Seventy-Five year-old former Malian leader, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, has been hospitalised after suffering a brief stroke-like attack, a doctor said Wednesday. This is coming barely two weeks after he was removed in a military coup instigated by the opposition and supported largely by many Malians.
“According to thorough analysis, the president was the victim of a transient ischaemic attack. It is an alert, but he is recovering well at the moment,” a doctor at the facility said.
A transient ischaemic attack, also called a mini-stroke, happens 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.
Although the symptoms are typically short-lasting, they are often a warning sign for future strokes, experts say. Earlier Wednesday, an aide to Keita and a medical source had said the former president had been admitted to the clinic for a routine checkup and that he was expected to return home in the coming hours.
Asked how long Keita would stay, the doctor said: “It’s true, his return home was initially envisaged for today, but right now he is under observation.” The president was ousted by young military officers who mutinied at a base near Bamako before heading into the city, where they seized Keita and other leaders.
Hours later, Keita announced on national TV that he was stepping down. He was released on August 27 by the new junta, who returned him to his residence in Bamako, where according to his entourage he has limited access to a phone and the internet. The junta has said that Keita is authorised to leave the country for medical care if need be.
Keita, who was two years into his second five-year term, had been battling mounting protests fuelled by his handling of a bloody jihadist insurgency and failure to turn around Mali’s floundering economy.