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  • Author: Matthew Schwartz, Naz Yalbir
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, security actors in Kenya and the international community have increasingly viewed young people in Kenya's Muslim communities as vectors for radicalization to violent extremism. A number of large scale economic development assistance programs in the country, even as they promote the intense free market entrepreneurialism that continues to leave the vast majority of Kenyans behind, are also increasingly taking on preventing violent extremism objectives. Against the backdrop of heightened international and domestic concerns over the vulnerability of Kenyan youth to violent extremism, this policy brief focuses on the hardships and priorities of youth in Kenya through the voices of young people themselves. Drawing on a series of focus group discussions conducted by the Kenya Community Support Centre in September 2018, the paper explores the daily challenges confronting young people in Mombasa County as they struggle to make ends meet in the face of joblessness, wage theft, nepotism, and political corruption. While the serious threat posed by al-Shabaab cannot be ignored, the paper argues that the overriding drive to prevent violent extremism among Kenyan youth, especially in Muslim and Somali communities, is not only disproportionate but also counterproductive, threatening to overshadow the overwhelming need for economic justice, governance accountability, and reform.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Youth, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Saïbou Issa, Nadine Machikou
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: In August 2018, a regional strategy for the stabilization, recovery, and resilience of the Boko Haram-affected areas of the Lake Chad Basin was adopted, which recognizes the interrelated experiences of communities surrounding the Lake Chad Basin and the benefits of a common approach. The strategy sets out nine priority pillars for action to generate applicable policies and programs geared toward the short- and long-term stabilization and development of the region, including on the handling of individuals associated with Boko Haram. This policy brief assesses Cameroon’s strategies and policies for reintegrating associates of Boko Haram against the recently adopted Lake Chad Basin regional stabilization strategy, the realities experienced by Boko Haram-affected communities, and the experiences of individuals detained on account of their associations. For comparative purposes, references to the experience of Niger are included. Co-authored by academic experts, the brief offers a set of recommendations promoting a cohesive approach, calling for government action, and recognizing the role of communities at the forefront of reintegration efforts. // En août 2018, une stratégie régionale a été adoptée pour la stabilisation, le rétablissement et la résilience des zones du bassin du lac Tchad touchées par Boko Haram. Elle reconnaît les expériences interdépendantes des communautés riveraines du bassin du lac Tchad et les avantages d'une approche commune. La stratégie repose sur neuf piliers prioritaires et vise à élaborer des politiques et des programmes pertinents pour garantir, à court et à moyen terme, la stabilisation et le dével­oppement de la région du bassin du lac Tchad, y compris la gestion et la prise en charge des ex-associées de Boko Haram. La présente note politique évalue les stratégies et les politiques du Cameroun visant à réintégrer les ex-associés de Boko Haram par rapport à la stratégie régionale de stabilisation du bassin du lac Tchad récemment adoptée, les réalités vécues par les communautés touchées par Boko Haram, et celles des personnes détenues en raison de leurs associations. Des références à l'expérience du Niger sont présentées aux fins de comparaison. Rédigé en collaboration avec des universitaires, le document propose une série de recommandations favorisant une approche cohérente, engageant le gouvernement à agir et reconnaissant le rôle des communautés au premier plan des efforts de réinsertion.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Violent Extremism, Radicalization, Transitional Justice, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon, Central Africa
  • Author: Christina Nemr, Sara Savage
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Structural factors that can fuel support for violent extremism, like corrupt governance and inequality, are often intertwined with individual-level vulnerability factors, such as a search for identity or a need for quick answers to issues of injustice. Under these circumstances, individuals can be drawn to black-and-white answers that seem to offer simplicity, clarity, and certainty. Unfortunately, a hallmark of violent extremist ideologies is this binary thinking, stripped of complexity and with an identifiable in-group/out-group dynamic that offers a sense of community and belonging to help people make sense of the world. As policymakers and practitioners work to address the larger structural factors fueling violent extremism, psychological interventions may help address the binary construct of thinking that can make violent extremist ideologies sound appealing at the individual level. This policy brief explore the concept of integrative complexity - an empirical, peer-reviewed, and cross-culturally validated measure of the complexity of thinking - and the ways it can be applied in contexts of violent extremism and other instances of intergroup conflict.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Inequality, Psychology, Social Justice, Trauma
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Kenya, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Sweden, Scotland, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Junko Nozawa, Melissa Lefas
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: In the Sahel, weak law enforcement capacities, vast ungoverned territories, and underdeveloped criminal justice systems have contributed to the proliferation of nonstate armed groups, with the military placed at the forefront of suppression efforts. A number of issues arise in the adjudication of terrorism cases. Ambiguities in the law persist where the protective framework of minors conflict with repressive antiterrorism framework; understaffed courts are burdened by a large caseload, while individuals detained en masse face criminal sanctions that may not always be proportional to the gravity of the offense. Judicial investigations are further hampered by a lack of cooperation with military actors and coordinated efforts to preserve evidence on the battlefield. To affirm the primacy of the criminal justice framework, the chief justices of the Sahel supreme courts unanimously adopted a set of recommendations on 2 March 2018 in Dakar, Senegal. This report presents the legal responses to terrorism in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal and discusses international standards articulated in the field, providing comparative analysis and commentary. It features contributions from supreme court justices from France, Niger, Mali and Senegal. The report forms part of a program on “Counter-Terrorism Criminal Justice Support to Senior Judicial Officials” shaped by a steering committee comprised of supreme court justices and implemented in partnership with UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and the Association of Francophone Supreme Courts, and funded by the International Organisation of la Francophonie and the governments of Canada and Japan. // Dans le Sahel, les faibles capacités de la police et la présence limitée des autorités dans les territoires reculés contribuent à l’inefficacité de la justice, et les militaires ont joué le rôle de premiers intervenants. Un certain nombre d'enjeux se posent dans la gestion des affaires de terrorisme. Les ambiguïtés de la loi persistent là où la protection spéciale accordée aux mineurs entre en conflit avec le cadre antiterroriste ; les cours, déjà surchargées, sont confrontés à un nombre croissant de dossiers de terrorisme et les accusés font l'objet de sanctions pénales qui ne sont pas toujours proportionnelles à la gravité du délit ou crime. Au niveau de l’enquête, les magistrats ont déploré la piètre qualité de la gestion des éléments de preuve par les premiers intervenants sur le champ de bataille. Affirmant la primauté du cadre de justice pénale, les premiers présidents des cours suprêmes des pays du Sahel ont adopté à l'unanimité des recommandations dans la matière le 2 mars 2018 à Dakar, au Sénégal. Ce rapport présente les réponses judiciaires au terrorisme au Burkina Faso, au Mali, en Mauritanie, au Niger, au Sénégal, et au Tchad, et évoque des normes internationales développées dans la matière tout en fournissant une analyse et des commentaires comparatifs. Le rapport présente des contributions de magistrats des cours suprême de la France, du Niger, du Mali et du Sénégal, comprenant des membres d’un comité de pilotage dans le programme sur « Les cours suprêmes dans la prévention et la lutte contre le terrorisme ». Ce projet a été réalisé avec l’appui et l’expertise de la Direction exécutive du Comité contre le terrorisme, de l’Office des Nations Unies contre la drogue et le crime (ONUDC), de l’Association des Hautes Juridictions de Cassation des pays ayant en partage l’usage du français (AHJUCAF), et a bénéficié du soutien financier de l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) et des gouvernements canadien et japonais.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Terrorism, United Nations, Courts, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, France, Senegal, Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Sahel, Niger, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Matthew Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: This policy brief explores the oft-under examined question of state-perpetrated violence and its treatment within the global preventing and countering violence extremism (PCVE) agenda. While there has been a gradual recognition that human rights, good governance and human security are critical factors in violence prevention, PCVE policy and programming continues to focus on addressing only violence associated with specific radical ideas and is overwhelming centered on individuals and communities of particular identity groups. This agenda often obscures and disregards substantial levels of violence perpetrated by states and other actors. Against the backdrop of growing body of work highlighting the biases, inconsistencies and assumptions of mainstream radicalization theory over the past decade, a paradigm shift is long overdue. To that end, this policy brief highlights the intersections of political violence, violent extremism, and human insecurity through a series of thematic vignettes on corruption, human rights abuses, and war-making. illustrating ways in which state conduct plays a central role in manifesting or escalating political violence from which violent extremism and terrorism emerge. Recognizing the scale and magnitude of state-perpetrated violence and its role in manifesting further violence is essential for charting a new course toward a more holistic response to violent extremism that adequately accounts for and responds to a wider spectrum of political violence, including the violence perpetrated by states.
  • Topic: Corruption, Human Rights, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Rule of Law, Criminal Justice, State Violence, Impunity
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, Middle East, Asia, Libya, Yemen, United Nations, Syria, Global Focus, United States of America