The Mixed Patrols, better known as the Mécanisme Opérationnel de Coordination (MOC) are an armed body formed by former combatants from the three signatories of the peace agreement: the CMA, Plateforme and the Malian state/army. Their primary mandate is to protect Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-integration (DDR) sites, as part of the implementation of the 2015 Peace Agreement. The MOC are often perceived by the community as the main driver of insecurity and tensions in Gao. Its tense relations with local populations have aggravated the conflict. As a way to counter this reality, IMRAP has launched a trust-building process between the MOC and populations in this extremely tense environment, currently leading to the realization of joint community-led and owned actions. Interpeace and IMRAP have also supported the production of explanatory video-clips about the mission and mandate of the MOC, which have aired on national television in Mali, to help increase awareness and reduce tensions between the population and the MOC.
Despite the predominant role of Malian women both in fuelling conflicts and in resolving them outside official decision-making circles, they face several structural obstacles that make it difficult for them to participate in peace structures and Defense and Security Forces (DSF) (see section 1). Consequently, there is a low representation of women in formal decision-making spheres, including peace processes, with rural women feeling particularly excluded. Interpeace and IMRAP are working towards creating stronger trust and collaboration between women in the Gao region in order for them to harness their potential and be able to better collaborate with local peace structures and participate actively in peacebuilding.