Staff

Milena Berks

Milena Berks

Researcher / Project Officer


contact by phone

+49 228 91196 - 68

contact by mobile

+ 49 1573 531 20 70

contact by e-mail

milena.berks(at)bicc.de

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Expertise

Research Profile


As a researcher and project officer in the project "Regional Approaches to Dealing with Armed Groups in the Sahel",  Milena focuses on regional dynamics of armed conflict, including the role of the exploitation of natural resources and organised crime and non-state armed groups in the Sahel. Milena is interested in processes of socialisation of violence as well as identity in and after conflict. She has worked closely on Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration processes in different contexts, primarily in Africa. Milena pursues her Ph.D. on the role of social identity in the reintegration processes of former Tuareg and Tubu combatants in Niger at the Catholic University Louvain (UCLouvain).

Research Topics / Key Expertise


Regional dynamics of armed conflict

Socialisation of violence

Role of identity in and after conflict

Reintegration of former combatants

DDR

Small arms control 

Countries Of Expertise


  • Chad,
  • Central African Republic,
  • Niger

Professional Career

Milena joined BICC in 2021 as a researcher and project officer supporting the joint project between BICC and the UN Department of Peace Operations on the Revision and Dissemination of the United Nations Integrated Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration Standards (IDDRS). She now works on a follow-up project focusing on regional approaches to dealing with armed groups in the Sahel, exploring regional conflict dynamics, including the linkage between armed groups, the exploitation of natural resources, and organised crime.

Before joining BICC, Milena worked at the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) in New York in the conventional arms branch, where she helped to implement small arms control initiatives in Africa together with national and regional partners, such as the African Union and the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA). She started working on small arms control issues already before that within the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) control project at BICC, engaging in regional small arms control initiatives in various countries in West- Central-, and East Africa, notably Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Sudan. Milena also has practical experience as a DDR Officer for the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and worked at the University Abdou Moumouni (UAM) in Niamey, Niger, in the framework of a cooperation between UAM and the Catholic University of Louvain (UCLouvain). Milena currently pursues her Ph.D. at UCLouvain on the role of social identity in the reintegration processes of former Tuareg and Tubu combatants in Niger.

Important Publications

Berks, M., & Breitung, C., & Richards, J., & Tonn, A.

The evolving nature of DDR. Study on engaging armed groups across the peace continuum

UN Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI) & BICC (2021)

Open

Berks, M., & Aoun, E., & Liégeois, M.

The United Nations in the 21st Century: Highlights on Peacekeeping Issues and Power Shifts, Coll. Scène internationale, PUL, Louvain-la-Neuve.

(2018)

Open

Berks, M., & Breitung, C., & Engelberth, S., & Richards, J.

Between concepts and reality: How to deal with armed groups in transition phases of violent conflict?

BICC , Bonn (2022)

Open

Publications

Amin, N., & Berks, M., & Breitung, C., & Raafat, L., & Philipsenburg, A.

Addressing Regional Dynamics of Armed Conflict - Connecting DDR Policy, Research and Practice

BICC , Bonn (2024)

Open

Breitung, C., & Berks, M., & Haidara, B., & Oginni, O.

Coup in Niger: Why Military Interventions are Doomed to Fail

BICC , Bonn (2023)

Open

Berks, M., & Breitung, C., & Engelberth, S., & Richards, J.

Between concepts and reality: How to deal with armed groups in transition phases of violent conflict?

BICC , Bonn (2022)

Open

Berks, M., & Breitung, C., & Richards, J., & Tonn, A.

The evolving nature of DDR. Study on engaging armed groups across the peace continuum

UN Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI) & BICC (2021)

Open

Berks, M., & Aoun, E., & Liégeois, M.

The United Nations in the 21st Century: Highlights on Peacekeeping Issues and Power Shifts, Coll. Scène internationale, PUL, Louvain-la-Neuve.

(2018)

Open