Mali: Fatimata Touré

I will retire the day when no one fears for their safety.

— Fatimata Touré

Fatimata Touré was born in Gao (the sixth administrative region of Mali) in 1956. She is the leader of the Association of Women for Peace and Development in Northern Mali, an organization that works particularly in the regions of Gao, Tombouctou, and Kidal. She contributed also to the consolidation of peace in the north of Mali and fights against the circulation of weapons in the sixth, seventh, and eighth administrative region of Mali.

Since the explosion of conflict in the north of Mali in the early 1990s, Madame Fatimata Touré, the president of the Association of Women for Peace and Development in Northern Mali, and her comrades worked with the Touareg rebels to persuade them to sit at the negotiating table with the central authorities to discuss a ceasefire. This had the effect that the rebel movements accepted negotiations and, in some places, a ceasefire. What’s more, Madam Touré went through the long process of encouraging communities of the north to participate in the consolidation of peace and to collect weapons held by civilian populations. She was always concerned that intercommunity conflict would affect the northern parts of Mali. Fortunately, her work bore fruit and weapons were collected and burned by authorities in 1996 at the time of the Flame of Peace in Timbuktu. Fatimata Touré is also involved in the process of re-integration of the former fighters of the Touareg movements. 3000 former rebels were absorbed into the Malian army, the French police force, and customs authorities. Those that were not employed were helped to find activities allowing them to re-integrate into civilian life.

Association des Femmes pour la Paix et le Développement au Nord Mali