News

    Mali Coup Leader Calls for Calm

    Soldiers secure the area along a road outside the presidential palace after a military coup in Bamako, Mali, Friday March 23, 2012.
    Soldiers secure the area along a road outside the presidential palace after a military coup in Bamako, Mali, Friday March 23, 2012.

    The men behind Mali's surprise coup are calling for calm, trying to reassure a wary public faced with looting and growing shortages of food and fuel.

    Mali's state-run television Saturday aired a statement by coup leader Amadou Sanogo intended to dispel rumors that he had been killed.

    "I am Captain Sanogo and I am here in good health, all is well," he said.

    Sanogo also said his men's primary mission was to preserve Mali's territorial integrity and "the security of people and their belongings."

    Video from Mali's capital has shown widespread looting, with debris scattered in the streets.  Some residents say they are afraid to go out, accusing soldiers of taking what they want at gunpoint.

    There have also been long lines at gas stations.  And fears are growing that food and fuel are running out.

    Coup spokesman Amadou Konare used state TV to demand gas stations reopen.

    ''The president of the CNRDR is calling all owners of petrol stations to open the stations without delay in order that the people can have access to supplies.  Security measures had been taken since 0400 am in order to secure them," he said.

    Tense situation

    Despite the assurances, the situation remains tense, and coup leaders have sought to clamp down on dissent.

    Early Saturday, soldiers went to the home of Kassoum Tapo, a prominent member of the Democratic Alliance of Mali, one of the countries leading opposition parties, and arrested him.  Tapo, who had been critical of the coup on French radio, was later released, but other politicians have told the French news agency they fear for their safety and have gone into hiding.

    President Toure

    Meanwhile, questions remain about the whereabouts of ousted President Amadou Toure.  Sanogo told the Associated Press Saturday that none of his soldiers are protecting Mr. Toure, and refused to say if he knew Mr. Toure's location.

    The African Union has said President Toure is safe at an undisclosed location near the capital, Bamako, and is being protected by loyalists.

    Wednesday's bloodless coup has been the subject of international criticism, with condemnation coming from the United States, the European Union and the AU, which also suspended Mali's membership Friday.  The EU and World Bank have also suspended development aid to the West African nation.

    Tuareg issue

    Mali's coup leader is also facing trouble from ethnic Tuareg rebels, who have used the coup to press ahead with their goal of an independent north.  

    Sanogo said a prime reason for the coup was president Toure's poor handling of the rebellion. But Tuareg rebels have pushed forward, taking up positions abandoned by a Malian army that appears to be in disarray.

    On Friday, a member of the rebel MNLA's political wing said the group was willing to discuss an end to hostilities.  Hama Ag Mahmoud also said, the MNLA had no desire to become entagled in Mali's internal struggles.

    "We are ready to negotiate but there are conditions - the incumbent [president] must be well established, representative and have the political class behind him; and we must have guarantees from big country powers, like the European Union, the United States, France, etc,'' he said.

    Well-armed Tuareg separatists started attacking army bases in Mali's desert in January after many Tuareg fighters returned from Libya.

    The U.N. refugee agency says the conflict has uprooted more than 190,000 people in and around Mali.  Many soldiers have died in the conflict.

    Tuareg nomads have launched periodic uprisings for greater autonomy in Mali and Niger.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of the city. They vow a siege will not be over quickly. But their plans are not being helped by squabbles breaking out among insurgent commanders.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Co-Ed Selective Service Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.