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US to play active military role in Mali: US Senator 19 Feb 2013 An American Senator says the United States is likely to play a more active military role in Mali, where a French-led war is raging, after the West African country holds elections. "There is the hope that there will be additional support from the United States in these and other areas, but... American law prohibits direct assistance to the Malian military following the coup," Senator Christopher Coons (D-DE), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Africa, told journalists in the Malian capital, Bamako, on Monday. The US has been providing intelligence, transport and mid-air refueling to France since it started its military campaign in Mali last month. US law prohibited direct assistance to Mali's armed forces because of last year's military coup, led by a US-trained Malian army captain, who toppled the country's elected government.