At least 30 suspected Islamist militants attacked and set fire to the construction site of a dam located in Djenné (central Mopti region), on Thursday, March 8. The assailants reportedly gathered all the employees, including South Korean nationals, and sent them away before setting fire to the site and fleeing. No casualties have been reported.
The dam was expected to be inaugurated in July. The project will also include the building of a cross-river bridge leading to Djenné; currently, there is only a ferry service. Once operational, the dam will allow for the irrigation of 50,000 hectares of land upstream.
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, in addition to the presence of local military troops.
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.