Passport

Was the Mali coup leader trained in the U.S.?

An interesting nugget from the AP’s latest dispatch from Bamako: A diplomat who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press said that [Capt. Amadou Haya] Sanogo, the coup leader, was among the elite tier of soldiers selected by the U.S. Embassy to receive military counterterrorism training in America. Sanogo, the ...

An interesting nugget from the AP's latest dispatch from Bamako:

A diplomat who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press said that [Capt. Amadou Haya] Sanogo, the coup leader, was among the elite tier of soldiers selected by the U.S. Embassy to receive military counterterrorism training in America. Sanogo, the official said, traveled "several times" to America for the special training.

That means that he had to pass a background check indicating that he was not complicit in any human rights crimes. The official requested not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

An interesting nugget from the AP’s latest dispatch from Bamako:

A diplomat who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press said that [Capt. Amadou Haya] Sanogo, the coup leader, was among the elite tier of soldiers selected by the U.S. Embassy to receive military counterterrorism training in America. Sanogo, the official said, traveled "several times" to America for the special training.

That means that he had to pass a background check indicating that he was not complicit in any human rights crimes. The official requested not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

As blogger Laura Seay quips, "your tax dollars at work."

The U.S. hasn’t yet made a decision on whether to cut off military assistance to Mali following the coup.  According to State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, annual U.S. assistance to Mali is around $137 million, about half of which is humanitarian aid. France suspended its military cooperation with Mali yesterday.

See also: Elizabeth Dickinson’s post from 2010 on why coups always seem to be led by captains or colonels not generals. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

More from Foreign Policy

The Taliban delegation leaves the hotel after meeting with representatives of Russia, China, the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Qatar in Moscow on March 19.

China and the Taliban Begin Their Romance

Beijing has its eyes set on using Afghanistan as a strategic corridor once U.S. troops are out of the way.

An Afghan security member pours gasoline over a pile of seized drugs and alcoholic drinks

The Taliban Are Breaking Bad

Meth is even more profitable than heroin—and is turbocharging the insurgency.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya addresses the U.N. Security Council from her office in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Sept. 4, 2020.

Belarus’s Unlikely New Leader

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya didn’t set out to challenge a brutal dictatorship.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid

What the Taliban Takeover Means for India

Kabul’s swift collapse leaves New Delhi with significant security concerns.