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Mali

Mali
Mali, Mount Hombori. Photo: Flickr/Jeanne Menj

Mali is struggling to build peace and achieve security after an armed rebellion broke out in Northern Mali in January 2012. The crisis started as a Tuareg rebellion against the Malian government, the fourth in a series of rebellions starting in 1963. The 2012 rebellion developed into a violent extremist insurgency as a number of violent extremist groups joined in and took over several cities and territory in northern Mali.

A peace agreement was reached after international mediation, led by Algeria and with the participation of international organizations including the African Union and the United Nations, and by neighbouring countries. By June 2015, all parties had signed the agreement, marking the beginning of a comprehensive implementation process.

However, several challenges remain to building a peaceful society in Mali. As well as the core conflict between the Tuareg movement and the government of Mali, several other issues need to be addressed, including a number of inter- and intra-community conflicts, violent extremism and transnational organized crime. Achievement of a lasting peace will require commitment and contributions from actors at all levels of Malian society.

One important role of civil society is contributing to the safety and security of the population. In the aftermath of the 2012 crisis in Mali, the local population experienced, among other negative effects, gross violence and extreme human rights abuse. To address these issues and ensure the safety and security of the population, civil society can contribute to related policies and policy implementation at the local and national levels.

This project aims to strengthen civil society’s contributions to addressing the safety and security challenges of the population by:

  • Monitoring and reporting: supporting a comprehensive system of civil society efforts to monitor, report and analyse the safety and security challenges of the population at the community level across Mali;
  • Capacity and awareness building: conducting a knowledge-exchange programme to the increase awareness and the capacity of civil society actors to address the safety and security challenges of the population;
  • Supporting policy recommendations: promoting a civil society process to develop proposals for the formulation and implementation of policies to address the safety and security challenges of the population; and
  • Strengthening advocacy and outreach: conducting a dynamic advocacy and outreach campaign to disseminate the findings and policy recommendations of the project

Research staff

Dr Grégory Chauzal is a Senior Researcher and the Director of the SIPRI Sahel West Africa Programme.
Professor Sten Hagberg is an Associate Senior Fellow at SIPRI.
Dr Elisabeth Sköns is an Associate Senior Fellow at SIPRI and the former Head of the Mali civil society and peacebuilding project.
Aurélien Tobie is a Senior Researcher and Activity Coordinator for the SIPRI Mali Civil Society and Peacebuilding Project.
Zoë Gorman is a Research Assistant in the SIPRI Mali Civil Society and Peacebuilding Project.