INTERNATIONAL – The man accused of having tried on July 20 to assassinate the transitional president in Mali, Colonel Assimi Goïta, with a knife, and who had since been in the hands of the Malian security services, has “died”, the Malian government said on Sunday July 25 in the evening.
“During the investigations (…), his state of health deteriorated. Admitted to the CHU Gabriel Touré, then to the CHU du Point G (two hospitals in Bamako, Editor’s note), he unfortunately died ”, the government said in a statement read on public television ORTM.
“An autopsy was immediately ordered to determine the cause of his death,” the statement said.
The assailant, whose identity has not been disclosed, rushed towards the strongman of Mali during the Eid al-Adha prayer in the Great Mosque of Bamako and tried to strike him with a blow. knife at the neck.
Colonel Goïta, author of two putsches in less than a year, including the one who overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on August 18, 2020, immediately received the support of his bodyguards who had mastered the aggressor. He had emerged from the attack unscathed.
His attacker, a young-looking man dressed in jeans and a white shirt, had been apprehended and taken away manually by State Security, the Malian intelligence services.
An investigation was opened “for attempted murder and endangering state security”, according to the authorities. The investigations “made it possible to highlight corroborative evidence of the aforementioned offenses,” the government stressed on Sunday.
“Not an isolated element”
The suspect was not presented at any time to the judicial authorities, a judicial source told AFP on Sunday evening who requested anonymity.
“The government recalls, however, that his death does not preclude the continuation of the investigation already underway at the level of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Commune II (of Bamako), especially since the first clues collected and the information collected indicate that he does not It was not an isolated element ”, noted the government, which had so far not favored any hypothesis.
The country is very unstable politically and in the grip of multifaceted violence since 2012.
“When you are a leader, there are always discontented people, there are people who, at any time, may want to try things to destabilize, to attempt isolated actions”, had declared a few hours after his attack Colonel Goïta, in saying go “very well”.
France, through its embassy in Bamako, had “strongly condemned the aggression”, a “shocking act that occurred on a particular day of peace and tolerance”. Paris called for “serenity for the continuation of the transition to its end”.
Bamako generally spared
The violence in Mali, which began with independence and then jihadist rebellions in the north, then spread to the center and south of the country, mingling with inter-communal conflicts and villainous attacks in areas where the influence of the ‘Condition is very low.
The phenomenon has for several years spread to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, where groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State organization also operate.
Bamako, usually relatively spared compared to the rest of the country, has seen a few jihadist attacks since 2015 and has been the scene of two coups d’état in less than a year.
The most recent, in May, was led by the same colonels, led by Colonel Assimi Goïta, as that of August 2020, and resulted in his inauguration as president of the transition.
The military have largely taken over power. But Colonel Goïta like the new government, appointed by the military, assured that they would keep the commitment to return orders to civilians after elections scheduled for February 27, 2022.
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