According to a UN Development Programme (UNDP) assessment based on interviews with hundreds of former combatants, the lack of jobs, more than religious belief, is what motivates people to join the rapidly expanding armed organizations in sub-Saharan Africa.
While “terrorism”-related deaths globally have decreased over the past five years, assaults in sub-Saharan Africa have increased, according to a UNDP report that cited the Global Index annual survey.
Armed organizations have seized control of substantial portions of territory in countries throughout Africa, displacing millions of people, undermining confidence in democratic government, and causing severe starvation.
As al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) affiliated militants step up their operations in one of the world’s poorest regions, the Sahel region has been the most severely impacted.
According to the UNDP research, 25% of voluntary recruiters to these groups stated a need for money as their main motivation, followed by a desire to join with family and friends (22%), and religious beliefs (17%).
The killing or detention of family members by state security forces was cited as a “tipping point” by over half of the responders as the event that prompted them to join.
According to the UNDP, the report was based on interviews with over 2,000 people in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, and Sudan.
According to the UNDP, they included more than 1,000 former fighters who were questioned in jails, rehabilitation centers, and community centers. The other 1,000 participants served as a control group recruited from the same neighborhoods so that the replies provided by the former recruits and those provided by people with a similar background could be compared.
According to the research, recruits had poor levels of education and a significant level of mistrust for the administration. It was discovered that every additional year of education decreased the risk of voluntarily joining armed groups by 13%.
Achim Steiner, the administrator of the UNDP, stated that “the social contract between states and citizens must be revitalized to combat fundamental causes of violent extremism.”
Security-driven counterterrorism responses can cost a lot of money and have little impact.
Instead of a militarized strategy, the report advised greater investment in child welfare, education, and decent livelihoods to combat and prevent “violent extremism”.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES