Country Risk Code: Extreme
Mali is considered high-risk as many governments advise their citizens not to travel there. Due to banditry, insecurity, civil unrest, and the high rise in terrorist attacks, having Mali insurance is vital. Ensure you get comprehensive Mali comprehensive insurance before taking a trip to this high-risk West African Country.
Mali Political Landscape
In January 2013, after the French/African military intervention, there became a high risk of violence and attack against foreign visitors. These attacks were frequent and targeted at the UN employees and international security forces. Subsequently, in 2015, a peace treaty was signed between the conflicting groups, but the treaty failed to hold. Following the accumulated dismay with the Tuareg revolt and the active operation of al Qaeda in the north, there was a coup d'etat in Mali. The majority of Malians believed that President Toure’s administration made little effort to oppose the Tuareg rebellion. Also, President Toure’s administration had an arrangement with Al Qaeda to protect his government from being attacked. Consequently, some army officers decided to act since president Toure was reluctant to resolve the problem. The coup incited violence and chaos throughout the capital and other parts of the country, alongside widespread looting. About 48 hours later, the coup leader gave orders for armies to return to the barracks and called for the looting to end. However, the political situation in Mali remains unstable and hasn't experienced much difference since 2013.
Potential Risks in Mali
As much as the Malian government aims to promote the Malian economy by encouraging investment in certain economic sectors such as modern technology, infrastructure, and agriculture, political instability and insecurity have characterized the economy, making the development relatively slow. There is the risk of terrorist attacks and kidnaps. The risk of banditry, kidnapping, and terrorist attacks is higher in Bamako, with foreign nationals as the target. Attacks and chaos could occur anywhere, including locations where foreign nationals may be in. There have also been cases of hostages being held for several months while some were killed. In 2010 and 2011, two French visitors were kidnapped and executed near the Mali border. Embassy officials have also been targets for kidnapping.
Since 2003, Al Qaeda has actively operated in the country, kidnapping several foreign nationals and publicly announcing that it will continue with the crime. Al Qaeda recruited the Tuareg and other criminal groups to kidnap foreign nationals, especially the westerners. After they have been kidnapped, they are sold to Al Qaeda, who later demand huge ransoms. Hence Mali is not safe for western nationals, especially the north.
Music Festival Warning
Cultural festivals usually occur far from securities and police. Large numbers of visitors usually gather together in one location, making it easy for identification. Criminals hence use cultural festivals as an opportunity to carry out criminal activities and kidnap tourists. There have been previous cases of westerners being kidnapped during music festivals.
Mali has limited medical facilities. Insect-borne and waterborne diseases such as cholera and malaria are common in Mali. There have been cases of meningitis outbreaks which occasionally occur between February end to mid-April.
Choosing the Right Insurance for Your Trip to Mali
Many governments advise their citizens not to travel. Going to Libya against your government advice can affect your travel insurance. Ensure you read and understand the policy before taking a trip to this country. However, if you still intend to travel there, you should note that insurance in Mali is vital due to the potential danger and threats in the country. While choosing travel insurance for your Mali trip, ensure you get robust personal accident and medical insurance that provides cover for emergency evacuation. Due to the high risk of terrorism and violence, you should also get insurance for political risk and terrorism.