Achieving Peace in Northern Mali: Past Agreements, Local Conflicts, and the Prospects for a Durable Settlement

By Stephanie Pezard; Michael Shurkin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
Conclusion

On balance, the accomplishments of the past peace accords in Mali have been thin. It would be an overstatement to conclude, however, that nothing has been achieved and that, in 2014, the situation stands as it did in 1990. Perhaps the biggest change since then is awareness: Northern interests, northern needs, and northern perspectives used to be unknown or ignored by the Malian government and the international community alike. Southerners, including some government officials, now devote more attention to northern matters. Second, an agreed-upon list of concerns (e.g., some autonomy and decentralization) now forms the framework for current and future talks. Third, the National Pact has irrevocably transformed the Malian political system. Democracy and decentralization, notwithstanding real failings and weaknesses, are permanent features of Malian political life. There was little doubt that the post-coup junta would eventually give way to an elected government. It is also worth reiterating a fact that is not immediately obvious given all the recent violence: Most northerners did not participate in the fighting and have a vested interest in stability.

As for the implementation of past accords, it is indisputable that nothing has been implemented as effectively as one might have wished, regardless of whether any of the problems can be attributed to bad faith on the part of Bamako. It remains true nonetheless that two elements of the accords that have been implemented at least in part receive positive reviews notwithstanding their problems: the integration of northern fighters into the Malian army and decentralization and democratization. Both programs appear valuable so far.

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Achieving Peace in Northern Mali: Past Agreements, Local Conflicts, and the Prospects for a Durable Settlement
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • Summary ix
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Abbreviations xxi
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - A Brief History of Mali’s Rebellions and the Implementation of Peace Accords 5
  • Chapter Three - Explaining the Failure of Past Peace Accords 23
  • Chapter Four - Moving Forward 45
  • Chapter Five - Is There a Nigerien Model of Resilience? 59
  • Chapter Six - Conclusion 89
  • References 93
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