The United States has suspended all cooperation with Mali’s military following the overthrow of the Malian president by army officers, the U.S. envoy to West Africa’s Sahel region said on Friday. This comes despite thousands of Malians celebrating the overthrow in the streets of the capital of Bamako.
U.S. envoy J. Peter Pham told the press that the U.S. condemns the overthrow of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. Yet he specified that a decision on whether to formally designate the actions as a coup had to go through a legal review.
“Let me say categorically there is no further training or support of Malian armed forces full-stop. We have halted everything until such time as we can clarify the situation,” Pham said to the media.
Pham’s comments are important since if Washington were to officially designate Keita’s overthrow as a coup, that could result in a total cut-off of direct support to the Malian government. A Pentagon spokesperson referred on Friday to the removal of Keita as an “act of mutiny.”