Mali Country Report
A major cabinet reshuffle in December 2017 indicates President Keita is preparing to contest the presidential election, which his new premier insists will be held on schedule on 29 July 2018. A series of public protests over June–August 2017 forced Keita to suspend a controversial referendum on constitutional amendments that would have strengthened his powers. The northern peace agreement has stalled and jihadist attacks are increasing, posing severe kidnap, death, and injury risks to security, humanitarian, and commercial personnel in northern and central Mali, as well as across borders. A new regional counter-terrorism force is unlikely to be effective in the six-month outlook. An attack on a tourist resort near Bamako in June 2017 underscores risks to venues visited byforeigners around the capital.
Mali embraces an economic liberalisation strategy and its government is so far well-disposed towards foreign investment, although French firms are likely to benefit from preferential treatment. Due to continuing insecurity, Mali's operational environment remains unstable and liable to change at short notice. Besides security, other challenges include regular labour strikes, public protests, corruption and inadequate infrastructure as road and rail networks are underdeveloped. Mali is landlocked and depends for imports and exports on seaports in neighbouring countries, including Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, and Togo.
The fusion of Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist groups based in Mali in March 2017 and their subsequent link-up with Islamic State affiliates have increased their capacity in northern and central Mali, and their ability to stage attacks across borders, such as in Burkinabé capital Ouagadougou in March 2018. The borders with Burkina Faso and Niger are particularly vulnerable. Islamic State-linked jihadists killed four US soldiers on the Nigerien side of the border in October 2017. Two foreigners were killed in a jihadist attack against a tourist resort near Bamako in June 2017. Despite financial pledges, a regional counter-terrorism force is unlikely to be effective in the six-month outlook.
The appointment of a premier from the north in a major government reshuffle in December 2017 indicates a focus on tackling Islamist militancy there, ahead of the presidential election due in July 2018. Nevertheless, the fusion in March 2017 of four Al-Qaeda linked jihadist groups, which want to scupper the 2015 northern peace deal, and their recent link-up with Islamic State affiliates deepen the conflict, which has spread to the centre and will likely remain intractable in the one-year outlook. An attack by Mali-based jihadists in Burkinabé capital Ouagadougou in March 2018 raises risks to other Sahelian capitals.
The suspension of a constitutional referendum in August 2017 following a series of demonstrations reduced short-term protest risks in Bamako, but protests against corruption, rising living costs, and insecurity are likely, particularly ahead of the presidential election due in July 2018. Intercommunal fighting poses stability risks in north and central Mali due to the stuttering peace agreement between the government and armed groups, and expanding operations by Islamist militant groups. Sporadic violent civilian protests are likely in Bamako, Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktu against UN and French forces.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for all travelers over the age of one year entering the country.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).
Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - chloroquine and proguanil (sometimes marketed as Paludrine ) or proguanil and atovaquone (sometimes marketed as Mepron).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Bamako's rainy season lasts from June to October and can lead to large-scale flash flooding and landslides. In July and August 2016, torrential rains hit the country, killing 14 people. Due to the lack of water drainage infrastructures, roads are often impassable and the supply of basic services disrupted.
Transportation conditions are particularly dangerous in Mali. With the exception of main roads, most roads are unpaved, posing a significant risk especially during the rainy season (June to October).
The lack of public lighting, dangerous driving habits, and old vehicles also increase the danger of driving. For any road travel, be sure to pack water, food, and fuel reserves. Only drive by daylight and take a vehicle with four-wheel drive. Travelers should also bring a GPS and a satellite phone. Make sure that the vehicle contains mechanical spare parts (wheels, cables, etc.). Accidents may easily escalate into a violent riot in the event of fatalities. In case of an accident, travelers should remain in their vehicle and proceed immediately to the nearest police station. On roads in northern and central Mali there is also the risk of mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs); driving should be avoided.
Long-distance road travel can be extremely dangerous. Bandits are active on the roads, always armed, and potentially violent. Carjackings are frequent throughout the country. It is advised to drive with doors locked and windows rolled up.
Finally, be advised that the rail lines connecting Bamako to Dakar are unsafe.
In addition to the general lack of in access to electricity throughout the territory (25.6 percent of the population has access), power cuts are common in Mali, particularly in Bamako.
Interruptions to the current water supply are regular, including in the capital. This is particularly due to a drought affecting the country but also to power outages that disrupt the operation of water pumping stations, as well as dilapidated water infrastructures. In the northern part of the country, the access rate to water is below the national average, mainly due to the insecurity prevailing in the region.
Individuals using internet in the country occasionally lose access to social networks, which are sometimes cut by the authorities.
Generally speaking, Mali's rainy season lasts from July until September, but is shorter in the Sahel region (in the north of the country). The further south you travel, the more common and abundant rains become. Temperatures can reach 30°C during the months of July, August, December, and January, even reaching 40°C - 50°C in certain regions.
|Police in Bamako:||20 22 52 27 or 20 22 52 28 or 20 22 44 05|
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz