Sunday, March 25, 2012
U.S. trained Mali coup leader
The leader of the Mali coup Captain Amadou Sanogo participated in a U.S. training program and has visited the U.S. several times. Sanogo trained as a part of the U.S. International Military Education and Training Program. The program is sponsored by the State Department.
Participants are handpicked by U.S. embassy staff in the countries involved. Sanogo with soldiers loyal to him staged a coup and looted the presidential palace in the process. The democratically elected president Amadou Toure is being held by the coup leaders. Sanogo staged the coup just a month before elections.
Sanogo says that the government did not provide enough resources to fight Tuareg rebels in the north. No doubt he hopes that the U.S. or others will provide military aid. Some of the Tuareg fought for the Gadaffi regime in Libya.
The coup was relatively bloodless. The coup claims that three were killed and about 40 wounded. However, these are figures from those who staged the uprising.
Sanogo claims he will call an election as soon as he puts down aa Tuareg insurgency in the north of the country. Good luck! Tuareg rebellions began back in 1916 and there have been five since. The most recent rebels have merged as the National Movement for Liberation of Azawad. See this article.
There has been widespread looting by soldiers in Bamako. Sanogo blames the looting on ill intentioned individuals. These individuals of course are among those who brought him to power.
The U.S. has condemned the coup, so has the African Union. The African Union suspended Mali's membership in the Union. The U.S. will continue its 140 million dollar aid program and has no plans to suspend it. For more see this article.