US Embassy Mali Urges U.S. Citizens to Shelter in Place

via the US Embassy in Bamako, Mali:

U.S. Embassy Bamako, Mali Emergency Message to U.S. Citizens Political Instability in Bamako
March 21, 2012

U.S. Embassy Bamako, Mali (NEC Photo)
State Department

Today, the Embassy received reports of gunfire in the Kati area.  There have also been reports of gunfire in Bamako’s residential areas, and reports that the radio and television stations’ transmission signals are dead.  All U.S. citizens are encouraged to shelter in place; further updates will follow via SMS.

There are reports that a demonstration planned by military service members and their families will take place on Thursday, March 22; it will reportedly proceed from Kati to the Presidential Palace.  A separate demonstration is planned to start at approximately 9:00 a.m. near Gabriel Touré Hospital and proceed to the Niarela Cemetery.  This demonstration will be in memory of protestors killed in the March 1991 protests against the dictatorship of Moussa Traoré.

The American International School of Bamako and Liberté A (the French school) will be closed on March 22.  Because of the current political instability, the U.S. Embassy will also be closed for business on Thursday, March 22.

We are encouraging U.S. citizens to remain off the streets between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on March 22, especially in the above-mentioned areas.  Avoid all protests and demonstrations.  Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can quickly become violent.  If you are in an area where a demonstration is occurring, you should seek to leave the area as quietly and quickly as possible.

Read in full here.