Supporters of former President Amadou Toumani Touré recently announced that he will visit the capital city of Bamako on Sunday, December 24. According to Touré’s relatives, he and his wife will make a short visit, but return to Dakar before January 1. The Malian government has not confirmed Touré’s trip as of Thursday, December 21, but local sources indicate that it is very likely. Expect increased security measures and possible demonstrations in Bamako if Touré visits the city.
Touré served as president from 2002 until March 22, 2012, when he was removed from office during a military coup. Military officers decided to stage the coup in protest over the government’s response to the Tuareg insurgency in the northern parts of the country. Touré has been living in Dakar in exile since April 2012 after agreeing to resign from office.
Individuals present in Bamako are advised to monitor the situation, obey all instructions issued by the local authorities, and avoid all gatherings as violence may flare up without warning.
On a more general note, the security environment in Mali remains complex, particularly in the north and central regions, and professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel. Due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevailing 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.