US could resume direct Mali military aid after elections

By REUTERS
February 19, 2013 03:07

BAMAKO, Mali - The United States is likely to eventually resume direct support for Mali's military, but only after full restoration of democracy through elections, the head of a visiting US Congress delegation said on Monday.

Senator Christopher Coons, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Africa, was leading the first American congressional visit to the West African nation since France sent a military force there last month to halt an offensive by al-Qaida-allied insurgents.

The United States has been providing airlift and refueling support for the French-led operation involving hundreds of French and African troops that has driven the Islamist rebels from a string of northern Malian towns in the last five weeks.


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