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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs