Militants from the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) launched a mortar attack against the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) camp at the Timbuktu Airport on the morning of Thursday, June 1. The camp also hosts a French unit from the Barkhane force operating as part of a separate counter-terrorism operation; several French soldiers were reportedly wounded, including one in serious condition.
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 who are stationed throughout the Sahel. Additionally, the United Nations' ongoing presence in the country, MINUSMA, is one of the largest UN peacekeeping missions in the world.
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. 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.