Mali: An Imposed Peace?

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A boy runs in front of a mural that reads 'Peace', Timbuktu, 24 July 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney


Mali: An Imposed Peace?

Dakar/Brussels: After eight months of negotiations between Malian parties, the government and some armed groups signed an agreement on 15 May 2015 in Bamako. Fighting has resumed, however, in the north and centre of Mali. Crucially, the Azawad Movements Coalition (CMA) has still not signed the agreement. It initialled the text on the eve of the ceremony but demands further discussion before fully accepting it. An agreement without the signature of the main coalition opposing the government is of little value and will likely make disarmament impossible. The mediation team should establish a framework that would allow for further talks and Malian parties should return to the negotiating table at the earliest opportunity. The UN Security Council and its UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), backed by France, must take a stronger stance against violations of the ceasefire.

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The Bamako agreement, left incomplete, risks giving momentum to the hardliners. To prevent Mali from entering a new cycle of violence, political discussion must prevail again over diplomatic coercion or military force.
Jean-Hervé Jezequel, Senior Sahel Analyst, @jhjezequel

Jean-Herve Jezequel

Rinaldo Depagne

Malian parties and international partners should launch a new phase of negotiations to reach a more inclusive agreement. This should have additional clauses tackling social and economic development, local government reform, national reconciliation and limiting criminal networks' influence on military manoeuvres in the north.
Rinaldo Depagne, West Africa Project Director

Comfort Ero

The government and mediation team must refrain from considering all non-signatories as hostile to the peace process. Meanwhile, MINUSMA’s UN peacekeepers should temporarily secure the city of Menaka following the negotiated withdrawal of the Platform alliance occupying it. The French Barkhane force should adjust its missions to help MINSUMA protect the ceasefire and secure Menaka as well.
Comfort Ero, Africa Program Director @EroComfort

Jean-Marie Guéhenno

Let’s not repeat in Mali the mistakes that were made in the Darfur peace process a decade ago. A rushed agreement can bring war rather than peace, and the Bamako agreement should be seen as the beginning of a process: negotiations must continue, and branding non-signatories as terrorists would be a dangerous mistake. The UN Security Council and its MINUSMA peacekeepers – with the backing of France – must push for more negotiations, but also show determination against ceasefire violators.
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, President & CEO @JGuehenno




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