The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Mali due to ongoing terrorist attacks, criminal violence, and potential political instability. U.S. citizens in Mali are reminded to stay vigilant, remain aware of their surroundings, and exercise caution, especially at night. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated December 23, 2016.
The potential for terrorist attacks in Bamako is high. Locations frequented by Westerners and other expatriates, including but not limited to night clubs, hotels, restaurants, places of worship, and Western diplomatic missions are targets for attacks. On June 18, 2017 terrorists attacked a hotel/resort complex 24 km east of Bamako city center, a site frequented primarily by Westerners and other expatriates. This was the fourth attack on such a site in the Bamako region since 2015.
On April 28, 2017 the Government of Mali extended the State of Emergency by six months. Roadblocks and random police checkpoints, especially between sundown and sun-up, are common in Bamako and throughout the country.
Northern and Central Mali are high risk areas for terrorist attacks, armed conflict, and armed robbery. U.S. government personnel in Mali are restricted from these regions except for travel deemed to be mission critical.
Violent extremist groups targeting foreigners have claimed responsibility for multiple terrorist attacks throughout Mali over the past 12 months. In March 2017, four Al-Qa’ida-linked groups merged under the name of Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM or “Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims”). Terrorist groups are likely to continue, if not escalate, attacks on United Nations and Western targets throughout the Sahel.
Westerners have been kidnapped for profit and/or ideological motives. Several Western hostages are believed to be captive in Mali, including a U.S. citizen who was kidnapped in Niger in October, 2016.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Mali, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen(NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For further background information regarding FAA flight advisories and prohibitions for U.S. civil aviation, U.S. citizens should consult FAA's Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.
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