Organisation Internationale de Droit du Développement



The Sahel region is caught in a vicious cycle: insecurity is on the rise, the capacity of countries to provide basic services, maintain order and deliver justice is diminishing, development is hampered, tensions within communities are mounting and there is growing distrust of the State. Impunity, corruption and lack of justice are among the root causes of instability and insecurity in the region. The absence of an effective response to crime and conflict - such as banditry, cattle theft, attacks on roads and markets, as well as illegal detention and other injustices committed by state agents - contributes to the deterioration of State legitimacy and creates a breeding ground for jihadist and organized crime groups. Beyond strengthening institutions to combat terrorism, it is therefore essential to address the systemic shortcomings within criminal justice systems to effectively reduce instability in the region.

La région du Sahel fait face à un cercle vicieux : l’insécurité augmente, la capacité des États à assurer les services de base et le maintien de l’ordre et la justice diminue, le développement est davantage entravé, les tensions intercommunautaires s’attisent et la méfiance envers l’État grandit. L'impunité, la corruption et le manque de justice, font partie des causes profondes de l’instabilité et de l’insécurité dans la région. L’absence de réponse face à la criminalité et aux conflits - comme le banditisme, le vol de bétail, les attaques sur les routes et marchés, ainsi que la détention illégale et les injustices commises par les agents de la justice – contribue à dégrader la légitimité des États et à créer un terrain propice pour les groupes djihadistes et de crime organisé.  Au-delà du renforcement des institutions de lutte contre le terrorisme, il apparait donc essentiel de remédier aux défaillances systémiques des systèmes de justice pénale afin de lutter efficacement contre l'instabilité dans la région.

MALI: Appui à l’Emergence de Leaders Locaux Engages dans la Lutte Contre les Violences Sexuelles et Basées sur le Genre à Tombouctou

This sub-project aims to contribute to the reduction of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the urban commune of Timbuktu. The Centre de Formation, de Gouvernance et de Recherche Action pour le Développement (CFOGRAD) is delivering a series of training sessions on the causes and consequences of SGBV, legal instruments to prevent and protect rights of women and awareness-raising tools to local leaders, including communal officials, religious leaders, staff of the Tribunal de Grande Instance and of the social development and health services.

MALI: Education aux Meilleures Pratiques d’Abandon des Violences Basées sur le Genre, au Dialogue avec les Détenteurs de Droits Coutumiers, avec la Justice Formelle et l’Accès des Survivantes à la Justice

This sub-project aimed to improve women's access to justice and knowledge on best practices to fight gender-based violence (GBV) in Konobougou and Ségou, Mali. Service de Développement Intégré (SDI) delivered a series of training sessions for local community leaders on GBV and their roles and responsibilities in the fight against GBV.


This sub-project aimed to reduce the number of cases dismissed and acquitted by the Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI) of Ségou, Mali. The Organisation Non Gouvernementale WALE mapped the structures linked to the TGI of Ségou, including police, gendarmerie and town halls, in order to identify beneficiaries for the training on the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code and judicial management aimed at enhancing the quality of investigation reports developed by the judicial police officers and agents.

MALI: Contribution à la Protection des Femmes/Filles Survivantes de Violences Basées sur le Genre (VBG) dans la Région de Mopti pour l’Ancrage de la Justice sur l’Egalite des Sexes dans les Pratiques Sociales de la Communauté

This sub-project aimed to improve the social and legal environment in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) in Mali. The Alternative pour le Développement et l’Environnement au Sahel (ADE-SAHEL) organized a series of public sensitization events on the fight against and prevention of GBV and female genital mutilation, as well as conferences and inter-community dialogues with local cultural and religious leaders, to engage communities in the change of harmful behaviours and formalize commitments by local leaders to safeguard the rights of women and girls.

MALI: Accès à la Justice en Faveur des Citoyens et des Justiciables de la Région de Gao (PAJ-RG)

This sub-project aimed to improve the quality of the traditional criminal justice system for it to become more focused on people’s needs. The Groupe Action Recherche Pour le Développement Local (GARDL) raised awareness on access to justice, the response to gender-based violence (GBV) and formal justice mechanisms by organizing sensitization campaigns for paralegals and the local community, and by developing and airing radio programmes on access to justice, GBV and women, children and detainees’ rights.

MALI: Projet de Promotion des Droits des Enfants et de l’Egalite entre les Filles et les Garçons dans la Commune Urbaine de Mopti

This sub-project sought to contribute to the advancement of gender equality and guarantee of children’s fundamental rights in the municipality of Mopti, in Mali. The Association Recherche-Action Femmes et Développement (ARAFD) organized a series of training sessions and dialogues on children’s rights, gender equality, prevention of gender-based violence and response mechanisms for school students, parents, teachers and women leaders of the community to increase their knowledge of the topic.

Climate and Conflict in the Sahel: a Rule of Law Perspective

In fragile contexts, the immediate impacts of climate change on precipitation and temperatures risk to combine with political and social tensions exacerbating destructive competition over scarce natural resources.

This is tragically evident in Africa’s semi-arid Sahel region, where recurrent droughts, population growth and weak governance ​are increasing pressure on land and water


Key Initiatives

  • The failure of criminal justice systems in the Sahel to deliver better quality justice can be linked to a series of interconnected factors, such as: the overwhelming lack of human, material and financial capacity; corruption and weak internal control mechanisms; and limitations on civil society to ensure respect for human rights.
  • As part of IDLO’s continuous commitment to accountability and results-based management, IDLO is pleased to share this Mid-Term Evaluation Brief for the project, “Strengthening the Criminal Justice Chain in the North of Mali (SCJC)”. The evaluation has been conducted by independent evaluation experts, supervised by IDLO’s Evaluation Unit.
  • It is only 25 years ago that Mali initiated its transition from dictatorship to a more inclusive democracy and a more equal society. In many ways it is, therefore, no great surprise that the country has not been able to either transcend personalised power politics or overcome critical socio-economic cleavages.
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