The Role of Young People in Preventing Violent Extremism in the Lake Chad Basin
A contribution to the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015)
Theophilus Ekpon | Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS) | 2017
Threats posed by violent extremist groups has grown substantially in the countries of the Lake Chad Basin. The region which harbors about 21 million inhabitants from Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, has some of the World's poorest and most economically vulnerable population. To counter the narratives of violent extremist groups and change perceptions of the youth population in the Lake Chad Basin towards a culture of peace, a peacebuilding approach which seeks to address root political and socioeconomic causes of extremism became important. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (UNSCR2250), adopted in 2015, requested the UN Secretary-General ‘to carry out a progress study on the youth's positive contribution to peace processes and conflict resolution, in order to recommend effective responses at local, national and international levels'.
In 2017, a study on the Role of Young People in Preventing Violent Extremism in the Lake Chad Basin was commissioned by the Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS) in collaboration with the Centre for Sustainable Development and Education in Africa (CSDEA) as a contribution to the global progress study on youth's positive contribution to peace processes and conflict resolution. The objective of the study was to document the role of youth-led and youth-focused conflict and extremism prevention approaches that are dynamic and promote peacebuilding. The study report provides the key findings from the data collected from Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, where the following extremist groups operate: (i) Ansar Dine (The Success of Islam); (ii) Boko Haram and (iii) Mujao (Movement for the Consolidation of Jihadist in West Africa). They are referred to as Al-Qaida in the Sahel.