Mali protesters, soldiers’ families march over clashes between army, Tuareg rebels
The first reports about riots in town came around noon. Then the afternoon was spent speculating, until we had a staff meeting in the late afternoon where the Americans were told to stay in the embassy compound, and the Malians could use their best judgment as to whether to stay or to try to get into home. A couple of my colleagues from Washington were stuck at the World Food Programme office, and another set of colleagues had to take a roundabout way (past all the barricades) to return to the embassy. I’d engaged my own driver, and he called me to tell me that he was unable to come because the main streets were blocked.
We were finally informed that we could leave at 6pm. My hotel is in central Bamako, where all the action was taking place, so I decided that it’d be best if I just stayed at the super-swish hotel nearest the embassy. Fancy enough that they were able to provide a hotel-branded toothbrush and toothpaste upon request. It was a nice treat, topped off with a fine dinner with my colleagues.
So now I'm back at my normal hotel, finishing up, and hoping that I'll be able to fly out tonight as planned.
On a completely unrelated note, PoP answered my query about a neighborhood building!