The location and status of Mali's president have been unknown since he was ousted in a coup on Thursday, but on Friday the African Union said President Amadou Toumani Touré was safe and near the capital, right after it suspended Mali's membership. The European Union has also suspended development aid it had been sending to Mali, but the United States said its humanitarian aid would keep flowing.
Touré is being protected by a small group of loyalists, according Reuters, which cites African Union Commission chairman Jean King. "The president is in Mali for sure. The assurances we are getting from those that are protecting him is he is not far from Bamako," King told reporters. While the African Union sends a mission to Mali to assess the situation, the country will get by on reduced foreign aid. The United States said it would continue to send its $137 million in annual assistance, more than half of which is humanitarian aid and the rest military, but that the military aid could be suspended if democracy's not restored, the Associated Press reported. Meanwhile, "the European Union's executive arm planned to allocate 583 million euros ($772 million) of development aid to Mali between 2008 and 2013," AFP reported, but those plans are now on hold.