U.S. has deep concern for Mali, Ethiopia -Blinken

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrapped up his trip to the African continent on Saturday.

During his final stop, in Senegal's capital Dakar, Blinken expressed deep concern for the stability of neighboring country Mali - that country has experienced two coups in 18 months.

The Economic Community Of West African States or ECOWAS, the region's main political and economic bloc, imposed sanctions on Mali's transitional leaders earlier this month, after plans for presidential and legislative elections were abandoned.

Blinken said the U.S., France and partners in Africa want to see those elections happen and Mali return to constitutional rule through democratic elections.

"That's what we're hoping for, that's what we're looking to. And this is ultimately about the people of Mali and their aspirations for democracy, their aspirations for peace, their aspirations for development, and respect for human rights. And we look forward to taking the necessary steps to resume the full array of assistance, as soon as this democratically-elected government has taken office."

Blinken also used the last leg of the tour to express concerns over the ongoing hostilities in Ethiopia.

"We continue to push for an immediate end to hostilities, without pre-conditions, and for humanitarian access for the millions of people in northern Ethiopia who need life-saving aid. We continue to urge Americans to avail themselves to commercial flights out of the country and we are providing assistance to them to do so."

Blinken's visit to Africa also included talks in Kenya and Nigeria.

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