`Mali coup leader trained with US military`

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 09:59

Washington: Mali`s coup leader, Captain
Amadou Sanogo, attended at least five training courses with the American military since 1998, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday.

While releasing details of the training, spokeswoman
Major Monica Matoush told AFP that instruction for foreign
soldiers stresses democratic rule and "the actions of the
mutineers run contrary to everything that is taught in US
military schools."

Sanogo, who leads a group of rebel soldiers calling
themselves the National Committee for the Establishment of
Democracy, has made no secret of his American training and has
been seen wearing a US Marine Corps pin.

Sanogo attended one Marine Corps class, the staff
noncommissioned officer academy career course in Quantico,
Virginia in 2003, officials said.

He also graduated from four other classes with the US
Army: a basic non-commissioned officer course at Fort Benning
in Georgia in 1998, a language instruction course in 2004, an
intelligence basic officer`s course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona in 2007 and an infantry basic officer`s course at Fort Benning in 2010, according to Matoush.

Despite the coup in Mali, the Pentagon said that training
for visiting soldiers and officers has had a positive effect
in Africa by promoting civilian control of the armed forces
and respect for human rights.

"To note, the number of military seizures in Africa has
decreased greatly from the 80s and 90s," Matoush said in an
email. "This is a partial reflection of US and other Western
engagement and training efforts."

The coup leaders in Mali are facing condemnation at home
and abroad for their ouster of President Amadou Toumani Toure
on March 22, launched in anger over the regime`s handling of a
northern Tuareg rebellion.

The African Union has suspended Mali as a result of the putsch, and the United States, Europe and Canada have frozen
aid.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 09:59

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