The implementation of the agreement for peace and reconciliation in Mali, which was signed a little over a year ago in Algiers, has finally been relaunched. The signatory parties met in Bamako last June to agree on practical arrangements for the establishment of the interim authorities in northern Mali. This agreement is a significant step forward in the implementation of the peace accord that has been blocked for months. It will also, hopefully, enable the stalemate in which the country finds itself to be lifted. In recent months, there has been ever-greater disillusionment and violence has been on the rise, particularly in the north.
Despite this news, the path to peace is still a long one and the challenges are daunting. It is crucial to look beyond the separatist tendencies and the north/south divide to analyze and address the root causes of the 2012/2013 conflict and build sustainable and inclusive peace. This edition presents the initiatives carried out in the field by Swiss NGOs and their local partners to try to remove obstacles to peace. It highlights the key role of Malian and Swiss civil society in implementing the agreement, the challenges they are facing and the strategies they could adopt to find local solutions and advance the peace process.
Marie Seidel, editor