Mali OTI
Dogon women in Mali.

Supporting the national-level peace process, while restoring a sense of normalcy in the strategic areas in the North, and countering violent extremism through the inclusion of marginalized communities.

Why USAID/OTI is in Mali

In 2012, Mali was destabilized by a rebellion by Northern Armed Groups— some with Al Qaida connections — and a subsequent coup d’état by military elements, followed by terrorists exploiting the security vacuum. In response, France launched Operation Serval, the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) deployed its International Support Mission to Mali, and in July 2013, the United Nations established its peacekeeping mission. The success of Operation Serval and the peacekeeping forces opened space for the Malian government to develop a “Roadmap for Political Transition,” outlining the holding of presidential elections in July 2013, parliamentary elections in November 2014 and the start of peace talks with the Northern Armed Groups in July 2014, which culminated in a peace accord in June 2015.

In January 2013, USAID/OTI seized this window of opportunity to work with Malian civil society and community organizations to support broad-based participation in the democratic process, and to promote improved access to reliable information about the transition, including news about the ongoing peace negotiations between the Malian Government and the Northern Armed Groups.

USAID/OTI’S Role in Mali

In support of U.S. Government foreign policy objectives, USAID/OTI is helping Mali in the implementation of its roadmap for political transition. After supporting the participation in and legitimacy of the successful July elections, USAID/OTI’s objectives currently focus on:

  • Increasing the supply and demand for a peaceful resolution to the conflict with the Northern Armed Groups;
  • Restoring a sense of normalcy in strategic areas in the North; and
  • Countering violent extremism through inclusion of marginalized communities.

Program Highlights

USAID/OTI’s program has acted as a catalyst for a peaceful transition from conflict toward reconciliation and restoration of democratic institutions. Activities include:

  • Creation of the " Together We Are One People”) campaign, a platform of youth groups utilizing social media and community events to advocate for a peaceful resolution to the conflict;
  • Establishment of the Ministry of Reconciliation’s communications cell to facilitate the government’s communications on the progress of the peace talks; and
  • Support for reintegration and reconciliation among some of Mali's most isolated communities in the Gounzoureye Commune of Gao in Northern Mali.
Related Sectors of Work