News / Asia

US Could Resume Direct Military Aid To Mali After Elections

A French Mirage 2000 fighter jet of the Nancy-based 3/3 Fighter Squadron Ardennes takes off early  for a Close Air Support (CAS) mission from Bamako's airport, Mali.A French Mirage 2000 fighter jet of the Nancy-based 3/3 Fighter Squadron Ardennes takes off early for a Close Air Support (CAS) mission from Bamako's airport, Mali.
A French Mirage 2000 fighter jet of the Nancy-based 3/3 Fighter Squadron Ardennes takes off early  for a Close Air Support (CAS) mission from Bamako's airport, Mali.
A French Mirage 2000 fighter jet of the Nancy-based 3/3 Fighter Squadron Ardennes takes off early for a Close Air Support (CAS) mission from Bamako's airport, Mali.
VOA News
A U.S. Congressional delegation visiting Mali says the United States is likely to provide more support to Mali's military after the country holds elections.

The head of the delegation, Senator Christopher Coons, told reporters Monday in Bamako the United States will probably resume direct support for Mali's military, but only after democracy is restored in the West African nation.

Coons says American law prohibits direct assistance to Mali's armed forces at present, because a military coup there last year toppled the elected government.

"American humanitarian assistance is continuing to Malians who have been displaced by the violence and American support for the work of democracy, the process of supporting elections will be provided after there is a full restoration of democracy. I would think it is likely that we will renew our direct support for the Malian military but we all must work together first for a successful election."

The United States has been providing refueling support and intelligence to a French military force that intervened in Mali last month to stop Islamist insurgents.

In another development, the European Union formally approved a plan to send 500 military personnel to Mali to help train the Malian army. EU officials say the personnel will not be involved in any combat.

French forces entered Mali last month when Islamic militants, who seized control of northern Mali last year, started to move towards the capital, Bamako.

West African troops have started to take over the mission from France. The United Nations is considering taking control of an international peacekeeping force.

Mali's government says it will hold presidential and parliamentary elections in July.

Senator Coons is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Africa and is leading a delegation of four U.S. lawmakers to Mali.

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Comment Sorting
by: Dr. Jeff Dorsey from: Miami FL
February 19, 2013 12:18 PM
People who understand Mali are very concerned about the rush to elections before the substantive changes needed to assure a true democratic outcome are in place. The corrupt behavior of the previous regime was not confined to the former president and a few ministers but was endemic throughout the entire government and society. The consensus approach of the previous administrations assured that graft was spread around and none of the major politicians and parties who benefited from it raised their voices for change.

Major changes have not been carried out to instill a sense of what is proper and what is improper in the use of positions and power within government for individual private gain and for the enrichment of political parties. Donors (even those normally known for having good control systems) are culpable for their failure to oversee funds provided through budgetary support where control systems are riddled with holes and for running projects through Government agencies where contracts were rigged and procurement systems were by-passed. Reports by the Bureau du Verificateur General confirm these problems. Donors need to address these structural problems before more sham elections are held which the people of Mali are fed up with.

by: US Observer from: USA
February 18, 2013 11:19 PM
What sort of support for democracy are we considering after the elections? The Malian and Tuareg conflict gave rise to both the coup and the Al Qaeda takeover of the northern regions. Democracy does not tend to last in the absence of a civil society. Mali is a reasonable example.
Civil society is based on mutually recognized common interests. Are we aware of any common interests b/w the groups? Are we helping them to recognize or develop any common interests?

by: Ogden from: Ellensburg
February 18, 2013 9:54 PM
I hope US would wake up and not to make similar stupid mistake it did in Afghanistan to humiliate this country and Americans again

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