Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Hopes were raised this week for an inclusive agreement to bring peace to northern Mali, following a high-level visit by international representatives to armed groups in the town of Kidal. Mediators are trying to convince all the groups to sign the agreement drawn up after lengthy negotiations in Algiers.
The African Union’s High Representative for Mali and the Sahel, and former president of Burundi, Pierre Buyoya, told the Institute for Security Studies’ PSC Report in an exclusive interview that the AU will do ‘everything possible’ to make sure all the groups sign the agreement that was initialled on 1 March 2015.
Buyoya said the Algiers agreement is a compromise and will therefore not entirely satisfy any single party.
‘We believe that, taken in its entirety, [the agreement] provides a good attempt to deal with political concerns, including a model for the sharing of responsibilities between the central government and regional authorities, as well as local communities.’
‘It also addresses security, development, justice and humanitarian concerns. In that regard, it is a positive step forward in the resolution of the recurrent crises in the north of Mali,’ said Buyoya.
Various peace agreements have been signed between the Malian state and armed movements in the north of the country since the 1990’s. However, this agreement is different because of the strong involvement of the international community in negotiation and monitoring mechanisms.
‘I therefore hope that all the parties concerned will honour their responsibilities in ensuring the effective and faithful implementation of this agreement. And if this is the case and there are no other factors behind the recurrence of rebellions, then one would assume that the implementation of the agreement would lead to lasting peace in northern Mali,’ said Buyoya.
To read the full interview with Buyoya click here.
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Liesl Louw, ISS: +27 82 776 6874, firstname.lastname@example.org
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