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Research Report

A Process in Search of Peace:: Lessons from the Inter-Malian Agreement

Copyright Date: Jun. 1, 2017
Pages: 52

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. i-ii)
  3. (pp. iii-iv)
  4. (pp. 1-2)
  5. (pp. 2-3)

    Signed in two stages in Bamako on May 15 and June 20, 2015, the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, resulting from the Algiers Process (hereafter the “Bamako Agreement”) was supposed to usher in a new era of peace and stability in Mali. However, not only has there been little progress in implementing some of the key provisions of the agreement, but the security situation remains volatile. Insecurity has been spreading from northern to central Mali. Islamist groups are resurging; a new armed group, the Macina Liberation Front, has emerged in central Mali and entered into an alliance with...

  6. (pp. 3-9)

    No analysis of the current situation in Mali can gloss over the fact that the 2012 armed uprising was the fourth rebellion to end with a negotiation process and result in an agreement between the government of Mali and armed groups in the north. Since the country gained independence in 1960, there have been four waves of rebellion in the north: 1963–1964, 1990–1996, 2006–2009, and 2012–2013. The 1963–1964 rebellion was militarily defeated by a strong Malian army supported by the Soviet Union, the shadow of which has tainted relations between the north and the south...

  7. (pp. 9-12)

    The 2012 crisis in Mali started with a Tuareg rebellion, the fourth since Mali’s independence in 1960 (see Figure 2 for a timeline of the crisis). In January 2012, bolstered by the return of soldiers with heavy weaponry from Qaddafi’s Islamic Legion, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (Mouvement national de liberation de l’Azawad, or MNLA) occupied a large part of northern Mali and, on April 6th, declared the independence of this territory, which it calls “Azawad.”41 On January 17, 2012, the MNLA and Ansar Dine joined forces to attack a Malian army garrison in the town of...

  8. (pp. 12-21)

    This is the context in which Algeria, which had played a key role in mediating Malian crises since the 1990s, took over the peace process (see Figure 2 for a timeline of the negotiations). In January 2014, Algiers started “exploratory discussions” with the armed movements of northern Mali in an attempt to bring them together in a coherent platform ahead of negotiations with the government of Mali. These efforts intensified after the reelection of Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in April and the clashes in Kidal in May. The efforts only partially succeeded.

    Following the clashes in Kidal, the armed movements...

  9. (pp. 21-38)

    The end of the Bamako Agreement’s two-year interim period on June 20, 2017, provides an opportunity to assess the progress on its implementation (see Figure 2 for a timeline of the implementation; see Figure 3 for an overview of the agreement’s follow-up mechanisms). The intention of this report is not to produce an implementation “scorecard” but rather to explore the link between the difficulties encountered during the mediation process and the challenges of implementation.

    This is all the more important given the nature of the Bamako Agreement. During the fourth phase of negotiations, the Algeria-led international mediation team decided that,...

  10. (pp. 38-45)

    This report has analyzed the implementation of the Bamako Agreement in Mali over the past two years, linking the challenges of implementation to the difficulties experienced during the negotiations in Algiers. In so doing, it aims to draw as complete a picture of the situation as possible for the United Nations and other external actors involved in the process to draw lessons and take these into account when planning forward. It highlights a number of challenges that emanated from the legacies of previous agreements, the general environment in which the agreement was negotiated and implemented, and the choices that the...

  11. (pp. 46-46)