US Embassy Mali Now on Ordered Departure for Family Members

Late today, the State Department updated its January 16, 2013 Travel Warning for Mali. Once again warning against all travel to Mali because of ongoing fighting in northern and central Mali, the new Travel Warning now includes the announcement that it has ordered the departure all family members not employed at the embassy, for up to 30 days.

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Mali because of ongoing fighting in northern and central Mali, fluid political conditions, the loss of government control of Mali’s Northern provinces, and continuing threats of attacks and kidnappings of westerners.  While the security situation in Bamako remains relatively stable, the recent escalation of hostilities around Mopti in northern Mali has heightened tensions throughout the country.  Mali continues to face challenges including food shortages, internally displaced persons, and the presence in northern Mali of factions linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).  On January 18, the Department of State ordered the departure of all dependent family members who are not employed at the U.S. Embassy in Bamako, Mali, for a period of up to 30 days.

The Malian government has banned all public demonstrations and Interim President Dioncounda Traore declared a State of Emergency effective January 12.  The state of emergency, which will last for 10 days with a possibility for extension, enables the government to take extraordinary measures to deal with the crisis in the north.  As a result of safety and security concerns, some organizations, including foreign companies, NGOs, and private aid organizations, have temporarily suspended operations in Mali or withdrawn some family members and/or staff.  The U.S. Embassy will continue to monitor this situation closely and update U.S. citizens via Emergency Messages which it will post on the U.S. Embassy Bamako website.

Read in full here.

This is the second post to go on ordered departure evac within the last four weeks; the first one went on authorized departure, then went straight to suspension of operation in early January (see After reopening in 2005, U.S. Embassy Bangui suspends operations. Again.).

We’re not sure if the evacuated families will be sent back to the D.C. area.  As the ordered departure is up to 30 days at this time, we are guessing that they probably will be safe-havened at another post in the region.  Which does not make this any easier, but if they are temporarily relocated within the region, at least they will not be going from one weather zone to another in the middle of winter, each with just one packed bag.


Confirmations: McCarthy to Lithuania, Godec to Kenya

The Senate did their Floor Wrap Up on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.  There were no roll call votes but it discharged the Foreign Relations Committee and confirmed the following nominees:

  • PN1928 Deborah Ann McCarthy, of Florida, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Lithuania
  • PN1951 Robert F. Godec, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya

– DS

Related posts:

Obama Nominates Ambassador Robert Godec as Next Ambassador to Kenya

The Cat in a Hat’s Tale from Ambassador Godec

Officially In: Deborah Ann McCarthy, from Foggy Bottom to Lithuania



Free Online Class on Coursera: Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning

This might be of interest to our regular readers but may be particularly helpful to State’s EFMs and third culture spouses.  Coursera is offering a 7-week long online course on financial planning for free.

About the Course | This course was created to help those who cannot afford extensive planning assistance better understand how to define and reach their financial goals. It provides basic understanding so informed decisions can be made. The course can also be seen as a reference for individual topics that are part of personal financial planning.

Course Syllabus

Week One: Where Are You? Where Are You Going?
Week Two: Taxes
Week Three: Defense — Insurance
Week Four: Investing
Week Five: Funding Retirement
Week Six: Doing the Math and Making Reasonable Assumptions;
Week Seven: Estate Planning

The course is taught by Avi Pai, CFP®, CRPC®, AIF® , a Managing Partner and a Certified Financial Planner Practitioner with the Irvine office of Provence Wealth Management Group (LPL Financial).  The class started on Jan 14 so you can still catch up.  Sign up here.

This course is offered by Coursera, a start-up in the fast-evolving arena of free online college courses.  Check it out.