At least one civilian was killed and several others injured on Wednesday, September 6, after a mine exploded near a passing vehicle as it traveled between Ansongo and Ménaka, on the Nigerien border. In a separate incident, a Malian soldier was killed early Wednesday morning in Ménaka after rebels attempted to steal a military vehicle.
Ménaka and the surrounding area has been under the control of the Azawad Movements Coordination (CMA), an umbrella group comprised of former Touareg rebels, since late July.
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. The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (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.
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