WACSOF Delegation at the Islamic Council of Mali
WACSOF FACT FINDING MISSION TO MALI, Bamako, 15th February 2013
The Malian crisis has since January 2012 been on the front-burner. It is a crisis with a complex dynamics that is impacting negatively on the socio-economic and political life of the people. As efforts towards resolving the crisis continue to evolve with rapidity, the need for the active involvement of all actors in forging a multi-stakeholder framework for resolving the crisis is very crucial. For the Malian civil society, this need for involvement is especially felt because of the highly disruptive ideas of certain actors that have been posing as civil society since the onset of the crisis. It is in order to address the specific issue of seeming division within civil society as well as to define a coherent strategy for civil society involvement in the future resolution of the crisis that a Fact Finding Mission to Mali was deployed by WACSOF and CODESRIA. The deployment of the mission therefore underscores the solidarity of the entire West African Civil Society constituency with the Malian people in this time of great need, and serves as the first step in WACSOF’s intervention towards re-energizing the Malian Civil Society.
The Mission had extensive consultations with the following pertinent authorities and groups:
- Civil Society Coalitions and Networks
- Parliamentary Select Committee on Security and Defence
- The Islamic Council
- The National Human Rights Commission and Human Rights Organisations
- National Democratic Institute
- The ECOWAS Special Representation in Mali
- The ECOWAS National Unit in Mali
- United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Agency
- Faculty of Law and Political Science, Bamako University
OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Following the consultations the Mission Team states as follows:
- The Malian crisis is defined by two main features:
- The violation of the territorial integrity of Mali by rebel forces and Islamist insurgents in the north
- Political and institutional crisis that crystallized into the 22nd March 2012 Coup
- Although the effect of the Malian Crisis is felt more within the country, its negative implications transcend the boarders of Mali and are felt across the entire West African and contiguous regions.
- Despite the large destabilization caused by the crisis, we note with commendation the determination and resolve of the Malian people towards returning their country back to constitutional order. We encourage them to continue being consistent in working towards a peaceful transition to the democratic order.
- We note however the virtual collapse of the Malian armed forces which underscore the need for comprehensive Security Sector Reforms. The Mission noted with concern however that Captain Sanogo, one of the main actors in the crisis has been appointed to head the Committee on the Reform of the Armed Forces.
- Mission noted with satisfaction the implementation of the road map and the fixing of elections for 7th July. The Mission believes that if all actors apply themselves to the road map, the transition can be completed by the assigned date.
- The Mission noted that the crisis has polarized Malian society and heightened tensions. In this context, genuine reconciliation, tolerance and respect for the human rights of all Malians must be given priority as the transition unfolds.
- The Mission is of the view that there have been unfair and unfounded allegations that civil society has been implicated in supporting the putchists and threatening the democratic order. We found out that the bulk of Malian civil society remains committed to the struggle for the full restoration of the democratic order.
- We note the various allegations of human rights violations committed in the north of Mali and call on all national and international institutions with competence for prosecuting human rights violations to investigate all actors that have been alleged to commit heinous human rights abuses
- We commend the efforts of the University in promoting academic excellence. We however urge Malian academics and intellectuals to be more in seeking pathways towards the full restoration of constitutional and democratic order in tandem with civil society.
10. The Mission commends ECOWAS for the leadership role it has been playing since the crisis broke out and urges them to continue the collaboration they have initiated with the African Union and the United Nations towards the resolution of the crisis in the shortest possible time.
WACSOF and CODESRIA remain committed to working closely with all the critical actors within Malian civil society, state institutions and the international community towards a resolution of the crisis in a manner that promotes the interests of the Malian people and edifies the country’s territorial integrity, state authority, national reconciliation and democratic principles.
Gadiry Abdoul Diallo Jibrin Ibrahim