News

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
Comments
     
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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
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 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 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 Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
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.

VOA Blogs