Suspect Accused Of Trying To Assassinate Mali President Mysteriously Dies In Custody

Suspect Accused Of Trying To Assassinate Mali President Mysteriously Dies In Custody

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By Spy Uganda Correspondent 

A man accused of trying to stab Mali’s interim president, Assimi Goïta, last week has died in custody, the government has confirmed.

The suspect, whose identity has not been revealed was taken into custody following the assassination attempt at Bamako’s Grand Mosque on Tuesday.

“During the investigation, his health deteriorated” and he was then hospitalized but “unfortunately, he has died,” the government said in a statement on Sunday.

A man armed with a knife lunged at Goita after Eid prayers on Tuesday, according to news sources at the scene.

Goita was whisked away by his security officials and later appeared on state TV to say he was doing “very well”.

“That’s part of being a leader, there are always malcontents, there are people who at any time may want to try things to cause instability,” Goita said.

His attacker, a young-looking man dressed in jeans and a white shirt, was apprehended at the scene and taken away by the Malian intelligence services.

The suspect was never presented to judicial authorities, a source revealed to the press adding that his identity was not revealed, but commissioner Sadio Tomoda said on late Tuesday that he was a teacher, without elaborating.

Prosecutors had opened an inquiry into the incident however, the government said the suspect’s death was not an obstacle to continuing the investigation, “especially since preliminary evidence and intelligence gathered indicate that he was not an isolated element”.

The attack capped months of political turmoil in a country that has rarely enjoyed stability since gaining independence from France in 1960.

Goita, a special forces colonel in his late thirties, headed a putsch last August that overthrew elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after weeks of protests over corruption and a bloody rebellion.

The military in the face of international condemnation handed power to a civilian-led transitional government that promised to restore civilian rule in February 2022.

But in late May, Goita who was vice president in the transitional government, overthrew President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane saying they had sought to “sabotage” the handover.

In June, with Goita as interim president, a new government was unveiled with military figures in key roles.

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