“Vestibule de la Paix” – A multi-stakeholder initiative for peacebuilding in Mali
September 25, 2019
Seven years ago, Mali came into the spotlight as violence broke out following an attempt by armed groups to seize control of the North of the country and a military coup. While democracy was returned one year later, instability remains. Since then, Mali has consistently commanded international attention. The United Nations has over 13,000 peacekeepers stationed there and spends over $1 billion dollars a year on what’s officially its deadliest peacekeeping mission. And yet, despite the UN’s efforts, despite those of the Malian government and the rest of the international community, levels of violence continue to rise, as insecurity spreads from the North to include large sections of the center of the country.
Interpeace had been working with the Institut Malien de Recherche-Action pour la Paix (IMRAP) since 2014 and had discovered along the processes carried out at a national level that one of the critical missing pieces was the failure to meaningfully include local communities. The pioneering work of Interpeace and IMRAP—a self-portrait of Mali—had deliberately taken the national conversation on peace and security to Malian communities to help ensure their perspective was adequately taken into account. The work of IMRAP and Interpeace is an ongoing process that aims to sustain and deepen their engagement at country level. Doing so, we will continuously bring our support to the communities not just to talk, but to take action; to launch a national conversation to make sure peacebuilding was no longer an elite business, but an imperative for all.
Today we’re excited to announce the launch of “Vestibule de la Paix” a long-term, multi-partner initiative with the goal of supporting a community based and led approach to peacebuilding in Mali. Led by IMRAP, Interpeace, the Institute of Development Studies and Humanity United (with the acronym H3I), we will be working with communities in the North, Center and South of Mali to supporting them in managing the conflicts without violence and help them build social cohesion. We will also be channeling that experience into conversations with the Malian government and key international players to see how they could shift their practices to harness the power and agency of local actors and build lasting peace.
As part of the partners’ commitment to supporting locally led peacebuilding, we’re proud to be part of this multi-stakeholder initiative that will enhance not only a four-way partnership collaboration but also will engage local, national and international actors at a same stage to propose sustainable solutions for lasting peace. We believe these efforts can be transformative for Malian communities and they can help fundamentally change approaches to peacebuilding in Mali and beyond.
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