Mali’s interim president has returned home from weeks of convalescence in Paris, after being beaten up by a mob supporting March’s military coup.
There was a warm welcome in Bamako for Diouncounda Traore. He was injured in May when opponents of a post-coup transition back to civilian government broke into his presidential palace.
“In life, one must forgive,” the 70-year-old said before he and his family were whisked away, along streets lined with supporters.
He is facing pressure to form a new unity government and authorise foreign military intervention against rebels in the north.
Emboldened by the coup, Islamists, dominated by al Qaeda’s North African wing, seized northern regions, sidelining local separatist Tuareg rebels.
The Islamists have sparked international condemnation by destroying centuries old mausoleums of saints in the UNESCO-listed city of Timbuktu.