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Mali Travel Alert

Issued by US Department of State

Nov 21, 2013

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Mali that legislative elections are scheduled for November 24, 2013. A second round of voting is expected on December 15, 2013 in constituencies where no candidate obtains an absolute majority in the first round. The U.S. Embassy in Bamako has advised Embassy staff who are not participating in election monitoring on Sunday, November 24, and Sunday, December 15, to remain at home on these days. Private U.S. citizens should carefully consider taking similar precautions and are encouraged to remain vigilant. This Travel Alert expires on December 31, 2013.

With the impending legislative elections, demonstrations could occur in Bamako and various cities around the country. While the majority of these demonstrations are likely to be peaceful, it is always possible for an event to become disorderly and turn violent quickly without advance warning.

Security forces are likely to show a heavy presence around Bamako over the coming weeks, particularly at the usual locations of demonstrations: Independence Monument, Place de la Liberté, Ministry of Defense, and the National Assembly. Malian Police, Gendarmerie, and National Guard will be armed with riot gear, including tear gas, to prevent demonstrations from turning violent.

The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens to avoid these areas and large crowds over the coming weeks. We also urge U.S. citizens to maintain situational awareness at all times, to exercise caution, remain vigilant, and to take appropriate security precautions to ensure your own safety. It is good practice to carry a fully charged cell phone and copies of your identification at all times. You should avoid photographing any official object, including infrastructure, facilities, government buildings, and individuals, as it may be against local law.

If you are going to live in or travel to Mali, we urge you 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.

You can get Embassy updates by checking the Embassy’s website. 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 Warnings, including a Travel Warning for Mali, 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 App, available through iTunes and the Google Play Store, to have 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).

The U.S. Embassy in Bamako is located at ACI 2000, Rue 243 Porte 297. The Consular Section can be contacted at 223 2070 2505, or via email at consularbamako@state.gov. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, please contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Marine Guard at 223 2070 2301 or 2070 2302.

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