Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta announced on Monday, November 11, that the military has launched a large-scale offensive targeting jihadists in the central Mopti region. The offensive is being conducted by the Malian Army (FAMa), the air force, and French Barkhane forces. As of Wednesday, November 13, the military has confirmed that several militants have been killed during the operations.
A heightened security presence is expected in the region over the near term. An increase in engagements between military forces and militants are also anticipated during the offensive.
The offensive was organized after almost 100 Malian soldiers were killed by jihadists within the past month. Islamic State (IS) militants claimed responsibility for conducting separate attacks on November 1-2 that left at least 55 people dead.
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.
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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