Supporting the stabilisation and peace process

Project description

Title: Supporting the stabilisation and peace process in Mali
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office
Country: Mali
Lead executing agency: Ministère de la Réconciliation Nationale (Ministry of National Reconciliation)
Overall term: 2016 to 2018

Mali. Opening performance of the play Air Accord about the content of Mali's peace agreement. © GIZ

Context

Following a military coup and an alliance forged between separatist rebels and terrorist Islamic groups, Mali faced a major political and security crisis in 2012. With the help of international military forces and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) stationed in the country, the Government regained control of northern Mali and the country returned to democratic rule in 2013, when elections were held. A peace agreement signed in 2015 between Mali's Government, pro-government armed groups and the key armed resistance group against central state authority is the main framework of reference for efforts to re-establish stability, achieve reconciliation and build peace.

The country's key institutions face a wide variety of challenges. They are expected to accelerate the slow pace of implementation of the peace agreement, make the needs of the civilian population heard, mediate in conflicts, promote dialogue and reconciliation and also ensure that a peace dividend is visible for the population. Their human resources, financial and organisational capacities are limited, and there is insufficient coordination with ministries, state administrative structures, local authorities and the population. Human rights violations have yet to be addressed, which would pave the way for reconciliation throughout society. This continues to prevent stabilisation and the establishment of peace in the country.

Objective

An inclusive stabilisation and peace process takes account of the development and reform needs defined in the peace agreement. By creating a tangible peace dividend, it promotes the population's trust in the process and in Mali's state authority. The institutions of the country's peace architecture contribute to the process.

Mali. Participants at a dialogue event in the new Menaka region. © GIZ

Approach

The project is based on the experience and results of the Supporting the Dialogue and Reconciliation Process in Mali (2013–2016) project, which laid the foundation for the work of the Ministry of National Reconciliation and the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. During the first critical phase of the peace process, it helped to improve communication about the peace agreement and promote dialogue and conflict resolution in the regions. The current project is working with new partner structures and additional micro-projects to stabilise living conditions.

The project cooperates with the Ministry of National Reconciliation, the Trust, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, the Office of the President's High Representative for Implementation of the Peace Agreement, the representation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Mali, decentralised state services, local authorities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), foundations and experts. The partnerships are one of the cornerstones of the project.

The project operates in three areas of activity:

  1. policy advice and institution building for the Ministry of National Reconciliation, the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission and the Office of the President's High Representative for Implementation of the Peace Agreement
  2. nationwide support for dialogue and reconciliation measures; micro-projects relating to reconciliation in the Mopti, Timbuktu, Kidal and Menaka regions
  3. stabilisation measures by means of micro-projects in the Gao region.

Communication and public relations activities form part of each of these areas.
The project provides specialist inputs, for example for developing a methodological guide to communicate the content of the peace agreement. It promotes learning on the job, assists in conducting studies and running training courses, and supports knowledge management. It promotes cooperation between ministries and supports networking and coordination. Initiatives and methods that have been launched are mainstreamed in the partner structures as standard procedures. The project strives to achieve sustainability by encouraging ownership by the partners. Independent experts are also consulted for technical evaluation, particularly of construction projects.

The results and impacts of the project and the measures financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on decentralisation and government reform, small-scale irrigation agriculture and activities in the water sector reinforce one another.

Coordination with multinational and bilateral actors forms part of the project, for example with the UN peacekeeping troops (MINUSMA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the European Union, France, Switzerland, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and German and other national and international NGOs and institutions.

As part of the micro-projects in Gao, there is exchange with both the German contingent and the MINUSMA Stabilization and Recovery Section. A monitoring system is used to document and evaluate project experience and to use this experience for any strategic adjustments that need to be made.

Mali. Multipurpose centre for the women's association of the Ansongo administrative division in the Gao region. © GIZ