On Tuesday, August 6, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced it would temporarily suspend operations in the Timbuktu region due to rising insecurity and the associated risks to its staff. The announcement followed a carjacking near its Timbuktu city offices and the theft of ICRC vehicles on August 5-6.
The incidents in Timbuktu come as a soldier was killed in an ambush in Cinzana (Ségou region) on Tuesday, August 6, while one soldier and two civilians were killed near Dinangourou (Mopti region) on Monday, August 5, in a roadside bomb explosion.
Due to the presence of various armed groups, Mali's northern and central regions remain unstable despite the presence of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), one of the largest UN peacekeeping missions in the world. Since 2013, some 170 peacekeepers have been killed in Mali.
The security environment in Mali remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
Due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the country, all those present in Mali are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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