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Mali Army Captain Apologizes for Coup

  • VOA News

Mali's junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo speaks during news conference at his headquarters, Kati, April 2012 file photo.

Mali's junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo speaks during news conference at his headquarters, Kati, April 2012 file photo.

The army officer behind last year's destabilizing coup in Mali has asked the Malian people for forgiveness.

Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo issued an apology for his actions late Wednesday at a ceremony aimed at reconciling factions of the army.

Sanogo led the soldiers who overthrew President Amadou Toure in March 2012. The coup allowed Islamist militant groups to seize the northern half of the country.

They stayed in power 10 months until a French-led military campaign ousted them early this year.

After the coup, the army's pro-junta Green Berets led a purge of the Red Berets who were loyal to former president Toure. The Red Berets were disbanded, with many going missing or being imprisoned and tortured.

Interim President Dioncounda Traore announced at Wednesday's ceremony that all Red Beret soldiers that were incarcerated have been released.

Mali is due to hold a presidential election July 28.
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