Mali summons coup leader for questions over army violence

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 07, 2013 3:50 PM
Mali summons coup leader for questions over army violence

BAMAKO (Reuters) - The leader of a military coup that plunged Mali into chaos last year has been summoned for questioning over six deaths during an army protest in September, the justice ministry said on Thursday, calling the incident a "mutiny".

General Amadou Sanogo overthrew Mali's President Amandou Toumani Toure in March 2012 and al Qaeda-linked fighters then seized half the country until a French-led intervention this year broke their grip.

The justice ministry says six soldiers were killed and a colonel disappeared on September 30 during an army protest in the garrison town of Kati, about 20 km (12 miles) north of the capital.

"I confirm that there is a summons for General Amadou Haya Sanogo to explain facts related to the September 30 mutiny," Alassane Diarra, spokesman for the justice ministry, said.

Human Rights Watch says the incident was just one of several cases of army violence since the 2012 coup, underscoring the challenges faced by newly-elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in imposing order on the military.

A spokesman for Sanogo, Lieutenant Mohamed Boua Coulibaly, said: "We don't know anything and we have nothing to say."

(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Additional reporting by Adama Diarra; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)