Peace in Mali?


  • Cecilia Hull Wiklund
  • Claes Nilsson

Publish date: 2016-11-23

Report number: FOI-R--4311--SE

Pages: 43

Written in: English


  • Mali
  • peace agreement
  • Sahel


Since the Algiers peace agreement was signed between the Government of Mali and two coalitions of armed groups - the CMA and the Platform - in the summer of 2015, little progress has been made in implementing its provisions. Two of the agreement's four main articles, Socioeconomic and Cultural Development and Justice, Reconciliation and Humanitarian Issues, have largely been put on hold while efforts have focused on the provisions relating to Political and Institutional Matters and Defence and Security. However, lack of trust and lack of a shared vision on the components of a peaceful end-state among the signatories have obstructed implementation of those two articles as well. Instead, the signatory armed groups have recently begun to violate the ceasefire arrangements, fighting each other over territorial control. Part of the problem lies within the peace agreement itself. Signed under significant international pressure to 'close the deal', the Algiers agreement is vague on a range of details. Instead of progress on implementing the agreed conditions, in the 16 months that have passed since the signing of the agreement there has been continued manoeuvring and negotiation between the parties. Another major challenge is that the peace process has neglected to fully address the intercommunal tensions that exist in the north of Mali, which are a major factor in the ceasefire violations, and the ideological conflict that has generated the many armed and radical Islamist groups preventing the advancement of security in the northern regions. Moreover, the peace process has not generated any sense of ownership of the peace amongst the broader population or civil society groups. While the lack of progress in implementation of the agreement is a concern, renewed commitment to implementation by the signatory parties is initself insufficient to generate sustainable peace in Mali. There is a need for continued dialogue, which would also provide an opportunity to address outstanding issues and to extend the ownership of the peace process to groups currently excluded from the process.