Former Malian Prime Minister, Modibo Keita has died at the age of 78.
Incumbent Prime Minister, Moctar Ouane announced Keita’s demise but did not reveal the cause of his death.
The news of Keita’s death came just a day after the funeral of opposition leader Soumaila Cisse, who died of COVID-19 in late December.
Keita served as Mali’s Prime Minister from 2015 to 2017.
The deceased was the third Prime Minister under President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was ousted in a coup in August 2020.
From 2014 until his appointment as prime minister, Modibo Keita had been the president’s representative for peace talks between the government and Tuareg rebel groups waging an insurgency in the country’s conflict-ravaged north.
The rebels signed a peace agreement in mid-2015, but jihadist activity continued under the government of Modibo Keïta and beyond, spreading to the centre of the country and into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger. The crisis resulted in thousands of civilian and military deaths since 2012.
Modibo Keita had previously served as Transitional Prime Minister from March to June 2002 under Alpha Oumar Konare. Initially a school teacher, he held multiple positions in the administration and government of Mali, as Minister, Ambassador, and Secretary-General at the presidency.