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Mali seeks to arrest son of ex-president Keita

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MICHELE CATTANI/AFP or licensors -


Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for this man; Karim Keita, the eldest son of former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita who was overthrown in 2020 by a coup.

The red notice was issued at the request of Malian authorities who have been investigating Keita in a case concerning the disappearance of a journalist in 2016.

The existence of this notice -- which did not appear on the official website of Interpol on Monday evening -- targeting Karim Keita was confirmed to AFP by an official of the Interpol representative office in Mali who also requested anonymity.


The investigation against him concerns the disappearance of a 50-year-old investigative journalist, Birama Touré, who worked for the Bamako weekly Le Sphinx. He has not been seen since January 29, 2016, according to his family and the publication's director, Adama Dramé.

It's feared that he was abducted, tortured, and killed after several months in detention.

The director of Le Sphinx had claimed in 2018 that his ex-reporter had previously approached Karim Keïta about a file he presented as compromising for the president's son.

Believing he had been defamed by the Sphinx, Karim had filed a defamation complaint in 2019 against the director of the magazine and against a journalist from a private radio station in Bamako.

However, this defamation complaint was deemed inadmissible for formal reasons by the Malian justice system. The director of Sphinx, fearing for his safety, took refuge in France.

Disappeared from the radar

Karim Keïta, who is considered by many Malians to be the personification of the corruption of the regime of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, disappeared from the radar during the coup d'état of Colonel Assimi Goïta on 18 August 2020.

He reappeared a few days later in Ivory Coast.

Elected as a member of parliament in 2013, the year his father came to power, Keïta quit as head of the National Assembly's powerful Defense Committee, as protests against his father's rule gained momentum. 

The former President remains in Bamako where he has been living in his villa with his family since then, according to the new government, which refuses to state clearly whether he is free to move around or not.