Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Peace Agreement without Peace

 Rushing to to get ready for the MaliMali textile show at the Clerkenwell Design Week here in London which opens on Tuesday , so  sadly not able to concentrate on developments in Mali, momentous though they are:  Nevertheless,  I just watched Al Jazeera’s report on the Mali Peace treaty which was  signed  on the 15th in Bamako.  It mentioned that the signing went ahead in the absence of‘Tuareg separatists’.  Indeed, it is of course deplorable that the CMA (Coordination des Movements de l’Azawad ) was not present at the signing. However, they did finally initial the peace treaty in Algiers  on the 14,th  albeit  attaching the proviso  that more negotiations would have to take place before they were willing to sign the final agreement.
Al Jazeera and most other news channels chose to present the matter as if the north of Mali is the land of the Tuaregs and this section of the country want their freedom to create the state of Azawad. It is of course necessary to simplify if you are only able to give a couple of minutes of air time to the events in Mali, but this does not illustrate the situation in Mali at all.  Al Jazeera makes no mention of the Plateform, which includes the large number of Tuaregs who are loyal to the government and who want to remain Malian.  Clashes between these two factions have been intensifying in the last few weeks.
So what to make of this long awaited signing of the peace treaty, brokered in Algiers, signed in Bamako on the 15th with great pomp in the presence of several heads of African states?
Keita tells me that IBK rose to the occasion and delivered a splendid and rousing speech in which he more or less attacked certain of his guests, the representatives of the CEDEAO, (the West African allies ) MINUSMA (the UN forces)  and SERVAL (the French forces) for not adhering to the Ouagadougou agreement  of June 2013 which  provided for the  cantonnement  (containment) of the rebel groups (read MNLA) . Instead it is the Malian army which is now in cantonnement and the Malian government is unable to do its job in the north.  IBK in his speech mentioned that he deplored the fact that the children of Kidal have not  been able to go to school for the last three years, but made it clear that this is for want of support by the international  military presence who are effectively  preventing the Malian state from re- establishing itself in the north.  

 IBK's attack has been taken very badly by the head of the UN mission, Hervé Ladsous, who on Saturday accused Mali of being ungrateful, stating that the mission to Ma1i has been very costly in  human terms with 35 dead in the last two years. IBKs speech may have lacked in diplomatic finesse, but it did nevertheless express the sentiments of a large proportion of Malians.

 Sadly, in the aftermath of this signing , and in the absence of the CMA (Coordination des  Movements de l’Azawad ) there remains perhaps only a vestige of hope that the long brokered accord will make any real difference.


Blogger David said...

Yes, the French mission saved Mali in the nick of time. But as we've seen time and time again, it's not just the going-in but the maintenance which really matters - and in that the French did let Mali down. Plus ca change...

8:46 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

Too true David!

9:23 PM  
Blogger Laurent said...

They do love the word Réconciliation in Africa. They are forever réconcilier. I also love the gilded furniture, did they style come from France or was it imported from Africa that is the question. All that Louis XXVIII style never goes out of fashion.

3:11 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

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6:52 AM  

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