The military's meddling in state affairs has concerned the international community. Many worry that supporting the operation will simply further arm and embolden the very officers responsible for Mali's current state.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland called Diarra's arrest a setback for Mali. "We need Sanogo and his brothers-in-arms to stay out of politics," she told reporters.
The U.N. Security Council threatened to impose sanctions against those blocking a return to constitutional order in Mali and called on the armed forces to stop interfering in state affairs.
The council is currently considering a French-drafted resolution that would authorize the training and deployment of a Malian-led force to oust al-Qaida and allied militants who have seized the north and call for political reconciliation and a roadmap for a political transition, including elections.
The United States has proposed amendments that would slow the military process, initially authorizing training but holding up on authorizing the deployment of Malian and African troops for a second resolution because of concerns that the soldiers lack training in desert fighting, council diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because negotiations have been private.
France's U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud told reporters Wednesday the question isn't whether there should be one or two resolutions but to determine how the Security Council can best monitor the political process and the military force once it is deployed.
"I'm quite convinced we will have an agreement between us for next week," he said.
As for the Malian military's ouster of the prime minister, Araud said "it shows how much there is a crisis in this country, that we can't simply let the things going on because at any moment everything could become much more serious."
Associated Press Writer Edith M. Lederer contributed to this report from the United Nations
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