Reversing the escalating violence of militant Islamist groups in the Sahel will require an enhanced security presence coupled with more sustained outreach to local communities.
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Program materials for the Africa Center's 2019 program, “National Security Strategy Development Workshop: Central and Southern Africa.” Click here for syllabus, readings, and presentation slides.
The violent extremist threat in northern Mozambique exploits underlying societal vulnerabilities of inequity, insecure land rights, and distrust of authorities.
A emergência de um novo grupo militante islâmico no norte de Moçambique cria várias preocupações sobre a influência da ideologia jihadista internacional, marginalização social e económica das comunidades muçulmanas locais e uma forte reação em termos de segurança.
If Victims Become Perpetrators: Factors Contributing to the Vulnerability and Resilience to Violent Extremism in the Central Sahel
Marginalized young Fulani people in central Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger behave in different ways when faced with violent extremism. Data gathered from 36 focus groups held in four villages in each of the three countries shows that one important determinant of support for extremist groups is experience or perception that the government is corrupt and abusive. Another is whether conflict resolution mechanisms to regulate access to natural resources, in particular water for crops and land for pasture, function adequately. While jihadi justice is seen as swift, if at times inhumane, some young people who perceive complicity between the army and ethnic militias also see violent extremist groups as their only defense.
Program materials for the Africa Center's 2018 National Strategies to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism in Africa program. Click here for syllabus, readings, and slides.
Program materials for the Africa Center's 2017 National Strategies to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism in Africa program. Click here for syllabus, bios, readings, and slides.
The emergence of a new militant Islamist group in northern Mozambique raises a host of concerns over the influence of international jihadist ideology, social and economic marginalization of local Muslim communities, and a heavy-handed security response.
Program materials for the Africa Center's 2018 Countering Violent Extremism in Africa Roundtable.
Based on extensive field research and interviews with youth across the continent. This report examines the drivers for youth to join extremist groups in Africa. UNDP found that isolation, lack of exposure to other religions and perspectives, lack of access to education, economic inequality and unemployment, the inability to participate in civic life, and poor relations with the security sector (including human rights abuses), all contribute to a young person joining an extremist group. The report recommends better connecting human rights priorities to security assistance in counterterrorism, increasing the legitimacy of governments through improved accountability and equitable governance, connecting efforts to prevent violent extremism to sustainable development, and coordinating responses to violent extremism at the national, regional and international levels.
Violent extremist organizations have expanded their ambitions, capacities, and geographical reach into the Sahel and West Africa, creating an arc of instability across the region. Boko Haram, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and other militant groups present a continuing threat to the stability of the region. As they come under increasing pressure from regional and international security forces, their future evolution is uncertain, but they have proven their ability to adapt and rebound in the face of previous setbacks. The Africa Center’s Benjamin Nickels joined a panel experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies to discuss the continuing challenges facing the Sahel.
Abdisaid M. Ali reviews the mainstreaming of Salafist ideology in East Africa and the polarizing impact of this more exclusivist interpretation of Islam.