Countering Violent Extremism and Promoting Community Engagement in West Africa and the Sahel: An Action Agenda

Author : Alistair Millar, Naureen Chowdhury Fink, Jason Ipe, Liat Shetret, and Matthew Schwartz
Date : July 2013

This report outlines an agenda for enhancing partnerships among the international community, governments in the region, civil society, and local communities for countering violent extremism in West Africa and the Sahel. It is the product of an 18-19 April 2013 workshop on the topic, hosted in Ouagadougou by the governments of Burkina Faso and Denmark under the auspices of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and convened by the Global Center. The workshop highlighted four recurring themes that capture the range of CVE and CVE-relevant programming:

1) Empower local community, government, and traditional leaders to work on conflict prevention and resolution in a region that has been plagued by several prolonged conflicts;
2) Strengthen law enforcement, criminal justice, and security sector actors through training and technical assistance focusing on community engagement, the rule of law, and human rights;
3) Actively engage and support civil society at the regional and international level; and
4) Identify and prevent violent extremism by addressing its structural and ideological drivers.

Building on those four themes and other inputs collected from participants during the workshop, this Action Agenda outlines a range of proposed activities to enhance existing CVE-relevant efforts.

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