On Thursday, March 22, suspected jihadist militants fired several mortars or rockets at the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) camp in Kidal (Kidal region), wounding five French soldiers. According to local sources, security forces subsequently arrested four suspects. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The attack took place on the same day that Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga is scheduled to visit the city of Kidal. This will be the first visit by a senior level government official to Kidal since May 2014. Maïga's visit is part of the peace and reconciliation agreement that was signed in Algiers in 2015.
Due to the presence of various armed groups, Mali's northern and central regions remain unstable despite a French-led intervention launched in 2013 that drove many extremists from their strongholds. France maintains approximately 4000 troops stationed throughout the Sahel, in addition to the presence of local military troops.
The security environment in Mali remains complex, particularly in the north and central regions. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.