Mali National Summit for Peace takes a step towards conflict resolution

On December 18th of last year, the “National Summit for Peace of the We Are One (WAO) Project” was held under the theme of the “Establishment of Peace through the We Are One Project” with more than 80 organizations across Mali in attendance.

During this online event, HWPL informed the collaborators of the WAO Project who attended about the necessity of this project for the realization of peace. They also announced the project’s current status and future plans.

In his speech regarding the WAO Project, Mr. Aliou Maiga, a reporter from the Association of Students for the Fight Against Racism and Ethnocentrism who attended the event, said, “This vision of lasting peace is shared by the vast majority of Malians, whatever the color of their skin, their religion, or their political opinion.” He stressed, “I am convinced that the WAO Project will allow a great synergy of action in favor of peace and social cohesion, and contribute significantly to the construction of a Mali without conflict.” He also added, “It is our duty today as Malians to support the WAO Project to rebuild this country and achieve lasting peace.”

Mr. Mamadou Kone, the president of a non-profit organization, emphasized that this project presents a solution to completely resolve the issues that Mali faces, and expressed that “the project [can be] considered as a doctor.” He also stressed the importance of the project, which “will help civil society organizations and governmental authorities work in the same direction for social cohesion,” and urged for greater participation from citizens.

Additionally, the “Dialogue for Peace and Social Cohesion Network” (hereinafter referred to as Dialogue for Peace and Social Cohesion) was launched as part of the We Are One (WAO) Project in the northern, central, and southern regions of Mali from March to September last year. The representatives from civic organizations who participated in the dialogue network discussed the underlying causes and solutions for numerous topics according to region: “Rebellion and Terrorism” for the northern region, “Ethnic Conflict” for the central region, and “Lack of Accountability and Collaborative Governance between the Government and Civil Society” for the southern region.

As diverse the problems were from region to region, the solutions were also presented in various ways. Among these, there was a consensus that the government should also discuss and come up with solutions to resolve the root of the nation’s internal disputes and issues. In addition, since making the ongoing dialogue network a regular meeting with the government and its citizens through national policy would prove more effective in the realization of peace, a decision was made to submit this to the government in writing.

The Dialogue for Peace and Social Cohesion Network was written as a government policy proposal and submitted to the Mali Ministry of Reconciliation in September last year. According to the Ministry of Reconciliation, the government has given positive consideration to its acceptance. The submitted content is of great significance in that several civic groups are already participating in the activities, and it contains the unanimous voice of citizens across the nation of Mali rather than the voice of citizens from a few regions.

Moving forward, HWPL and collaborators of the WAO Project plan to invite a wider range of citizen groups, such as women, youth, religious, educational, and media organizations, to future meetings of the Dialogue for Peace and Social Cohesion Network. In addition, the Dialogue for Peace and Social Cohesion will be operated by dividing the three regions (northern, central, and southern) into nine. With the participation of many citizens, it is anticipated that Mali will swiftly achieve sustainable peace.