Mali extends state of emergency until March 31

December 31, 2015, 8:02am

AFP on News24
Photo: (File, Jerome Delay, AP)

Bamako - Mali has extended by three months a nationwide state of emergency initially imposed following a deadly jihadist attack on a hotel in the capital in November, officials said on Wednesday.

The government on Monday submitted a bill authorising the fresh extension to March 31 "because of serious threats to the security of persons and their property", according to an official statement.

The National Assembly passed the bill unanimously in a vote on Tuesday, a parliamentary source told AFP.

Mali initially declared a state of emergency after 20 people, 14 of them foreigners, were killed in an attack claimed by two jihadist groups on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on November 20.

It was extended twice, and the latest 10-day period was due to expire on Thursday. Northern Mali fell under the control of jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda in 2012.

The Islamists were largely ousted by a French-led military operation launched in January 2013, but large swathes of Mali remain lawless and prone to attacks.