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Alerts: Travel updates from Ottawa
Tue 12 June 2012
Tue 12 June 2012
Mali: Avoid non-essential travel
OFFICIAL WARNING: Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against non-essential travel to Mali due to political instability, and the risk of terrorism, kidnapping and banditry throughout the country.
Military putschists seized power on March 21, 2012 and armed groups took control of three northern regions in early April, 2012. The security situation throughout the country, including in Bamako, remains unpredictable and can deteriorate on short notice, as the presence of military and security forces has been greatly reduced. The relocation of Canadian non-essential Embassy staff and dependents therefore remains in effect.
Canadians are advised to exercise a high degree of caution, register and carefully follow messages issued through the Registration of Canadians Abroad service (ROCA). In the event of a deterioration of the security situation in Mali, the availability of consular services at the Embassy of Canada may be limited.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against all travel to the regions of Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal, Mopti and Segou.
After two months of fighting, armed groups took control of the regions of Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal and the nothern part of Mopti region in early April 2012. Further fighting is possible in these regions, including Mopti. There are reports of a recent increase in banditry and especially carjackings in these regions, as well as in the Ségou region.
There is a very high risk of kidnapping in these regions, and Westerners are a preferred target. In past instances, some hostages have been detained for months before being released, and some have been killed. On November 24, 2011, two French nationals were kidnapped in the town of Hombori, in Mopti region. On November 25, 2011, one tourist was killed and three others were kidnapped in the city of Timbuktu; and on April 15, 2012 a Swiss national was also kidnapped in the same city. On April 6, 2012, Algerian diplomats were kidnapped in Gao. Canadians who remain in these regions despite the risk are advised to leave as soon as possible.
Swaziland: Exercise high degree of caution
Canadians are advised to exercise a high degree of caution in Swaziland.
On April 12, 2012, the government of Swaziland arrested several people during a peaceful political protest. Further demonstrations are planned and could lead to violent clashes between state security forces and protestors. Canadians are advised to carry appropriate identification, and should avoid large crowds and areas where demonstrations may occur.
Travellers should maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times, monitor local news reports and follow the advice of local authorities.
Go to www.voyage.gc.ca for more information on these advisories, or call 1-800-267-6788 FREE 1-800-267-6788 in Canada and United States.