The Malian peace agreement of 2015, known as the Algiers Agreement, aimed to improve relations between select representatives of northern Mali and central state authorities through decentralisation. Yet, in contrast to ongoing counterterrorism efforts, governance reform through the decentralisation process has received little attention from either the Malian government or its international partners. As a consequence, effective decentralisation in northern regions remains limited at this point in time.
This policy brief contributes to the debate on decentralisation in Mali by illustrating how decentralisation in northern Mali has become an issue of contestation between central state authorities and armed signatories. Decentralisation remains captured in a logic of territorial control, in which the representation of armed signatories takes precedence before the needs and interests of marginalised tribes and communities in northern regions. Central state authorities and signatories have been reinforcing this logic of representation, each trying to hamper the influence of the other over territorial control in northern regions.
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