Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Recent Uptick in Violent Crime in Bamako

U.S. Embassy Bamako, Mali

Security Message for U.S. Citizens

Recent Uptick in Violent Crime in Bamako

 November 19, 2014

The U.S. Embassy in Bamako is issuing this Security Message to make U.S. citizens aware of a recent uptick in armed carjackings in Bamako.  While no injuries have been reported, U.S. citizens should remain vigilant in guarding their personal security.

In the past several months, the Embassy has received several reports of armed carjackings by unknown assailants in Sebenikoro, Hippodrome, and near the American International School of Bamako.  In some instances, the carjackings appear to have been planned, while in others, they appear random.  The incidents follow a pattern of drivers being flagged down by other motorists or motorcyclists, sometimes displaying a weapon and sometimes appearing to be in need of help.

The Embassy advises U.S. citizens to follow general security precautions, including but not limited to the following, regardless of location:

  • Be alert and remain vigilant while driving
  • Do not make unplanned stops
  • Avoid driving alone at night
  • Keep car doors locked and windows up, even if the need arises to speak to someone outside of the vehicle
  • Be aware of your environment

If you are forced to stop your vehicle, comply with the demands of would-be assailants, as they may be armed.  When asked to stop by police, stop only in well-lit areas, or places where several officers are posted.

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  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 onTwitter 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  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.