Local peacebuilders in Mali demand that efforts to prevent violence address needs of communities

An attack on a village in central Mali on 10th June has killed over 100 people, the latest in a series of attacks in Mali in recent months and a worsening security situation. Peace Direct expresses deep sympathy with those killed and condemns the use of violence.

Local experts in Mali interviewed by Peace Direct say that to avoid further violent conflict, it is vital that the Malian authorities ensure that efforts to prevent violence and increase stability extend into the entire county, and look to local organisations to lead response activities.

Conflict between the Dogon and Fulani people and friction over resources is long-standing, and the security situation in central Mali continues to deteriorate, with armed attacks continuing to target civilian populations, and the Malian and foreign security forces. A deadly attack on 23rd March on the village of Ogossagou killed over 150 people, and an attack on the Dioura military camp a few days earlier claimed the lives of 23 Malian soldiers.

Since the attacks, we have been in contact with people in the region, and are keeping track of developments. Peace Direct spoke to local peacebuilders, who say the violence stems from a lack of state presence, poor governance and justice, and pervasive poverty and youth unemployment. For Moussa Tolo, based in Mopti “to ensure that communities survive and social cohesion is maintained, it is vital to support these communities with development programs. As opposed to being viewed as adversaries, herder and farmer populations from the Peulh and Dogon ethnic groups must work together as development partners – uniting round a table to contribute to the development of their communities.”

“As opposed to being viewed as adversaries, herder and farmer populations from the Peulh and Dogon ethnic groups must work together as development partners – uniting round a table to contribute to the development of their communities.” 

Mali on the Brink’ a report published by Peace Direct, sets out recommendations by local experts for a more resilient Mali.

Recommendations for national actors include:

• Supporting local peacebuilding by prioritising civic education
• Creating more employment opportunities
• Increasing social and economic reintegration of ex-combatants

International actors should:

• Increase investment in infrastructure
• Prioritise women, young people and grassroots organisations
• Visit Mali’s regions and local CSOs to better understand the local political, economic, and social contexts.

Read more in ‘Mali on the Brink’

 

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