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Mali: EU suspends its military and police training after coup

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Military junta annouced that is has freed former Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita this thursday.

The EU has said it will "temporarily" suspend its army and police training missions in Mali after the military coup that overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on August 18th.

The bloc's decision was announced by the EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrel after a meeting in Berlin with the defense ministers from the bloc's 27 member countries.

"We don't train the armies to be putschists," Borrell said.

"None of the four most prominent leaders of this military movement against the president Boubacar, have been trained by our mission."

"They have been training in Russia and in the US."

He added that he hoped the missions would continue "as soon as possible".

The EU mission has trained about eighteen thousand soldiers and recently announced that it is expanding its training mandate to Niger and Burkina Faso.

The military junta now running Mali is seeking to rule until 2023, despite calls from the international community for a quick return to civilian rule.