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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Cameroon: Far North Stakeholders seek better ways to fight violent extremism

Journal du Cameroun | Some Far North based artists, pedagogues, pressmen and religious authorities have exchanged on best communication strategies to fight against violent extremist in the region.

This was during a two day workshop organised by Cameroon’s United Nations Development Program in Mokolo subdivision, Mayo Tsanaga division of Far North Region.

It would be recalled that a recent two-year UNDP Africa study conducted in six countries revealed that deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are the primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism.

Based on interviews with 718 individuals, including 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Boko Haram, Islamic State and Al- Shabaab, the study also found that perceived violence by state actors or abuse of power often provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group.

The Northern parts of Cameroon have been hit in recent years by the Boko Haram insurgents, claiming lives and forcing many to join the group against their will.

Amina Aisaha, a survivor of violent extremism narrated the experiences she went through in the bushes with the terrorist.

“Whenever I attempted to escape, they arrested me and imprisoned me for months because I was stubborn and did not want to carry explosives as they wanted,” Aisaha says.

She was finally rescued by a group of Cameroonian traders who brought her to Cameron. However, reintegrating into the society has not been easy as she still carries the Boko Haram stigma in her community.

A task which the UNDP and the Government of Cameroon are trying to facilitate through various programs and micro projects.