keita’s in the Socialist International, hailed him as “a cultured man, a great patriot and a pan-Africanist”.

Politicians and other public figures went to Keita’s home southwest of Bamako to offer their condolences, with police guarding the entrances, according to AFP journalists at the scene.

The government statement said funeral plans would be announced at a later date.

– Protests, coups –

In the weeks before the 2020 coup, Keita had been struggling with protests fuelled by his handling of the jihadist insurgency and failure to turn around Mali’s floundering economy.

Snail-paced political reforms, decrepit public services and schools, and a widely shared perception of government corruption also fed anti-Keita sentiment, driving tens of thousands of protesters into the streets.

Seized by the putschists, the junta that emerged from the rebellion — under pressure from the West African bloc ECOWAS — released Keita weeks later and returned him 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. He had been based at his Bamako home since staying out of public life.

The ruling junta would stage another coup in May 2021, toppling a civilian transitional government.

The junta had vowed to hold elections next month to transition the country back to civilian rule. But at the end of the last year, the junta revised its timetable, saying it could stay in power for up to five years.

In response, ECOWAS agreed to sanction Mali earlier this month, imposing a trade embargo and shutting borders, in a decision backed by the United States, the European Union and former colonial power France.

Landlocked Mali, one of the world’s poorest countries, is already feeling the effects of the sanctions, prompting thousands to protest in Bamako on Friday.

– Political veteran –

The son of a civil servant, Keita was born in the southern industrial city of Koutiala, the declining heartland of cotton production.

After studying literature in Mali, Senegal and France, Keita became an adviser for the EU’s overseas development fund before heading a development project in northern Mali.

He then rose through the ranks under Alpha Oumar Konare, the country’s first democratically elected president.

As a socialist prime minister between 1994 and 2000, he quelled a series of crippling strikes, earning a reputation as a firm leader and helping to set up his landslide election in 2013.

Keita was then re-elected in the 2018 elections, beating opposition leader Soumaila Cisse, who died in December 2020 of Covid.

Cisse’s kidnapping by jihadists in March 2020 further illustrated Keita’s inability to stop the violence, with rising public outrage culminating in the coup months later.

Source: AFP

Faisal Waqas

Faisal Waqas is a passionate journalist who has eight years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has previously worked with other renowned private TV channels as well as English Newspaper and now associated with GNN as Senior Content Writer. Faisal has graduated from the University of Punjab and earned his M.Phil degree in Mass Communication from Superior University of Lahore.

Sports

Tennis star Nadal makes entry into French Open last 16

The Spaniard is now 108-3 at Roland Garros in his career

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Tennis star Nadal makes entry into French Open last 16

Rafael Nadal continued his pursuit of a 14th French Open title, cruising past Dutch 26th seed Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to reach the last 16 on Friday.

The 21-time major champion will play Canadian ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime for a place in the quarter-finals, where world number one Novak Djokovic could await him.

Nadal is now 108-3 at Roland Garros in his career.

"I think I played a good match against a good player. I'm very happy to win," said Nadal.

The Spaniard had a break point for 5-0 in the third set, but Van de Zandschulp refused to roll over, winning four of the next five games before Nadal put away his second match point, having saved a break point in between the two.

"You always feel a little bit the nerves to finish the match, so I'm happy to be through in straight sets," said Nadal.

"I think it was my best match of the tournament so far for two-and-a-half sets, so I'm very happy with that."

Nadal has reached at least the fourth round in 17 of 18 visits to Paris, with the exception of 2016 when he withdrew in the third round with a wrist injury.

SOURCE: AFP

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Pakistan

Shehroze Kashif becomes youngest-ever to summit top five highest mountain peaks

He achieved the feat on Saturday

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Shehroze Kashif becomes youngest-ever to summit top five highest mountain peaks

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Shehroze Kashif became the youngest mountaineer ever to scale top five highest mountain peaks in the world.

Shehroze aka ‘The Broad Boy’ achieved the unique feat after summiting 8463m-high Makalu – the fifth highest mountain in the world.

This is his third summit of a mountain over 8000m in this month. On May 16, Kashif summited the 8516m-high Lhotse is Nepal.

On May 6, Kashif summited the 8586m-high Kangchenjunga Mountain, which is the world’s third-highest mountain.

He is the only Pakistan mountaineer to summit three mountains over 8000m in a month.

Kashif was the first Pakistani, and also the youngest man ever, to summit the Kanchenjunga Mountain. He also holds two Guinness records of the youngest ever to summit both K2 and Mount Everest.

On July 27, 2021, Kashif summited K2, the second tallest peak in the world. He scaled the 8,611-metre high peak with the aid of bottled oxygen. Before Kashif, Sajid Sadpara, the son of the legendary climber Muhammad Ali Sadpara, was the youngest person to have climbed K2 at the age of 20.

Earlier, he scaled the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, at the age of 19.

The young mountaineer who hails from Lahore started climbing at the age of 11. His first summit was Makra Peak (3885m). At 12, he climbed the 4080m Musa Ka Massalah and 4600m Chembra peak.

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Pakistan

Govt coalition agrees on name of Justice (r) Maqbool Baqar as Chairman NAB

The government believes the Opposition Leader will also support the government's pick

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Govt coalition agrees on name of Justice (r) Maqbool Baqar as Chairman NAB

Islamabad: The government and its coalition partners have agreed on name of Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar as the new Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

According to sources privy with the development, the name of a former Supreme Court judge came under discussion during a meeting of Prime Minister Imran Khan and former president Asif Ali Zardari.

Sources further said that Government believes the Opposition Leader of the National Assembly will also support the government pick as Maqbool Baqar’s judicial career is spotless.

Government members are hopeful that if all goes smoothly, Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar will be the new head of the anti-graft watchdog. 

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