Independent Observer in Mali Urges Vigorous Action on Implementation of the Peace Agreement
BAMAKO, MALI (Jan. 21, 2020) — The Carter Center, which serves as the Independent Observer of Mali’s 2015 peace agreement implementation, today released its 2019 end-of-year report, which criticizes the overall stagnation of the process and urges vigorous measures to consolidate peace in Mali.
The Independent Observer cites poor leadership and trust among the parties, as well as the deficit in the international community’s mediation efforts.
The report states that in 2019, the people of Mali hardly benefited from the implementation of the agreement. An upsurge in violence, both inter-communal clashes and terrorist acts, resulted in hundreds of deaths. By delaying the reconstitution of the national army and by failing to resolve longstanding socio-political grievances, the signatory parties contributed to the worsening crisis in Mali and the region. The report also criticizes the exclusion of civil society, including women, youth, and traditional leaders, from the implementation process. The failure to engage the public in the implementation process has contributed to skepticism about the agreement.
Four-and-a-half years after the agreement, more than two-thirds of the security commitments have not been fulfilled. The economic and justice provisions have received scant attention. The international Monitoring Committee (CSA), the main body overseeing the implementation, did not meet in the last four months of the year.
The signatory parties began discussions on virtually every point from diametrically opposed positions, requiring lengthy negotiations to overcome even the most minor differences. In-fighting among ministries over their respective roles in the implementation and a lack of clear decision-making also hampered progress. The report also notes that the government’s establishment, in October, of an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate implementation and a commission on development have the potential to foster future progress.
The report notes that nearly all significant provisions of the agreement can be implemented through legislation, without constitutional amendments.
It concludes with a series of recommendations to restore momentum and public confidence in the agreement, including: (1) the government should share its plan for decentralization; (2) the government should empower fully the new commissions; (3) the international community should assume a stronger role in resolving blockages; (4) the government and Signatory Movements jointly should recommit to the agreement; (5) the dispute over the presence of government troops in Kidal should be resolved rapidly; and (6) the CSA should organize high-level meetings between the government, the Signatory Movements and civil society about the inclusion of civilians in the implementation process and about humanitarian access and justice.
Background: The Carter Center was designated as the Independent Observer in late 2017. According to Article 63 of the 2015 agreement, the Independent Observer’s job is to impartially identify blockages in the implementation process and recommend steps for enhancing implementation. The Center’s role as the Independent Observer was recognized by the United Nations Security Council in resolutions 2391 (December 2017), 2423 (June 2018), and 2480 (June 2019), and it assumed its role in January 2018. This report, intended for the Malian parties, the international community, and the public, is the sixth from the Independent Observer.
Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.