Lack of jobs, the main driver of violent extremism in sub-Saharan Africa: UNDP — Global Issues

The report is titled, Journey to Extremism in Africa: The Path to Recruitment and Exitemphasizes the importance of economic factors as the driving force for recruitment.

the element of despair

Lack of income, lack of job opportunities and livelihoods, which means “fundamental despair” push people to take a chance, with whoever offers it” said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, speaking at the launch of the report.

He added that around 25 percent of all recruits reported a lack of job opportunities was the main reason, while about 40% said they “need a livelihood urgently at the time of hiring”.

Sub-Saharan Africa has become new global epicenter of violent extremism with nearly half of global terrorism deaths recorded there by 2021.

The report draws from interviews with nearly 2,200 different people in eight countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Nigher, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan.

In their own words

More than 1,000 of those interviewed are former members of violent extremist groups, both voluntarily and by coercion.

A quarter of the volunteers said the main factor was unemployment – one An increase of 92% compared to the most recent UNDP study of violent extremism in 2017.

About 48% of those recruited voluntarily told researchers that there had been “a trigger event” that led to their enrollment.

Abusing recruiting drivers too

Nirina Kiplagat, lead author of the report and UNDP Regional Peacebuilding Advisor, said that of those, some “71 per cent believe they have suffered human rights violations, such as government actions. “.

Violations of basic human rights as seen a father is arrested, or a brother is taken away by the national military forces, was one of the agents cited.

According to the report, peer pressure from family members or friends, considered the second most common motivation for recruitment, included women who followed their husband or wife into an extremist group.

Religious ideology was the third most popular reason to participate, cited by about 17 percent of respondents. This represents a 57 percent drop from the 2017 results.

Families from Nigeria who have fled Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria, are taking shelter in Diffa, Niger

OCHA/Franck Kuwonu

Families from Nigeria who have fled Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria, are taking shelter in Diffa, Niger

Remedies based on development

The new report is part of a series of three, analyzing the prevention of violent extremism. It highlights urgent need to move from security-based responses to development-based approaches UNDP said the focus is on prevention.

It calls for more investment in basic services including child welfare and education and calls for investment in rehabilitation and community reintegration services.

Mr Steiner said a “toxic mix” was being created out of poverty, destitute and lack of opportunity, with so many citing “urgent need to find a livelihood”. It is equivalent to a society”no more rule of law, turn to some of these violent extremist groups to provide security.”

Security-based counterterrorism responses are often costly and minimally effective, and investing in methods to prevent violent extremism is not enough, said the UNDP administrator.

Terrorist groups like ISIS, Boko Haram or Al-Qaeda arose out of local conditions, but then began to accumulate weapons and secure financing – in the case of the Sahel, allowing other groups to become self-sufficient. resources independently.

No surprises

The geopolitical aspect will not surprise anyone”, said Mr. Steiner, when States are no longer able to provide meaningful rule of law or national security, “then the chance for other actors to be a part of this drama increases exponentiallywe’ve seen it in Mali, we’ve seen it in Libya, we’ve seen it in the Horn of Africa.”

Based on interviews, the report also identifies factors that cause recruits to leave armed groups, such as unmet financial expectations or a lack of trust in the group’s leadership.


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