Embassy of the United States in Mali
Bamako, Mali, June 20, 2015
Statement by Deputy Assistant Secretary for West Africa and sub-Saharan African Affairs Bisa Williams, June 20, 2015
On behalf of the United States, I wish to congratulate the Malian people on the significant milestone we celebrate today – the signature of the Accord for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali by all of the parties to the Algiers peace talks. We commend all parties – the Government of Mali, the CMA and the Platform – for your commitment to resolving your differences through dialogue. Your willingness to compromise in the greater interest of peace demonstrates how worthy you are of the confidence that has been placed in you by the communities you represent. As one Malian phrase proclaims, « Quand on commence par le dialogue on aboutit à une solution. »
We want to thank the Algerian government for leading the mediation, and the partner and observer countries and international organizations that have supported this process from its inception. We also wish to recognize MINUSMA’s immense contributions to efforts both on the ground and at the negotiating table to restore peace and stability to the Republic of Mali.
We recognize that implementing the peace agreement will not be easy or immediate. It will require all of our dedication and steady, sustained attention in order to succeed. Former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson once said that, “Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time.” We look forward to supporting the Malian people, from all of its communities, as they prepare to take the next step together. We call upon all parties to advance in the logic of peace and reconciliation, to build on the gains you have already achieved with this accord. We also urge all parties to commit to resolving future differences through the mechanisms within the accord. You have arrived at this agreement through a patient process of dialogue and negotiation. We urge that you maintain that same patience, that same dialogue and that same will to reconcile differences as you move forward.
The United States joins the international community in declaring our commitment to the success of Mali’s efforts to achieve a sustainable peace, as one people with one goal and one faith, and with many voices. This peace will be achieved through hard work, mutual understanding, and cooperation, following the words of Nelson Mandela, that « Nous travaillerons ensemble pour soutenir le courage là où il y a la peur, pour encourager la négociation là où il y a le conflit, et donner l’espoir là où règne le désespoir ». Once more, the United States congratulates the entire Malian population on the signature of the peace accord. We remain at your side as you begin its implementation and create together a promising future. Thank you very much.