Mali interim president, Dioncounda Traore released from hospital
Mali interim President Dioncounda Traore has been released from hospital, a day after being attacked by protesters, according to local media reports Tuesday.
Traore sustained injuries to his head, chest and back after demonstrators flooded into Bamako’s presidential palace on Monday.
According to reports, the 70-year-old former mathematician was discharged from hospital in the early hours of Tuesday and spent the night at his residence amid heightened security.
According to West Africa analyst Abdou Aine, Monday’s attack was a further “shock” to what was already a fragile political transition in Africa’s third gold-producing country.
“Mali has been on the brink, with strong tensions for many weeks,” Aine told dpa. “Monday’s attack on Toure shows just how tense and worrying the situation has become,” he said.
Late Monday, Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra gave an address live on state broadcaster ORTM, saying “Mali does not deserve this.”
“We can’t comprehend that the head of the state was attacked in front of security forces,” Diarra said. “It’s unacceptable.”
The attack occurred as demonstrators flooded to the presidential palace in protest against a decision by regional West Africa bloc ECOWAS to keep Traore in power beyond his original allocated 40 days, in order to allow Mali to prepare for fresh presidential elections.
The country has been at an impasse since soldiers seized power in a March 22 coup, ousting the democratically-elected government just weeks before President Amadou Toumani Toure was due to step down, in keeping with Mali’s constitution.
Since then, separatist rebels have made key gains in the north-east of the country, winning the towns of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal, and prompting the departure of at least 160,000 Malians, who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries where NGOs say the humanitarian situation is dire and the worsening of a food security crisis is imminent.
Source: Ghana News Agency