Mali's president operated on in France for tumor

Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita delivers a speech during a conference at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France, in this October 21, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita underwent an operation at a hospital in Paris this week as part of treatment for a benign tumor on his neck, the presidency said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Keita, 71, who has served as president of the West African nation since 2013, was operated on for a parathyroid adenoma in a procedure on Tuesday described by the presidency as routine.

“The after effects are generally simple ... The recovery is progressing normally,” the statement said.

West and Central African nations, home to a number of long-serving leaders, often lack transparency with regards to the health of heads of state, a fact that regularly fuels rumors of serious illness.

Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Alison Williams