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Emergency Message from U.S. Embassy Bamako, Mali - Political Instability in Bamako (March 25, 2012)

March 25, 2012

This Emergency Message is to update American Citizens on the ongoing situation in Mali.  While the situation remains unclear, there is a momentary and relative calm in Bamako.  There are ongoing efforts by the African Union and ECOWAS to mediate between the different actors to restore democracy.  At this time, there is no indication what the outcome of these discussions will be. 

Sheltering in place remains prudent; however, the embassy has permitted official community members to venture out for brief local forays for essential shopping during daylight hours.  Most stores remain closed but produce stands and some bakeries are operating with limited supplies.  Certain areas of the city remain off limits to official Americans, particularly Centre Ville near the ORTM television station building and the Hôtel l’Amitié, which face each other.

The curfew imposed by the mutineers remains in effect between 1800 and 0600; shelter in place during those hours.  The airport and land borders remain closed, although there are reports the latter opened briefly to permit incoming cargo traffic.

Because of the current political instability, the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section is open for registration and emergency services only.  On Monday, March 26, the Embassy will be closed for a previously scheduled local holiday.  The Embassy anticipates re-opening with limited staffing on Tuesday, March 27, the consular section will be open for American Citizen Services only on Tuesday and Wednesday.  American citizens are encouraged to review their passports and other legal documentation.  You should seek to have at least 3 months remaining on the validity of your passport.

The American International School of Bamako will be closed next week, March 26-30, for Spring Break.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Bamako web site. You can 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, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.  If you don't have internet access, we have a call center for updates:  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 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except federal holidays).

You can also download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

If you are going to live in or travel to Mali, please take the time 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 family and friends 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.

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  For after-hours emergencies, please contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Marine Guard at +223 2070 2301 or 2070 2302.