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U.S. frustrated with Malian mediation

WASHINGTON, March 30 (UPI) -- Washington is very disappointed that African leaders weren't able to go to Mali because of pro-junta demonstrations, the U.S. State Department said.

A delegation of leaders from the Economic Community of West African States canceled plans to arrive in Mali because of pro-coup demonstrations on the ground.

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Malian Capt. Amadou Sango this week helped orchestrate a coup that toppled the government of President Amadou Toumani Toure.

Washington, in response to the coup, suspended military assistance to Mali and is said to be considering a suspension of further aid.

Mark Toner, a spokesman for the State Department, said the U.S. government was "very disappointed" the ECOWAS delegation couldn't land in Mali because of the demonstrations.

"We support their efforts to achieve a swift return to civilian rule in Mali but obviously this is a disappointment that they weren't able to land and actually talk to the mutineers," he said.

Coup supporters said they weren't happy with how the deposed president had dealt with an insurgency backed by Tuareg rebels in northern Mali.

Tuareg rebels fought alongside fighters loyal to former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Rebel leaders Friday told the BBC they captured more territory in the north of the country.

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