Conflict & Justice

Amadou Sanogo, Mali coup leader, denounces looting (PHOTOS)


Rebel soldiers announce on Malian state TV that they have seized control of the country, suspending the constitution and dissolving institutions because of Mali's "incompetent" government.



Mali coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo has denounced the looting in Bamako, the capital, following the overthrow of the government.

Sanogo, in a message on state television, blamed the looting on "ill-intentioned individuals" wearing uniforms, the BBC reported.

He said the looting was an attempt to turn public opinion against the coup.

"Yesterday, I obtained concrete proof that ill-intentioned individuals were wearing uniforms of the police, the army, in order to break this coup, just to turn the population, to turn opinion against us," Sanogo said.

"I urge all Malians, at whatever level, to stop without delay these acts of vandalism and pillaging... This is not our mission, nor our cause, nor our objective."

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President President Amadou Toumani Toure's whereabouts are still unclear. Some reports have placed Toure at an unspecified army camp, under the protection of loyalist soldiers.

Sanogo in a previous state TV address said that Toure was safe and in good health, but did not say where the president was, or who with. Sanogo has promised to hand power back to an elected government after a rebellion led by the nomadic Tuareg desert tribe has been put down.

Soldiers took control of the state broadcaster before storming and looting the presidential palace Thursday, in what was initially described as a mutiny. The soldiers said they seized control out of frustration at their "incompetent" government's handling of a Tuareg rebellion in the country's north.

The rebellion is thought to have claimed dozens of lives, although Mali's government has not released an official death toll. Clashes between the rebels and government forces have displaced nearly 200,000 people. 

Mali has been under democratic rule for the last 20 years, and Toure is due to step down after the presidential election scheduled for April 29.

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