Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our new puppet in Mali.

Trained in the U.S.A.

The United States has a long history of inadvertently (and sometimes not so inadvertently) training future coup plotters around the world.

BY JOSHUA E. KEATING | MARCH 28, 2012

AMADOU HAYA SANOGO

Country: Mali

Training: U.S. military officials have acknowledged that Sanogo "participated in several U.S.-funded International Military Education and Training (IMET) programs in the United States, including basic officer training," though it's not yet clear which courses he took. He has affirmed receiving U.S. training in several interviews, but has declined to elaborate. Until this month's events, the United States allocated $600,000 per year for military training in Mali as part of an effort to combat Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Back home: On March 22, Capt. Sanogo and a renegade group of officers calling themselves the National Committee for the Reestablishment of Democracy and the Restoration of the Stateoverthrew the government of President Amadou Toumani Touré. (Touré himself first took power in a 1991 coup but quickly handed over the presidency to a civilian government and was then elected a decade later.) The soldiers felt they were insufficiently supported in their fight against Tuareg rebels in the country's north. The junta has dissolved the country's governing institutions and closed its borders while several key international organizations have suspended Mali's membership. The United States has denounced the coup and cut off military aid.

Although Sanogo's supporters are already referring to him as le président, he has vowed that he will not cling to power and will quickly turn over his office to a civilian government, though this is a bit odd given that an election was already scheduled for next month.

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