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Emergency Message

U.S. Embassy Bamako, Mali: Emergency Message For U.S. Citizens- Civil Unrest in Bamako Area

February 2, 2012

The U.S. Embassy in Bamako is issuing this Emergency Message to inform U.S. citizens of the on-going conflict and security situations in Mali.

Anger over recent military deaths in the North spilled into violent protests in Kati on February 1 and began spreading throughout the nation on February 2. Protest incidents, including some attacks on businesses, residences, and cars, were reported in Bamako, Kati, Segou, Sikasso, Koulikoro and Gao. We encourage all U.S. citizens to limit their movements over the next few days, to exercise caution, remain vigilant, maintain situational awareness at all times, and to take appropriate security precautions to ensure your own safety. Monitor the local media for up-to-date information and consult the Embassy's website for further information and Emergency Messages which may suggest additional safety and security measures.

In addition, conflict continues in the north of Mali between the National Movement for Liberation of the Azawad (MNLA), other armed groups, and the Malian military. The situation is unpredictable and instability could spread. Private citizens have not been targeted, but the MNLA has indicated via its websites that it intends to conduct military operations across northern Mali.

The U.S. Embassy in Bamako continues to strongly recommend that U.S. citizens avoid travel to northern Mali. U.S. citizens may review the most recent Travel Warning for Mali issued by the Department of State on October 4, 2011, warning U.S. citizens of the risk of traveling to Mali and potential threats of kidnapping to westerners in Mali.  U.S. citizens are encouraged to maintain a heightened sense of security and to practice good personal security measures. Our previous Emergency Messages have noted that, on November 25, a German national was killed and a Dutch, a South African, and a Swedish national were kidnapped in Timbuktu. These incidents followed the November 24 kidnapping of two French nationals in Hombori, in eastern Mali.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the website of the U.S. Embassy in Bamako. You can also get global updates at the U.S. Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warning, Travel Alerts,and Country Specific Information. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well, or you can download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App for travel information at your fingertips.  If you don't have internet access, current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, or for callers from other countries, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

If you are going to live in or travel to Mali, please take the time to tell us about your trip by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency.  You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date. It is important during enrollment or updating of information to include your current phone number and current email address where you can be reached in case of an emergency.

The Embassy cannot prevent you from travelling to locations despite our Travel Warning. For your personal safety and security and the peace of mind of your family and friends, it is useful for you to notify us in advance of your travel plans via STEP. The U.S. Embassy in Bamako is located at ACI 2000, Rue 243 Porte 297. The Consular Section can be contacted at +223 20 70 25 05, or via email at consularbamako@state.gov. For after-hours emergencies, please contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Marine Guard at (+223) 20 70 23 01 or 20 70 23 02.