Significant Dates in January
January 13, 2014
The U.S. Embassy in Mali is issuing this security message to alert U.S. citizens that the month of January 2014 contains several significant dates that may be attractive for extremist groups to conduct attacks to gain international attention. On January 4, 2014, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the militant leader responsible for the attack on the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria, declared his continued intention to attack France and her allies for the ongoing military intervention in northern Mali. The one-year anniversary of the In Amenas attack is January 16. Moreover, the Muslim holidays of the prophet’s birthday and baptism on January 14 and 20, Malian Armed Forces Day on January 20, and the one-year anniversary of the start of the French intervention in Mali, offer potential dates for extremist groups to mount attacks in hopes of sending a stronger statement of their capacity.
While the Embassy is not aware of any specific threat information at this time, it takes this opportunity to remind U.S. citizens that the security situation in Mali remains fluid. Malian security forces will likely show a heavy presence around Bamako during the holiday events. The U.S. Embassy in Mali reminds U.S. citizens to review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. You should maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security, and follow instructions of local authorities.
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). 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.
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution and travel information, including the Travel Warning for Mali, 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.
In addition to information on the internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, from other countries, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday, Eastern Time (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 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.