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A risky return for ex-combatants into communities

Continued human rights abuses and a lack of transparency are hindering the successful reintegration of defectors.     Enabling violent extremists to defect from their terror groups to rejoin society is a vital strategy in preventing violent extremism in Africa. But amnesty and rehabilitation programmes for this purpose often fail because security forces

Special Report: Countering militancy in the Sahel

An overview of our recent reporting on the causes and humanitarian consequences of violent extremism in West Africa. Obi Anyadike Violent jihadism continues to gain ground in West Africa, ramping up humanitarian needs in a region where 18.5 million people already require aid. IRIN spent a year reporting from the Sahel to better understand what

Turning the tables on Boko Haram

By Akinola Olojo Identity – for both individuals and groups – is shaped by a mix of elements including ethnicity, religion, culture and personal experiences. Much of this is historical in nature. Violent extremist groups drawn on such elements of historical identity in their narratives to further their objectives. But can this history

Can violent extremism be prevented?

•Despite significant financial investment, expectations about what can be achieved have been tempered by global realities.   Cheryl Frank, Allan Ngari, Isel van Zyl and Jacqueline Cochrane     Can the global community prevent violent extremism? Is the violence associated with terrorism different from other forms of violence, and in what ways? Although the UN’s

Stopping the spread of terror onto West Africa’s coast

Preventing the spillover of violent extremism from the Sahel is better than having to counter it later. By michaël Matongbada    A rising number of attacks by gunmen this year have shaken the eastern part of Burkina Faso, increasing insecurity in the area. Although no group has claimed responsibility, the attackers are believed

Helping those affected by Boko Haram to get back on their feet

Countries in the Lake Chad basin have come together to fight Boko Haram through joint military operations. However, there is a growing realisation that non-military strategies are needed to make sure these areas do not remain at the mercy of violent extremism. The Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), with the support

Violent Extremism: Army changes tactics in N/East

By Hamza Suleiman Nigerian Army has started a 30-day public awareness against violent religious extremism in the North East, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burutai, says. Buratai made this known at the launch of the sensitisation in Maiduguri on Monday. Represented by Maj.-Gen. David Ahmadu, the Chief of Training and

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