US Joins Condemnation of Mali Coup

Renegade Malian soldiers appear on television at the ORTM television studio in Bamako in this March 22, 2012. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS.
Renegade Malian soldiers appear on television at the ORTM television studio in Bamako in this March 22, 2012. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS.

The United States is considering a cutoff in non-humanitarian aid to Mali after the apparent overthrow of Mali's President Amadou Toumani Toure by mutinous soldiers.

The U.S. State Department says federal agencies will meet Thursday to discuss the future of about $140 million in economic, security, and anti-terrorism funding. Humanitarian aid would not be affected.

Earlier, the White House joined the African Union, European Union and other world institutions in condemning the takeover.

A group of soldiers declared a coup d'etat on Malian TV Thursday, after seizing control of state broadcasting services and the presidential palace.

The soldiers say they acted because of the president's incompetence in fighting a rebellion by ethnic Tuaregs in Mali's north.

The chairman of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, released a statement strongly condemning the rebellion and saying it has "no justification whatsoever."

The European Union is calling for constitutional rule to be re-established as soon as possible. Former colonial power France said it is suspending cooperation with Mali, while urging that Toure not be harmed.

The president's whereabouts are not clear, though some media reports say he is being protected by his presidential guard at an army camp.

The U.S. embassy released a statement saying Toure is not there or at any other U.S. government residence.

Watch related video

Leanne Cannon, the embassy's assistant public affairs officer, told VOA that the capital, Bamako, was largely quiet by Thursday evening but that sporadic gunfire could still be heard.

The apparent coup took place just a few weeks before the president was due to step down at the end of his second term. Mali is due to hold elections next month.

Soldiers and their families had expressed increasing frustration with the president and what they considered a lack of weapons to fight the Taureg rebels. The rebels have taken over several towns in the north and the fighting has forced tens of thousands of Malians to flee their homes.

The coup leaders announced Thursday they were closing the country's borders, had suspended the constitution and created a new committee to rule the country.

Kasim Traore, a VOA reporter in the capital, Bamako, said the soldiers pledged to hold elections once national unity is restored and territorial integrity is re-established.

"The long night has ended with a group of soldiers making a declaration on national television - the national television station that was occupied by soldiers Wednesday morning - and they declared they had ended the regime of Amadou Toumani Toure, and put in place the 'National Committee for the Recovery of Democracy and the Restoration of State,' following an attack at the presidential palace and following the protest at the Kati military camp, directed by Captain Amadou Aya Sanogo. The captain told the population to stay calm, and said the committee does not have any ambitions to hold on to power," said Traore.

Tuareg separatists started attacking army bases in Mali's desert in January, after many Tuareg fighters returned from Libya, where they had assisted ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. The United Nations refugee agency says the conflict has uprooted 130,000 people in and around Mali. Many soldiers have died in the conflict.

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

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Kwame
March 22, 2012 1:55 PM
U.S. and her allies, please rewind and go back to your archieves, especially to the mid-sixties and read for yourselves what you were saying about coups which you instigated against progressive governments in Africa, Now you are urging African nations to interfere in the affairs of their neighbours. What a shame! Truly, the evil that men do lives after them forever.

by: Aaron
March 22, 2012 1:44 PM
The proud nation of Mali must guard against ethnic reprisals in light of the recent upheavals. All groups must sit and consult on how to achieve true stability and move forward w/o certain "outsiders" trying to take advantage.
Regardless of skin color, Malians are one. Don't fall prey to "The Great Myth of Differences Based on Skin Color"!!

by: nyamwange dennis
March 22, 2012 12:43 PM
it is unfortunate for this kind of solution happens in africa if at all it is a solution to the sufferings of the people of africa. "war has no eyes!"

by: abdulai bah
March 22, 2012 12:06 PM
As one of the few bright spots in Africa Mali is now slipping into chaos and anarchy. Hopefully the rest of the military will understand they stand to gain more in a peaceful and democratic Mali. Wish the the people of Mali good luck.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs