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US to suspend estimated $60-70 million aid to Mali
Publié le lundi 26 mars 2012   |  Reuters

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The United States said on M onday it will suspend some aid to Mali after last week's coup, saying it estimated $60 million to $70 million may be affected but it would keep giving food and humanitarian assistance.

"We have now taken a decision to suspend our assistance to the government of Mali pending a resolution of the situation," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. "We want to see the elected government restored as quickly as possible."

"We will continue ... to provide humanitarian and food assistance to those displaced by the conflict in the north and those affected by the region's food crisis but the rest of our government-to-government assistance will be suspended," Nuland told reporters at her daily briefing.

Last week's coup ousting President Amadou Toumani Toure was born out of frustration among mainly low-ranking soldiers over a lack of equipment to battle Tuareg-led rebels fighting for independence for the vast desert north.

"A little more than half of our $140 million (in aid to Mali) is food assistance, so I am expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of $60-$70 million in assistance will be suspended but we'll have better numbers for you later on," Nuland added.

The spokeswoman said the United States yet to make a formal determination as to whether a military coup has taken place in Mali, a finding that would require it to cut off most aid.

It adopted a similar position toward Honduras following the June 2009 ouster of Manuel Zelaya as president, suspending some aid but holding off on a formal finding as to whether a coup took place so as to allow time for a diplomatic solution.

"We're still considering this a 'mutiny' with uncertain results," Nuland said. U.S. law bars aid "to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree."


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