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Men Convicted of Beating Mali Leader Sentenced to 6 Months

  • VOA News

People walk in front of the 'Palace of Justice' courthouse in Bamako, August 28, 2012.

People walk in front of the 'Palace of Justice' courthouse in Bamako, August 28, 2012.

Six men convicted of severely beating Mali's interim president have been sentenced to six months in prison for the attack.

A judge convicted and sentenced the men during proceedings in the capital, Bamako, on Wednesday.

The men were part of a group that broke into the office of Interim President Dioncounda Traore on May 21 and beat him until he was unconscious. Traore went to France for medical treatment and stayed there for two months.

Bamako residents who spoke to VOA say the sentence is light, but said they are satisfied there has been some accountability.

Authorities say the interim president's attackers supported the March 22 military coup led by Captain Amadou Sanogo.

Under intense international pressure, the coup leader later agreed to allow an interim government to return the country to civilian rule.

International leaders have expressed concern about the unity and stability of the interim government. There are claims the former junta is continuing to meddle in government affairs and may be trying to undermine the transition back to constitutional rule.

There is also regional and international concern about events in northern Mali, where Islamist militants allied with al-Qaida seized control of the region earlier this year.

The regional group ECOWAS has offered to send more than 3,000 troops to help Mali's interim government recapture the territory.
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