But the success of the agreement will be mainly determined by the acceptance of the agreement by the Tuareg rebels and the Tuareg population of northern Mali that they represent. The Tuareg alliance CMA had initially called for the northern part of Mali, which it describes as Azawad, to be recognized as a “geographic, political and legal entity”. It was not until early June that the rebels withdrew from this demand for broad autonomy and declared their readiness to accept what had been previously agreed, including the recognition of the government of President Ibrahim Boubacar. In exchange, Bamako promised to create regional assemblies. And yet, every roadmap, every MINUSMA resolution, every political speech and every donor-funded report on Mali invites the signatories to commit to implementing the agreement. The June 2019 UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution extending MINUSMA`s mandate calls support for the implementation of the 2015 agreement a “first strategic priority” for MINUSMA. Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita told the UN General Assembly in September 2019 that he remained “particularly committed” to the agreement. And in March 2020, U.S. Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale told Congress that U.S.
efforts in Mali focused on the agreement “which remains the best mechanism for achieving a peaceful and reconciled Mali.” But clinging to this scenario is, at best, short-sighted and at worst dangerous. Asking stakeholders to implement the agreement – an incomplete and decentralized strategy – can do more harm than good. The Malian government and relevant stakeholders need a new approach to managing and circumventing the conflict. Here are seven steps to rethink the peace framework and develop a more effective political and security solution. A second problem is that the agreement focuses on short-term security through disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. These are important steps, but more needs to be made. The agreement is not enough to lay a solid foundation for a lasting peace. This is a welcome development for Mali and a great relief for the international mediation led by Algeria. However, since previous agreements failed to restore peace in 1992 and 2006, there are reasons to remain cautious. Three shots.
Some important differences in conflict trends and trajectories require special attention. First, while rebel groups in Colombia were seeking to change regimes, the conflict in Mali was traditionally a separatist rebellion.