Mali Public Announcement

Issued by U.S. State Department

Nov 02, 2007

This Public Announcement is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to security concerns in Mali.  Due to recent armed conflict, kidnappings, and the presence of landmines, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid travel to northern Mali.  Areas of particular concern include the Mali-Niger and Mali-Algeria borders, the Kidal region, and the city of Tinzawaten.  This Public Announcement expires on January 30, 2008.

On August 26-27, 2007, Tuareg dissidents attacked and kidnapped civilian and military convoys near the Mali-Niger border.  On August 30, a truck transporting civilians from Algeria to Tinzawaten hit a landmine, killing at least 14 people.  In September 2007, the Malian military garrison at Tinzawatan clashed with armed rebels.  While the government of Mali is working to strengthen security in northern Mali and achieve a peaceful settlement, the area remains unstable.

Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has a presence in northern Mali, and was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States.  The presence of AQIM and other armed groups in the north present potential dangers to travelers.

Many people who reside in or visit northern Mali travel with security escorts.  However, the August 2007 convoy attack on agricultural researchers (escorted by Malian military personnel) illustrated that this does not ensure safety.  U.S. government employees, including those on temporary duty, must be given special permission before traveling north of the Niger River, including to Kidal, Tessalit, Lere, Goundam, Essakane, and Menaka towns.

Americans planning travel to the northern regions of Mali despite this Public Announcement, including those planning to attend music festivals like the Festival in the Desert in Essakane or Sahara Nights Festival at Essouk, as well as Americans residing or traveling in Mali, are urged to register with the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy through the State Departments travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  The Embassy is located at ACI 2000 at Rue 243, Porte 297.   The Embassy's mailing address is B.P. 34, Bamako, Mali.  The telephone number is (223) 270-2300.  The consular fax number is (223) 270-2340.  The Embassy webpage is http://mali.usembassy.gov.

Updated information on travel and security in Mali may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  For further information, please consult the Consular Information Sheet for Mali and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov

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