Mali Country Report
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was re-elected in a second-round run-off against opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé on 12 August 2018 with 67% of the vote. Increasing jihadist violence was highlighted by an attack on the regional G5 counter-terrorism force headquarters in June 2018. The force is unlikely to be effective in the six-month outlook, necessitating continued reliance on foreign troops. Violent attacks, using suicide devices, are likely to escalate, posing severe kidnap, death, and injury risks to military, UN, humanitarian, and commercial personnel in northern and central Mali, as well as across borders. Intercommunal fighting has also increased, posing further security concerns. Post-election opposition demonstrations are likely to be violently dispersed bypolice, posing traffic disruption and property damage risks in Bamako and major cities.
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. Further 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.
Terrorism risks have increased, highlighted by sophisticated attacks against the headquarters of the regional G5 counter-terrorism force in Sevaré in June 2018 and the UN base in Timbuktu in April 2018. 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. The borders with Burkina Faso and Niger are particularly vulnerable, where jihadists are further exploiting traditional intercommunal rivalries. The G5 force continues to suffer from logistical and financial constraints.
Interstate war risks are low due to Mali's close counter-terrorism co-operation with its neighbours. Despite the appointment of a premier from the north in a major reshuffle in December 2017, the government has been unable to reduce insurgencies in central and northern Mali. 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 will likely remain intractable in the one-year outlook. Intercommunal violence is rising.
Opposition protests against a perceived unfair presidential election were violently dispersed by police using tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition in June 2018. The suspension of a constitutional referendum in August 2017 following a series of demonstrations is an indicator of popular influence. Intercommunal fighting poses stability risks in north and central Mali due to the faltering 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