US may give $32M to train African troops in Mali

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Photo -   Malian troops man an observation post outside Sevare, some 620 kms (400 miles) north of Mali's capital Bamako Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. One wing of Mali's Ansar Dine rebel group has split off to create its own movement, saying that they want to negotiate a solution to the crisis in Mali, in a declaration that indicates at least some of the members of the al-Qaida-linked group are searching for a way out of the extremist movement in the wake of French airstrikes. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Malian troops man an observation post outside Sevare, some 620 kms (400 miles) north of Mali's capital Bamako Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. One wing of Mali's Ansar Dine rebel group has split off to create its own movement, saying that they want to negotiate a solution to the crisis in Mali, in a declaration that indicates at least some of the members of the al-Qaida-linked group are searching for a way out of the extremist movement in the wake of French airstrikes. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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SEVARE, Mali (AP) — The Obama administration is seeking an additional $32 million to train African troops to fight Islamic extremists in Mali.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Friday the request had been made to Congress.

The United States is not providing any direct aid to the Malian government because the democratically elected president was overthrown in a coup last year.

However, it has been providing aid to the French-led mission, transporting French troops and equipment to Mali.

France has some 2,400 forces in the West African nation but says it wants African nations to take the lead in fighting the extremists who rule northern Mali.

The French-led operation began on Jan. 11 after the militants surged southward from their strongholds and took the town of Konna, later recaptured by government forces.

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