A man accused of attempting to assassinate Mali’s president has died in custody.
The government announced on Sunday that a man accused of attempting to assassinate Mali’s military strongman Assimi Goita, the man behind two coups in less than a year, had died in detention.
Following the attempted assassination in Bamako’s Grand Mosque on Tuesday, the suspect, whose identity has not been released, was apprehended.
His health deteriorated throughout the investigation, and he was hospitalized, but “unfortunately, he died,” the government said in a statement.
It went on to say that an autopsy had been requested right away to identify the cause of death.
According to an AFP reporter on the scene, a guy armed with a knife leapt towards Goita after Eid al-Adha prayers on Tuesday.
Goita was rushed away by his security detail and later appeared on state television to announce he was doing “quite well,” downplaying the gravity of the incident.
He explained, “It’s part of being a leader, there are always malcontents.”
“There are people who may wish to try to generate instability at any time.”
His assailant, a young man clad in trousers and a white shirt, was captured on the spot and taken away by Malian intelligence.
According to an anonymous source who spoke to AFP on Sunday, the suspect was never submitted to legal authorities.
His identity has not been revealed, but commissioner Sadio Tomoda stated late Tuesday that he was a teacher without providing any details.
An investigation into the incident had been launched by prosecutors.
The government stated on Sunday that the suspect’s death would not prevent the probe from continuing, “particularly because early evidence and intelligence acquired show that he was not an isolated element.”
The incident came at the culmination of months of political turbulence in a country that has struggled to maintain stability since its 1960 independence from France.
After weeks of protests over graft and a brutal jihadist insurgency, Goita, a special forces colonel in his late thirties, led a putsch last August that ousted elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Despite worldwide outrage, the junta transferred power to a civilian-led transitional administration in February 2022, promising to restore civilian rule.
However, in late May, Goita, the transitional government’s vice president, deposed president Bah Ndaw and premier Moctar Ouane, accusing them of attempting to “wreck” the handover.
A new administration was revealed in June, with military figures playing significant responsibilities, with Goita as provisional president.
In the face of mounting criticism from the African Union and the West African regional body ECOWAS, Goita assured that the government would honor all agreements and that a stage would be set. Brief News from Washington Newsday.