News Ghana 9 August 2016
East Africa bloc mulls strategy to curb violent extremism
Experts from the East Africa’s bloc kicked off a meeting in Nairobi on Monday to develop a regional strategy on preventing and countering violent extremism.
The experts at the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) meeting admitted that threat of violent extremism continues to undermine security and development worldwide and in the Horn and Eastern Africa region specifically.
“Recognizing that an effective regional strategy should be based on an in-depth analysis of the actors, drivers and responses to violent extremism in each of the countries, we are developing this strategy through a thorough and inclusive consultative process,” Dr Simon Nyambura, Head of CVE and Counter Terrorism at the IGAD Security Sector Program (ISSP) said.
Nyambura added that national consultations will also take place in the other IGAD member states (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda) as well as Tanzania with the support of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
He said the national consultation process will inform and feed into the development of the regional counter violent extremism (CVE) strategy.
The consultation brought together senior officials from the government, civil society and faith-based organizations, international development partner and United Nations agencies.
According to Nyambura, such a strategy must be based on national experiences of the countries in the region, drawing from comparative cases and lessons from other regions and international strategies and plans in which Africa has been involved in crafting, including the UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.
The region has become a major breeding ground for violent extremists, but it has not developed a common strategy to respond to violent extremism yet.
Responses remain fragmented and largely ad hoc and there is a need for a regional strategy to guide efforts to address the “complex web of interrelated drivers of radicalization” that can lead to violent extremism.