Memorandum of Understanding between CEVRO Institute and EMP-ABB in Mali

Date of publication: August 8, 2022

PCMR’s Research Fellow Vojtěch Bílý visited Bamako, Mali on July 11-15, 2022. The main purpose of the visit was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between CEVRO Institute and École de Maintien de la Paix Alioune Blondin Beye (EMP-ABB), in English Alioune Blondin Beye Peace Keeping School.

EMP-ABB is a Training Center of Excellence of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU). The scope of cooperation with EMP-ABB consists of several important dimensions. First of all, research and analysis in the areas of peace, security, and development in Mali and Sahel region is an important part of cooperation. The cooperation also aims at joint publications, including policy-oriented texts. It is also aimed to collaborate in the areas of academic programs, capacity development, exchange of students, lecturers, and knowledge-sharing activities including seminars, conferences, and colloquia.

The Czech Republic is widely engaged in Sahel region, in particular in Mali including militarily. Consequently, we hope that this new collaboration will fill in the existing gap of knowledge and research ouputs concerning this region in Czech academic community.

It is important to emphasize that the cooperation in research activities and publications will be chiefly conducted between the respective research centers in both institutions: PCMR at CEVRO Institute and Centre d’Analyse et de Recherche de l’Espace Sahélo-Saharien (CARESS), in English Centre for Analysis and Research on the Sahel-Saharan Space at EMP-ABB. The Sahel region and in particular Mali provides diverse research opportunities as the region gained more geopolitical importance for Europein recent years. The rise of conflicts, extremist groups, and military coups have been the most prominent cause of insecurity and threats to peace both in Sahel and Mali. In recent years, religious extremist groups that consist of several jihadist groups have gained influence in the Sahel. Alongside the emergence of jihadist groups, deepening environmental and social challenges also contributed to the further tensions between the armed groups in Sahel and Mali.

Vojtěch Bílý also delivered a lecture for experts at EMP-ABB. The lecture touched upon challenges of peace negotiations with a particular focus on the example of the Central African Republic (CAR). Vojtěch Bílý discussed his direct experience with peace talks in CAR and argued that while the context is considerably different, some of the lessons learned could be applied to contemporary Mali.