US weighs $137 million in aid to Mali after coup

AP News
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Posted: Mar 22, 2012 7:24 PM
US weighs $137 million in aid to Mali after coup

The Obama administration on Thursday weighed the future of military aid to Mali after soldiers in the African country ousted their president and declared a coup.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said no decision had been made, but said officials were talking about whether to suspend the $137 million in annual U.S. counterterrorism and other assistance to Mali.

Meanwhile, U.S. anti-poverty aid was immediately affected as the Millennium Challenge Corp. said it would halt its development operations in the country.

The agency only works with countries "that that demonstrate a clear commitment to good governance, economic freedom and investing in their citizens," said chief executive Daniel W. Yohannes.

Army mutineers said they overthrew the government because of its mishandling of an ethnic insurgency in northern Mali.

Nuland wouldn't call it a coup. She expressed hope the "military action" could quickly be reversed so that Mali returns to democratic governance.

The U.S. has long cited Mali as an African example of a thriving democracy, and the White House also condemned the violence in the country and voiced support for its president, Amadou Toumani Toure.