BAMAKO, Mali (AP) - The state department is ordering all employees at the U.S. Embassy in Mali to evacuate. A travel warning issued Friday also advises Americans against travelling to that region of Western Africa. The State Department cites kidnappings of westerners, a lack of food in the region, and the loss of government control in Mali.
West African leaders are gathering for a summit on Mali today to discuss their plans for ramping up its military role alongside French troops. France intervened on January 11 to push back Islamist militants taking control in the former French colony. West African nations are expected to contribute about 3,000 troops, while France has said it has 1,800 forces in its former colony.