U.S. Government Holds Roundtable on Lessons Learned from Electoral Violence Prevention in Mali

Woman voting
Woman voting
USAID Mali

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Bamako, Mali - The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), held a roundtable on December 18 to discuss lessons learned from electoral violence prevention during the 2018 Mali elections. The aim of the activity was to support Malian electoral stakeholders in strengthening their electoral early warning and response systems, and to improve the ability of national and local stakeholders to respond to electoral violence.

In the lead-up to Mali’s 2018 presidential elections, international, regional, state and local civil society stakeholders mobilized to prevent and mitigate electoral violence during both the first and second round of the elections. As an example, Association Malienne pour le Relèvement du Taux de Participation aux Elections (AMRTPE) a local non-governmental organization in Mali, implemented the USAID REWARD funded "Project to Support the Promotion of Peaceful Presidential Elections Through Citizen Awareness in Mali," during the country’s 2018 presidential elections.  After the start of the project on June 29, 2018, AMRTPE launched an initiative to train 404 mediators on conflict mediation, and how to monitor election violence and identify warning signs of potential causes of violence to deploy these mediators throughout four regions of Mopti, Ségou, Gao, and Sikasso – and in the District of Bamako, for the July 29, 2018 first round Malian presidential elections. 

AMRTPE also deployed 210 mediators for the August 12, 2018 second round. AMRTPE’s mediators defused tensions several times during the election cycle in voting centers, caravan marches and campaign meetings in their communities. The deployment of electoral mediators on the eve of an election was a first in Mali, and the project received the support and approval from a cross-section of national authorities, political parties, civil society, religious leaders, and national and international observers. Many dignitaries appreciated the efforts of the mediators and congratulated and encouraged them to continue the good work they were doing. 

The December 18 roundtable took advantage of the experiences and expertise these stakeholders built during the elections in order to provide a space for relevant government actors, Malian civil society organizations in Mali, and international organizations to reflect on their roles and activities throughout the electoral process.  They drew lessons learned that will enable them to better respond to future elections, including means to improve communication and coordination between local, national and regional early warning and response actors.

This roundtable on lessons learned from electoral violence prevention in Mali was jointly implemented by two USAID projects: USAID Reacting to Early Warning and Response Data in West Africa (USAID REWARD) and Mali Peacebuilding, Stabilization and Reconciliation project (PSR). USAID REWARD is part of a broader U.S. Government initiative, the Early Warning and Response Partnership (EWARP) supporting ECOWAS and the Member States that was announced at the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in August 2014. The PSR project, USAID/Mali’s development response to peace building, stabilization and reconciliation in northern and central Mali, applies lessons learned from emergency stabilization programming since the 2012 coup to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and capacities of local communities to be more resilient to conflict and violent extremism.

For more information, contact:
Embassy Press Office / ACI 2000 Rue 243 Porte 297 / Bamako, Mali
Tel : 20 70 24 24 /20 70 24 26 / Fax : 20 70 24 79 / Email : PASBamako@state.gov
Embassy: https://ml.usembassy.gov/  

Last updated: January 30, 2019

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