The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens of a planned protest in Bamako on Friday, January 16, against the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. A radio program has called for participants to gather around 4:00 p.m. near the Place de la Liberté, but the program has not indicated whether the intention is to demonstrate in place or to march from the square to another location.
While the U.S. Embassy does not expect this demonstration to turn violent, there will likely be a heavy security presence and traffic diversions during the event. The Embassy has recommended that its staff avoid the area on Friday afternoon, and private U.S. citizens are advised to do the same.
Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations. If you find yourself near a demonstration, leave the area. If it is not safe to do so, maintain a low profile until you are able to relocate.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Mali despite the Travel Warning enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at travel.state.gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you do not have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Mali. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.
Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.