US diplomatic officials warned on Friday, February 7, that a terrorist attack is possible on the Festival sur le Niger, which is taking place in Ségou from Tuesday, February 4, through Sunday, February 9. The US Embassy in Bamako has warned all US citizens to avoid the area if possible or exercise extreme caution. The festival opened on Tuesday amid a heightened security presence with armed police deployed across the site, according to the region's governor.
A heightened security presence, crowded conditions, and transportation disruptions (e.g., road closures, traffic congestion) are to be expected in Ségou during the festival.
The security environment in Mali remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
Due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the country, all those present in Mali are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.