After last friday’s seige at Radisson Hotel of Mali many countries have initiated travel adviseries against visiting it. All but necessary visits to some places that include the capital city of Bamako have been permitted. The places where permits have been totally cancelled are Tombouctou, Gao, Kidal and Mopti. Travel advisory clearly mentioned absolute avoidance of places near Radisson Hotel and total following of instructions given by local authorities.
Those who want to visit Mali will go there on individual risk and they will not get benefits of insurance either. Along with this no tour operator is offering its service and no major airline is directly flying there.
Why is it Unsafe
Some terror outfits linked to Al-Qaeda have been ruling Northern Mali for the whole 2012. French led military expedition has been successful in defeating them however sporadic violence is still continuing.
After coalition forces expeditions thwarted their motives, western people are on high risk zone of being kidnapped or killed and Mopti is one such place. Recently bomb attacks have taken place at Kidal, Gao, Timbuktu and Khalil. In addition most of foreign services activities are restricted to the capital citty of Bamako only.
In fact Mali was off tourists limits since 2012. The country was termed a high risk zone since 2009.
List of Recent Attacks
Several incidents of terror attacks targetting foreigners have been on rise and this year itself saw 2 big incidents. March 6th saw an attack on La Terrasse restaurant where 5 people were dead, including 2 Europeans along with several others injured.
August 7th saw a siege at local hotel of Sevare that lasted for several hours in which 12 people were killed including 2 foreigners.
Mali in its Past Glory
Best draw of Mali is obviously Timbuktu, ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’ which in past was epicentre of Islamic studies in whole of Africa. Prestigious Koranic Sankore University was home to renowned scholars of 15th as well as 16th centuries. Timbuktu’s Golden Age relics, its 3 gigantic mosques of Sankore, Djingareyber and Sidi Yahia were just awesome before their destruction by Islamic militia. However they have been restored since.
World’s largest mud structure at Djenne; Bandiagara escarpment and Tomb of Askia are some other attractions of Mali. Dogon people in their traditional mask dance attire would make an enigmatic atmosphere.
Once Segou used to be a popular tourist trail where tourist boats would sail along Niger River from Mopti to Timbuktu. Along with this, country’s popular ‘Festival au Desert’ was in hold since 2013 due to risky security conditions.