The Fulani, Dafing and Dogon communities signed a humanitarian peace agreement on 7 February 2021. Through this agreement, the communities commit to ensuring the physical integrity and free circulation of persons, goods and livestock, while condemning the violence in the circle of Bankass in Central Mali.
The result of an eight-month mediation led by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), the agreement was signed between representatives of the Fulani, Dafing and Dogon communities of 7 of the 12 municipalities in the circle of Bankass.*
“This agreement follows those signed just a few days ago in the neighbouring circle of Koro. A ripple effect is at work. From one circle to another, the communities follow advances in favour of peace and are gradually joining in,” explained Abdelkader Sidibé, HD’s Head of Mission for the Sahel.
“The circle of Bankass has been one of the most affected by the crisis in the Central Mali. It is a message of hope for the stabilisation of the region: communities killing each other yesterday are forgiving each other today.”
In 2019, the neighbouring municipalities of Baye and Ouenkoro had already committed to peace, which resulted in the pause in attacks between communities, the return of 400 displaced people, as well as the lifting of nine embargoes.
However, inter-community mistrust in the rest of the circle had prevented the expansion of mediation efforts. The level of violence continued to escalate, culminating in the attack on the Ogossagou village on 23 March 2019, resulting in the deaths of over 160 Fulani civilians.
Through this new agreement, the parties agree to:
- Encouraging community leaders to commit to peace by pardoning all past actions and by dissemination messages of peace and cohesion;
- Facilitating the free circulation of people and of their goods across all the communes;
- Accompanying and facilitating the return of all displaced people;
- Encouraging and facilitating the frequenting of the villages and markets by all the communities;
- Avoiding the circulation of weapons in the villages and towns;
- Opposing theft of livestock and facilitating the search for stolen animals and goods so that they can be restored to their owners;
- Facilitating the use of natural resources and land by all communities;
- Supporting the socio-economic development of the communes by encouraging the gradual return of basic social services and the access of NGOs to the area;
- Respecting the laws, customs, and places of worship of the different communities;
- Respecting the moral authority of traditional and religious authorities, who, before the crisis, ensured social cohesion and eased social tensions.
These recent mediation efforts engaged with all groups with influence on the conflict, namely the leaders of the Fulani, Dafing and Dogon communities, the armed actors of the parties as well as the women and youth representatives from all the communities of the circle.
The Malian authorities have been kept closely informed of the progress of the process by HD, and HD thanks the local authorities for their trust and support throughout the process.
HD intends to continue its efforts in the circle of Bankass throughout the implementation of the Agreements by supporting follow-up committees established in its provisions.
HD will also examine how its efforts can be replicated in other communes of the circle of Bankass and in neighbouring areas.
These agreements are part of the mediation framework carried out by HD – also known as the Henry Dunant Centre – as mandated by the Office of the Prime Minister of Mali and with the financial support of the Government of Canada.
Note: The communes covered by this agreement include the communes of Diallassagou, Koulogon Habé, Lessagou Habé, Ségue, Soubala, Sokoura and Tori. The communes which are not covered by these agreements are those of Bankass, Baye, Kani Bonzo, Dimbal Habbé and Ouenkoro.