US holds off on cutting Mali aid despite coup

AP News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2012 1:09 PM
US holds off on cutting Mali aid despite coup

The U.S. is holding off on suspending military aid to Mali despite this week's coup by government soldiers.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says humanitarian aid makes up more than half of the $137 million in annual U.S. assistance to the African country. That money won't be affected.

Nuland says the rest is military aid, which could be halted if democracy isn't restored.

But she cautioned Friday that officials are holding back from taking that step while a West African mission seeks to end the crisis by restoring Mali's democratic government.

Army mutineers claim they overthrew the government because it mishandled an ethnic insurgency in northern Mali. Tuareg rebels threatened three strategic northern towns Friday.