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US says coup turmoil risks Mali's territorial integrity

WASHINGTON - The United States warned on Tuesday that Mali's political crisis was putting the territorial integrity of the large West African state at risk and called again on coup leaders to immediately return power to civilian authorities.
The State Department said the United States fully supported moves by the 15-member ECOWAS bloc of West African states to impose diplomatic, trade and financial sanctions on Mali's junta and urged armed rebels in the north of the country to cease military operations."Mali's territorial integrity is at stake, and its political institutions will be further weakened if Captain Amadou Sanogo and his supporters do not release their illegitimate grip on Mali and its people immediately," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
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