Three panel members of the workshop.
Mali/Sahel: Publication

Report: religious leaders and humanitarian norms

24 March 2022

The Centre participated in a workshop in Mali which brought together religious leaders, scholars, and humanitarian actors to reinforce protection and generate greater respect for humanitarian norms.

Since January 2020, in collaboration with Geneva Call, the Generating Respect Project has been implementing research activities in Mali on the geography of armed conflicts, their typology, and the structures and organisations of actors involved, including their ideologies and recurring violations. The project has also identified religious leaders who have taken positions or carried out activities relating to conflicts and the conduct of armed actors. After this mapping, the researchers conducted interviews with academics and practitioners on the dynamics of the conflict and the humanitarian situation in Mali.

In this context of applied research, the Generating Respect Project, Geneva Call and Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Center co-organised a workshop on "The influence of religious leaders on armed actors and their compliance with humanitarian norms in Mali”. This activity, which was aimed to bringing together religious leaders, researchers, and humanitarian actors, was an opportunity for the project to meet with the stakeholders in order to identify points of attention relating to the role of religious leaders and the protection of humanitarian norms in Mali.

More than thirty participants took part in the workshop organised in Bamako, some of whom came from Ségou, Mopti, Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal. There were religious leaders, representatives of humanitarian organisations, non-governmental and governmental organisations, diplomatic missions, and academic institutions. In view of the Chatham House rule that was applied during the sessions – with the exception of the opening and closing sessions and the presentation made by the researcher of the Generating Respect Project during session 1 – this report does not mention the identities of participants or their institutional affiliations.

The workshop included five sessions with presentations by panelists, discussions and debates around specific themes and practical cases. This final report presents a compilation of the information shared.

Mali Regional Desk

Bamako, Mali

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