Engaging vulnerable young people in addressing violent extremism in Mali
The project will contribute to strengthening the resilience of young people to violent extremism in Central Mali and along the borders with Burkina Faso.
1) Young people’s resilience to violent extremism is strengthened through the creation of inclusive and participatory dialogue spaces.
2) Trust and collaborative links between vulnerable youth, security and defense forces, and the civilian authorities are built to enable peace and prosperity.
3) Vulnerable youth are supported with rehabilitation and social and economic reinsertion initiatives.
The project will directly target 1,000 people (50% women, 50% men) through the Local and Communal Youth Councils, Security and Defense Forces’ representatives, and local authorities. 138,522 people (including 50 % women) will indirectly benefit from this proposed action.
Location: Mali, Regions of Mopti, Segou, Sikasso
Set up and run youth-led community dialogue forums at border areas; Training dialogue forum members on conflict and gender sensitivity and analysis; Training young people on conflict management and resolution, on advocacy and lobbying; Raising awareness on the risks of violent extremism through the dissemination of testimonies and dialogue; Supporting the development and implementation of joint civilian-military actions to build trust and promote social cohesion; Training of traditional community leaders, local government agents and security service providers on International Humanitarian Law and Law of Armed Conflict; Training of community-based organisations and youth local councils to reduce violent extremism related stigma and promote peaceful coexistence; Raising awareness on rule of law, policies fighting incivility, corruption and drugs; Rehabilitating youth learning centers to promote mutual exchange; Supporting income generating activities including vocational training, basic literacy skills and peer-to-peer-training to facilitate economic reintegration; Supporting the development and implementation of youth-led microprojects on preventing violent extremism; Training local civil society organisations, the private sector, authorities, security forces and communities to reduce and fight stigmatisation.
Since 2012, Mali has been going through a multidimensional crisis characterised by violent conflicts that manifest in various forms: Community clashes, violent extremism, conflicts around management and control of natural resources, cross border crimes and banditry, conflict around controlling the transhumance tracks, etc. These conflicts derive their sources from factors related to poor governance, lack of opportunities, bad economic and natural resources management mechanisms, coupled with growing insecurity and a contested justice system. Under the added pressure of radical groups, the State withdrew from certain parts of the country. Several military coups (2012, 2020, 2021) have suspended the constitutional order and further weakened the State, hindering the rule of law, individual and collective freedoms and increasing human insecurity. As in recent times the conflicts have spread across border to Burkina Faso, the jihadist violence and attacks on military detachments as well as civilians are multiplying and becoming more complex in northern Burkina Faso as well. So far it is estimated that this surge in violent extremism killed more than 2,000 people and forced at least 1.8 million people into displacement. The crisis is further fueled by a lack of trust and distant relationship with the central State authorities in northern Burkina Faso. Within this complex situation, young girls and boys in rural areas are especially marginalized, with very little participation in social, political or economic decision-making and no access to basic social services (education, health, access to potable water). As a result, many vulnerable young people are seeking ways to survive as well as economic opportunities, something violent extremist groups successfully use to attract new recruits. These developments have made the prevention of violent extremism with a particular focus on young people a key priority in the area.