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Stalemate In Mali


A national guard soldier walks by demonstrators at Bamako airport, Mali, March 29, 2012. (N. Palus / VOA)

The United States is deeply concerned by the continuing unrest in Mali and the latest round of violence there.

The situation in Mali’s capital Bamako continues to improve, but sporadic skirmishes continued over the weekend in and around the city between troops who oppose and those who support the military officers who forced former President Amadou Toumani Toure out of office in the March 22 coup.

Leaders of the junta-led National Committee for the Recovery of Democracy and the Restoration of the State, or CNRD, say they have put down an alleged counter-coup and retain control of key infrastructure, including the state broadcasting network and the airport. The CNRD continues to arrest opposition troops and some public figures.

The United States is deeply concerned by the continuing unrest in Mali and the latest round of violence there. We offer our sincere condolences to the Malian people for their suffering and loss of life during this troubled period.

We remind all parties that the world is watching. You must reject the atmosphere of senseless reprisals and adhere to the highest standards of international law regarding the arrest and treatment of prisoners.

We also reaffirm our support for a peaceful, negotiated return to constitutional democracy under the guidance of the Economic Community of West African States and the interim government led by President Dioncounda Traore and Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra. We call for elections to be held as soon as possible so Mali can fully restore democratic government and begin to address the problem of insecurity and the humanitarian crisis in the north. And we urge all Malians to practice respect for the cultural heritage of all groups.

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