AfP’s Mali Affinity Group Hosts Meeting on State of Security within the Country

December 21, 2016

dsc07709On Wednesday, December 14th, the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) convened a meeting of the Mali Affinity Group, gathering leaders of civil society and think-tanks, including numerous Malian nationals. The Malian Ambassador to the United States, the Honorable Mr. Tiena Coulibaly was also in attendance. The meeting began with a briefing and remarks surrounding the state of security within Mali, especially with concerns of Al-Qaeda related terrorist attacks within the northern half of the country.

Attendees posed questions on how to solve the on-going violence, which has intensified in the past months. Numerous themes were discussed, including how to better empower civil society to address security threats through mediation and collaboration. Most of all, the group seemed very focused on asking the Malian Ambassador how they could better collaborate and work with government officials and Malians to address security threats.

The group expressed its gratitude for the ability of the Mali government to work with and listen to civil society. After the discussion, the group welcomed a special guest, Victor Ochen, the current United Nations Honorary Ambassador for Sustainable Development Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and Rule of Law. He explained the importance of empowering youth to be drivers of peace and justice and said the world needs to do better in ensuring they have a voice and a stake the political process. Investing in youth to become more involved in civics will allow them to help shape their own future and learn the importance of preserving peace for generations to come.