Mali Coup Led By U.S. Africa Command-Trained Officer
March 24, 2012
Mali coup led by US-trained captain
A US Africa Command official confirmed on Friday the leader of military coup d’état in Mali has visited the US on several occasions, receiving professional military education.
Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo participated in the America’s International Military Education and Training program, sponsored by the US State Department, Public Affairs representative Patrick Barnes revealed to The Washington Post.
Foreign officers are handpicked for the program by US embassies in respective countries. The Malian army is very small, consisting of only 7,000 personnel. With the given small number of officers in this army, it is no wonder that Sanogo had a good chance to get to the US.
On March 22, just a month before a presidential election in the country, Sanogo and soldiers loyal to him stormed the presidential palace in the capital Bamako and overthrew President Amadou Toumani Toure.
The reason for the rebellion was stated as the existing leadership’s relaxed attitude towards Touareg tribes’ insurrection in this north-western African country.
The coup claimed three lives, leaving about 40 wounded.
The rebel soldiers are currently busy looting throughout the city of Bamako.
Despite condemning the coup, the US is not planning to reconsider its $140-million aid program to Mali in 2012.
Conversely, on Friday the African Union suspended Mali’s membership of that organization.