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Blog | Carter Center Pursues Mali Peace Agreement Action

Jason Carter is chair of the Carter Center Board of Trustees.

The pursuit of peace in Mali has been a long, bumpy, and winding road. But we’re staying on it in hopes of action being taken on the Mali Peace Agreement.

For the last five years, The Carter Center has been the official Independent Observer of Mali’s 2015 peace agreement. Ambassador Bisa Williams has led this effort as the Center’s special advisor on Mali. On May 4 and 5, 2022, I visited the capital city, Bamako, alongside fellow Carter Center Trustee C.D. Glin, Ambassador Williams, and John Goodman, associate director of the Carter Center’s Conflict Resolution Program. The purpose of the trip was to meet with Col. Assimi Goïta, the president of Mali’s transitional government, to urge him to reinvigorate the government’s commitment to the peace agreement that halted Mali’s civil war.

Mali’s Peace Process in May 2022

We met with the president of the transition and members of his Cabinet for 90 minutes, and Goïta gave the clearest signal yet that the military junta remains committed to the Mali peace agreement. He focused mainly on demobilizing, disarming, and reintegrating rival military forces, a major challenge after any conflict. He also stressed that, in addition to the signatories of the 2015 Peace Agreement, the government of Mali is locked in conflict with several jihadist groups in central Mali. This additional set of conflicts makes the security situation extremely difficult and increases the need to maintain the path laid out by the peace agreement for those groups that signed it.

We both stressed the long history of cooperation between Mali and The Carter Center built around collaboration on Guinea worm and the strong relationship between my grandfather and the late Amadou Toumani Touré, Mali’s president from 2002 to 2012.

We urged Goïta to translate his good intentions into actions. He indicated an interest in further engagement with The Carter Center on transition-related themes, including election issues when the time comes.

Goïta said that many internal steps were being taken on the agreement and that dialogue was ongoing between “Malian brothers.” I stressed that it was important to turn those steps into visible, concrete, and public actions.

Glin stressed that private sector investment depended on peace. Goïta said security remained the transition government’s highest priority.

After the Meeting with Col. Assimi Goïta

I told reporters that the government had reaffirmed its firm commitment to the Mali peace agreement and that we are awaiting actions of the government to show the world, Malians, and the other stakeholders that the government can demonstrate its commitment to peace and produce results. I was quoted in the local press and TV, and the government itself published news of the meeting, including the commitment to the Mali Peace Agreement and the need for action, on the president’s Facebook page.

In addition to meeting with Goïta, we received a full briefing from Carter Center Country Representative Sadi Moussa on efforts to eliminate Guinea worm disease and on security-related challenges. The Mali Peace-Health Initiative team presented on the strategy of using health packages to facilitate peacebuilding. We believe that this initiative is one of the most innovative health programs in the world, providing health services in areas of significant conflict. It also brings together two sides of the Carter Center’s legacy in a way that is unique to our organization.

Going forward, we will monitor the situation in Mali to see how the Center’s mission impacts the implementation process and if it helps stimulate action. Ambassador Williams has continued her efforts on the Center’s behalf. Indeed, following the Bamako mission, Ambassador Williams traveled to Algeria and Mauritania to discuss the peace agreement’s implementation with regional leaders.

The Carter Center has been working side by side with Malians in their home villages for three decades. It was clear to us that the Center’s long-standing commitment to the people of Mali has given it enormous credibility and an important voice in that country. The path to a lasting peace in Mali may be long and difficult, but we have shown our persistence and we are confident we can help Mali achieve this goal.

Related Resources

Mali Independent Observer: An Unprecedented Impasse in Implementation Amid Controversy Over Revising Peace Agreement (En français)

Jason Carter and C.D. Glin Lead Delegation to Mali to Advocate for Peace Agreement Implementation

Learn more about our work in Mali

Learn more about the Center’s Conflict Resolution Program