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Peace Corps leave Mali amid new US travel warning

09 april 2012, 13:33
Photo cortesy of gonetomali.com
Photo cortesy of gonetomali.com
All Peace Corps volunteers have been evacuated from Mali and non-essential US diplomatic personnel offered flights out of the country after the military coup last month, AFP reports citing officials.

The State Department said it "warns US citizens against all travel to Mali at this time because of current political instability in the country, an active rebellion in the north and continuing threats of attacks and kidnappings of Westerners in the north of the country."

In the travel advisory, updated from the initial warning after the coup in March, the agency "strongly urges" US citizens in Mali to consider leaving temporarily.

"The situation in the country remains fluid and unpredictable," it said.

The State Department noted that while the airport in Bamako was open, "the availability of flights in the future is unpredictable and depends on the overall security situation."

Its latest travel warning came after Mali's President Amadou Toumani Toure, who was toppled in last month's coup, formally resigned, paving the way for the departure of the junta that ousted him.

Under the terms of a transition deal with the West African bloc ECOWAS, the junta's leaders said they would allow a return to democracy once Toure formally quit.

The deal also provided for a lifting of sanctions imposed by ECOWAS, already enacted, and an amnesty for those involved in the coup.

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