Country Specific Information: Mali

July 31, 2011

Country Specific Information: Mali
Source: U.S. Department of State

July 27, 2011

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Mali is a developing country in western Africa with a stable and democratic government. The official language is French; however, thirteen local languages are also spoken and have status as national languages, with Bambara serving as lingua franca. The capital of Mali is Bamako (1.8 million, 2009 census estimate). Facilities for tourism are limited, though they are developing. There is a serious threat of terrorist activities in Mali’s three northern regions (Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal, which make up nearly 60 percent of the country’s area). The terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) continues to use northern Mali as an active area of operations as well as a safe haven, notably for detaining hostages. Please refer to the Department of StateBackground Notes on Mali for additional information.

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