Strategies to address Violent Extremism in Africa

Photo by Orhan Cicek/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images – retrived from: https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/somali-minister-suspended-over-charcoal-export-to-oman-breaking-un-sanctions-20220524

Promoting peacebuilding and encouraging peaceful co-existence

ACCORD collaborated with the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Mediation Africa (CMA) in jointly hosting former Somalian Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Abdisaid Muse Ali, for a public lecture held on 15 September 2022. The public lecture focussed on unpacking/discussing strategies to address increasing security challenges in Africa, at the intersection of violent extremism and peacebuilding.

H.E. Abdisaid Muse Ali delivered the lecture, while ACCORD’s (Senior Political Advisor) Ambassador Welile Nhlapho moderated the discussion.

H.E. Abdisaid Muse Ali explained how African borders, have established transnational networks, which facilitate violent extremism. He further discussed how these networks are sustained by certain commonalities, which include training bases and language,  used as a tool to advance communication, coordination, as well as amassing of funds. These commonalities help foster trust and eased mobility within and around targeted areas of interest. Amassed funds are channelled through unregulated businesses/financial sectors.

H.E. Abdisaid Muse Ali firmly stated that it is not sensible to address these challenges merely through government and military action as the insurgents are agile and highly adaptive to change, as their operations, contrastingly, do not face bureaucratic challenges or opposition. Alternatively, H.E. Abdisaid Muse Ali reinforced that adopting a mind-shift, which links the community grievances to the transnational nature (of security challenges in Africa), helps to prevent a situation, which could ‘explode’. Strategically, H.E. Abdisadi Muse Ali, highlighted the importance of aligning national interests with external support and to further coalesce collaboration at the regional bloc level. 

Ambassador Welile Nhlapho summarized the key points in H.E. Abdisaid Muse Ali’s presentation and articulated the need to understand the phenomenon, nature of the threat, network, and infrastructure that sustains it, so we can ‘nip it in the bud’.

ACCORD continues to enhance its understanding and expertise in mitigating risk, when it comes to issues of violent extremism/terrorism, through its peacebuilding and peacekeeping initiatives.

Article by:

Xolo Msomi
Intern
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