On Thursday, October 25, the Malian government announced the extension of the current state of emergency for one year through October 2019. The state of emergency, last extended for one year in October 2017, was scheduled to end on Wednesday, October 31. The Council of Ministers approved the order a day prior as a means to reinforce the government's ability "to prevent the threat of attacks on people and their goods."
Mali has been under a state of emergency since November 2015, when armed men stormed the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, leaving at least 20 people dead (including 14 foreign nationals). The attack was later claimed by militant group Al-Mourabitoun, in conjunction with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
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. An international military coalition, led by France, and peacekeepers from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), maintain a significant presence in Mali as part of efforts to combat Islamist extremist groups. Most groups are affiliated with Al-Qa'ida - under the Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) umbrella - or the Islamic State.
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.
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