The agreement aims to restore peace in Mali, including through a process of decentralization or regionalization, by re-establishing a national army made up of members of former armed groups and by stimulating the economy (particularly in the North) on the basis of dialogue, justice and national reconciliation. The delay in implementation is symptomatic, in the first place, of the lack of will of the signatories. Neither the Malian government nor the other parties were enthusiastic about the text of the agreement in 2015; International constraints, particularly from Algeria, France and the United States, led them to sign them. Civil society organizations in northern and southern Mali, which are supposed to represent local populations, have effectively been excluded from the process. While the Malian state and the signatory armed groups feel that foreigners have imposed reconciliation on them, Malians in the South remain very wary of ex-rebels and an agreement that was largely opaque to them. Many in the South believe that the agreement is the first step towards a possible division of the country. According to the Mali-Métre opinion poll (March 2020), « the vast majority of citizens surveyed (80.1%) reported that they had « no » (61 per cent) or « little » knowledge (19.1 per cent) of the peace agreement. » First, the CMA – an alliance of Tuareg and Arab rebels – signed the agreement under enormous international pressure. Algeria, France and the UN Mission in Mali (Minusma) insisted that the leaders of the CMA should not miss this unique opportunity to join the peace procession. The CMA, which did not want to be seen as an enemy of peace, like the fighters close to Al Qaeda who controlled the Tuareg rebels in northern Mali in 2012, finally decided to register.
It is therefore essential that the people of the south of the Community provide more support to the process by the political elites and civil society organisations they are supposed to represent. They played no role in the discussions that led to the signing of the agreement in 2015 and many reject a negotiated text without their input. The 2015 text gave the Malian government the task of providing information and raising public awareness of the content of the agreement, but as the Carter Center noted, the government has done little in this regard. There are now more public campaigns protesting against the peace agreement than supporting it.