Photo: AP/Harouna Traore
The European Commission has announced the temporary suspension of development aid to Mali following a military coup in the country.The streets of Mali’s capital Bamako were calm today, according to AP reports, but the leaders of the coup which saw soldiers storm the presidential compound yesterday refuse to say where the president is being held.
Last night the coup leaders said President Amadou Toumani Toure was “safe and well”.
In a statement this morning, Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said that the funding would be suspended “until the situation clarifies”, but said that humanitarian aid would not be affected by the decision.
“I reiterate the call of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, for a speedy resolution of the crisis, restoration of constitutional order and the holding of democratic elections as soon as possible,” he said.
“In the face of the deteriorating security situation in the North of Mali and the looming food crisis in the region I urge all the parties to ensure protection of civilians and respect for human life.”
The Commission has allocated €583 million in development aid to Mali for the 2008-2013 period.
Toure came to power in a coup in 1991 and was voted in through democratic elections in 2002.
Soldiers stormed state television and the presidential palace on Wednesday, announcing early yesterday that they had seized control of the country and dissolved all national institutions in protest over the state’s handling of an insurgency in the north.
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