The ousted President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, has died aged 76, family and former colleagues say.

Last year he suffered a minor stroke but the cause of his death was not immediately clear.

He died at 09:00 GMT on Sunday at his home in the capital Bamako, a member of his family told AFP news agency.

Mr Keïta led Mali for seven years until 2020, when he was ousted in a coup after huge anti-government protests over his handling of jihadist unrest.

An economic crisis and disputed elections also fuelled the demonstrations against his rule.

Weeks after he was ousted he suffered a minor stroke and was flown to the United Arab Emirates for medical treatment.

Mali’s new military rulers staged a second coup in May of last year, announcing a further three-year delay to elections that were meant to happen this February.

This last action made them the target of sanctions this week by the EU as well as its neighbours in the West African regional bloc Ecowas.

Mali, already plunged into a serious security and political crisis since the outbreak of independence and jihadist insurgencies in 2012, has also been facing heavy sanctions from ECOWAS for a week.

Mr Keita, who claimed to be a leftist, had a meteoric rise under Alpha Oumar Konare, the first president (1992-2002) of the democratic era of Mali. He was Prime Minister from 1994 to 2000.

An unsuccessful candidate in the 2002 presidential election, he took his revenge by acceding to the Koulouba Palace, the seat of the Malian presidency in Bamako, in 2013.

He was re-elected in 2018 against Soumaïla Cissé, then leader of the opposition, who died in December 2020 of Covid-19.

The coup that toppled him in August 2020 was followed by a second one in May 2021. The junta led by Colonel Assimi Goïta has announced its intention to rule the country for several years, although it had previously committed to organising presidential and legislative elections on 27 February to allow the return of civilians to power.

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