Algiers Peace Agreement

The political authority responsible for implementing the agreement must be invested with more power. The president of the country or, if not the Prime Minister, should be directly involved and support that authority, because these figures are the only ones that can give orders to technical ministries and settle disputes. The creation of the President`s High Representative in 2016 to implement the agreement was a step in the right direction, but the person chosen for the position never had the political influence or support to impose his views on a government that is often not ready to implement the agreement. The Ministry of Social Cohesion, Peace and National Reconciliation, currently the government body responsible for this portfolio, has not been successful. Some international actors and the Malian state believe that the rebuilt army, which must bring together Malian soldiers and fighters from armed groups, should engage in the fight against terrorism. However, it is risky to associate the fight against jihadist groups with the implementation of the peace agreement. It is therefore essential that the people of the south of the Community provide more support to the process by the political elites and civil society organisations they are supposed to represent. They played no role in the discussions that led to the signing of the agreement in 2015 and many reject a negotiated text without their input. The 2015 text gave the Malian government the task of providing information and raising public awareness of the content of the agreement, but as the Carter Center noted, the government has done little in this regard. There are now more public campaigns protesting against the peace agreement than supporting it.

Outreach initiatives have focused on the people of the North and have ignored the fact that the agreement also applies to southern Mali, notably through regionalization reform and the creation of a Senate. The international community must continue to monitor progress and insist on more, even if the current situation clearly reveals the limits of an externally imposed peace. The key to implementation lies with the signatories themselves. Five years after the signing of the agreement, it remains essential to remedy this gap. Without the support of the people of southern Mali, many of their local interest groups will continue to act to freeze the agreement and renegotiate its terms. The renegotiation is not in the interest of either the international community or the CMA and could even lead, over time, to a resumption of bellicose discourse. The denunciation of the peace agreement is one of the dysfunctions expressed by the organizers of the 5 June movement – Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP), a protest movement calling for the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who gathered tens of thousands of demonstrators on 5 and 19 June 2020, mainly in Bamako. Some of the movement`s leaders, such as filmmaker and former minister Cheick Oumar Sissoko, have publicly called for a revision of the agreement, a position that the M5-RFP has not yet officially adopted.