US Condemns Mali Violence

Posted May 25th, 2012 at 1:20 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has strongly condemned this week's violence in Mali and called on coup leader Amadou Sanogo and his allies to stand aside and allow for the restoration of civilian rule.

A State Department spokeswoman said Friday that the U.S. calls on Mali's soldiers to return to their roles as defenders of the constitution. She said U.S. will “remain alert” to any efforts, civilian or military, to deprive Mali's citizens of a speedy return to stable, democratic government.

She said the U.S. will pursue sanctions on those who attempt to undermine the process.

On Thursday, a Malian government spokesman said the transitional authority remains focused on organizing elections and resolving the Tuareg rebellion in the north, after the country's interim president was attacked earlier this week.

Hamadoune Toure told VOA the government is committed to a deal between interim president Dioncounda Traore, coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo, and the Economic Community of West African States to extend Mr. Traore's mandate for one year.

Members of the pro-junta political coalition, COPAM, told VOA Wednesday they have chosen Captain Sanogo to replace Mr. Traore as head of the transition, but no public announcement has been made.

Mr. Traore traveled to Paris Wednesday to seek medical treatment. The interim leader was injured Monday when protesters overpowered guards at the presidential palace and attacked him in his office.

Mr. Traore's chief of staff, Issa Togo, told VOA the interim president is fine and had returned to work Tuesday before traveling to France. He said Mr. Traore goes to Paris every year at this time for a medical checkup.