News

US Calls for End to Military Takeover in Mali

The United States is calling for the restoration of civilian authority in Mali, after soldiers on Thursday announced they have taken power in a coup d'état.  U.S. officials are reconsidering non-humanitarian assistance to Mali, following the takeover.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says the Obama administration stands with the legitimately-elected government of President Amadou Toumani Toure.  She says Mali has been a leading democracy in West Africa and its democratic institutions must be respected.

"The United States condemns the military seizure of power in Mali.  We echo the statements of the African Union, of ECOWAS, and of other international partners in denouncing these actions.  We've called for calm.  We've called for restoration of the civilian government under constitutional rule without delay, so that the elections can proceed as scheduled," Nuland said.

Mali was due to hold elections next month in which President Toure was expected to step down at the end of his second term.  Nuland says Washington hopes that the military action can be "quickly reversed," so Mali can get back to democratic governance.

With soldiers holding the presidential palace in Mali, there have been reports that President Toure is in or near the U.S. embassy in Bamako.  Nuland says that is not true.

The United States provides as much as $140 million a year in non-humanitarian security, economic and financial assistance to Mali.  Nuland says U.S. officials are meeting to determine what, if any of that assistance is appropriate to continue.  Humanitarian aid will not be affected.

Mutinous soldiers say they moved against President Toure because of what they cite as is his incompetence in fighting a rebellion by ethnic Tuareg rebels in northern Mali.  The January resumption of that conflict followed the return to Mali of Tuareg fighters, who were previously allied with former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Nuland says the change of power in Libya has affected security in the Sahel, with rebels again fighting for an independent, Islamic state.

"It's certainly true that there has been increasing concern inside Mali about Tuareg activity over the last number of months, in particular since the Tuaregs have had less to fight about in Libya and have moved on to Mali," she said.

Tuareg rebels have taken charge of several towns in the north in fighting that the United Nations says has driven at least 130,000 people from their homes.

With Mali's borders closed, mutinous soldiers say their new National Committee for the Recovery of Democracy and the Restoration of the State will hold elections after the country's territorial integrity is restored.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dan Aarms
March 22, 2012 5:31 PM
What is the problem? From the sounds of things, the inept president wasn't doing enough to prevent Muslim insurgents funded by Libya, and the military have removed him because he isn't protecting the people of Mali from radicals intent on bringing the country into the Islamic Caliphate being constructed in North Africa.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs