The Sahel

Promediation and its action in the Sahel :

supporting peace and stabilisation efforts / preventing conflicts

Professionals with more than 15 years of experience in diplomacy, peace-making efforts and peace building in Mali, North and Western Africa supervise the Sahel programme, ensuring high-quality analysis of the situation and of the key stakeholders, providing contacts and building trust with the leadership of signatory armed movements and national authorities in Mali, with prominent Sahelian and North African stakeholders and with international actors involved in stabilizing the zone (international organizations and governments). Supporting the peace process in Mali is the cornerstone of the Sahel programme. Promediation is also involved in preventing risks of further destabilisation of the Sahel, focusing on Niger and Chad, by promoting in-depth analysis of the political and security evolutions in these countries, as well as in southern Libya, and supporting dialogue and mediation efforts at local and national levels.

The Promediation team is involved in Mali and the Sahel since 2012. Since June 2014, our programme is generously funded by the Peace and Reconciliation department of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Promediation team worked in Mali in complement of international efforts to promote peace and inclusive dialogue during the current crisis by:
– 1. facilitating dialogue among the various components of northern civil society, including displaced people and refugees in Niger, Mauritania and Burkina Faso (2012-2013);
– 2. creating a network of Malian northern leaders influential among their communities and zones and to some extent in Bamako, in order to secure buy-in for the peace process (since 2012);
– 3. raising awareness among mediators and political actors of the complexity of inter-community relations in northern Mali, and in relation to the central power in Bamako, and conveying views of civil society leaders to mediators and political actors;
– 4. building a trustful relationship with the leadership among the parties, initiating preparatory steps to assemble conditions for negotiations to take place, including support for stronger internal cohesion.
Since the signature of the Peace Agreement in May and June 2015, Promediation has focused its action on supporting negotiations between the three parties to the Peace Agreement in Mali in order to ensure the implementation of the agreed dispositions contained in the Peace Agreement, their commitment to the implementation of the Agreement, internal cohesion within each party, national support for the Peace Agreement and reconciliation.

Through all these initiatives, the Promediation team also built confidence with neighbouring states’ authorities of the Sahel at the highest level and developed a large network among experts and prominent stakeholders in the Sahel allowing acquiring an in-depth understanding of the evolutions and risks of destabilisation in the Sahel, and a unique capacity to support initiatives of conflict prevention through mediation and facilitation of dialogue. Promediation is discretely involved in supporting these efforts in Niger and Chad, and developed a Libya programme largely focused on the Fezzan and interconnected areas across Libya and Sahel neighbouring countries. Promediation was also asked by youth organizations gathering young Fulani leaders in Mali to support dialogue efforts, as well as a better understanding of the challenges in the centre of Mali brought to light by the rise of difficult to identify movements and armed groups that have been perpetrating armed violence since early 2015. Promediation has since then been involved in supporting the creation of opportunities for various forms of dialogue in order to mitigate tensions and find sustainable solutions to issues in which are rooted armed violence and terrorist actions. This includes preliminary steps of dialogue in central Mali, but also in the interconnected area of the Burkinabe Sahel.

Promediation is also convinced that analysis and information sharing need to be increased among both local and international actors in order to foster opportunities for crisis prevention and improve stabilization efforts. Therefore, Promediation organizes regular informal meetings as well as high-level events that allowed for better connexion and mutual understanding of strategies and interests between non-governmental, governmental and international stakeholders in the in interconnected areas of the Maghreb and in the Sahel.