Tolerance and non-violence: Ibrahim Ag Idbaltanat, winner of the 2014 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize, honored in Mali

The Malian Ministry of National Reconciliation, in collaboration with the UNESCO office in Bamako, celebrated at the TUMAST Cultural Center on May 11, the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence awarded in 2014 to Mr. Ibrahim Ag Idbaltanat.

This prestigious award, named after the Indian writer, artist and diplomat Madanjeet Singh, was awarded to Mr. Ibrahim Ag Idbaltanat for his outstanding contribution to peacebuilding and conflict resolution among the different groups of Malian society, through dialogue and non-violence.

The ceremony was attended by Mr. Zahabi Ould Sidi Mohamed, Malian Minister of National Reconciliation, Mr. Mohamed Ag Erlaf, Minister of Environment and Sanitation, as well as many other personalities who wished to show their support to the winner.

As mentioned by the Minister of National Reconciliation in his speech: "Ibrahim Ag Idbaltanat is a lever in the fight against injustice and social inequalities. I am convinced that the struggle that he led (…) will continue on the same path of non-violence. That he will serve as an inspiration to many other Malians".

Mr. Lazare Eloundou, Director of the UNESCO Office in Bamako stated for his part: " Ibrahim, you are a source of inspiration to us all, for new generations, a call to make tolerance a daily behavior, an active vigilance, to be renewed every day in order to build peace in the minds of men and women. "

The ceremony, organized during a significant week of Malian history, has become the symbol for the efforts made to build lasting peace in the country. In a moving speech, the award recipient also wished to thank the authorities present at the gathering, as well as his team, in addition to conveying a message of hope to the Malian people: "I refuse to give in to pessimism because for me, reconciliation and peace is always possible. Non-violence is the way to humanity".

Official speeches and testimonies were followed by musical entertainment from the Doumba Maïga and Baba Salah Takamba group.