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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs