Overthrown Mali president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita
Overthrown Mali president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita left the country on Saturday seeking medical treatment in the United Arab Emirates, as talks about a transition back to civilian rule began.
Keita, 75, was hospitalised in the capital, Bamako, on Tuesday, six days after he was released from detention by the ruling military junta, which seized power on 18 August.
The medical visit will reportedly take 10-15 days and Keita’s medical condition is unclear.
It is reported that Keita left Mali with his wife, an attaché, two doctors and four security agents.
Keita’s health had been in question following his detention by the army for 10 days.
Keita was first elected in 2013 and had three years left on his term when mutinous soldiers detained him at his residence after firing shots outside his house.
Hours later, he appeared in midnight broadcast on state television, telling the public he would resign immediately so no blood would shed for him to stay in power.
Talks commenced on Saturday about the shape of the transition period with hundreds of government representatives, political parties and civil society groups in attendance.
Hours before the talks began, supporters of the M5-RPF coalition, the same group which led mass demonstrations against Keita before the coup, began to protest accusing military rulers of excluding them.
The M5-RPF’s protesting brought the opening ceremony to a halt and their protesting stopped when it was announced they would be allowed to participate.
The talks are scheduled to continue Sunday and then resume again late next week.