Mali Independent Observer: An Unprecedented Impasse in Implementation Amid Controversy Over Revising Peace Agreement

(En français)

BAMAKO, MALI – The Carter Center, which serves as the Independent Observer of Mali’s 2015 peace agreement, today released a report describing the current, unprecedented impasse in the implementation process. The report stresses that since October 2021, dialogue between the signatories of the agreement – the government, the Coordination of Azawad Movements, and the Platform – has grown increasingly difficult and there has been little progress in implementing the agreement.

The blockage in the implementation process coincides with a surge in military activism and other challenges in Mali, such as tensions between the transitional government and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), including sanctions imposed by ECOWAS; the withdrawal of support to stabilization by some of Mali’s traditional international partners; and a major rise in conflict and the number of civilian victims in central and northern Mali.

While numerous factors contributed to the current situation, the Independent Observer’s report focuses on the controversy over revising the agreement (relecture in French) as a significant factor in producing the impasse. The concept of revision increased uncertainty about the peace process and impeded a sustained relaunch of implementation. It has also fed skepticism among many Malians about the agreement, which has been long growing along with the lack of concrete results from the implementation process.

Despite these developments, the report notes that the Malian parties continue reiterating their commitment to the agreement. The report mainly highlights that the debates and tensions around the idea of a revision of the agreement are, in many senses, unnecessary and unconstructive. In reality, over seven years of implementation, the parties have regularly and consensually adapted provisions of the agreement to their needs and changing circumstances. To move forward, the signatories need to refocus on strengthening their dialogue and taking pragmatic steps while, at the same time, reengaging with the Malian public to restore hope in the peace process and building nationwide buy-in to the agreement.

From September 2021 to June 2022, the Independent Observer took several steps to encourage dialogue between the parties and progress on implementation. The seminar organized by the Independent Observer in February 2022 was a significant attempt to aid progress in implementation, based on discussions of the Independent Observer’s reports and recommendations. The parties’ representatives and other stakeholders formulated consensual proposals to relaunch the implementation process. Few, however, have to date been taken up by the parties, although both they and international mediation have lauded the seminar as a positive step. In addition, in May 2022, Jason Carter, chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Carter Center and the grandson of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, led a delegation that visited Mali. The delegation met with President of the Transition Assimi Goïta as well as other stakeholders in the implementation process and reaffirmed the Carter Center’s continuing support to peace and reconciliation in Mali.

Read the full report »

Background: The Carter Center was designated as the Independent Observer in late 2017. According to Article 63 of the 2015 agreement, the Independent Observer's job is to impartially identify blockages in the implementation process and recommend steps for enhancing implementation. The United Nations Security Council recognized the Center’s role as the Independent Observer in Resolutions 2391 (December 2017), 2423 (June 2018), 2480 (June 2019), 2541(June 2020), and 2584 (June 2021), and it assumed its role in January 2018. This report, intended for the Malian parties, the international community, and the public, is the 10th from the Independent Observer.


L'Observateur indépendant pour la mise en œuvre de l’Accord au Mali : La mise en œuvre dans une situation de blocage sans précédent nourrie par les débats sur la « relecture » de l'Accord

Contact: In Atlanta, Soyia Ellison,
In Bamako, Deo Mbuto,, +

Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.