UNDP Sudan Assists the regional initiative to develop a strategy for Horn of Africa for preventing and countering violent extremism

Sep 8, 2016

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Addis Ababa Regional Hub of Africa and UNDP Sudan Country Office, along with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)  conducted a series of consultations on 4th - 5th September  with government representatives,  civil society organizations, religious leaders, academics, women and youth representatives to support the development of a counter-terrorism strategy for the region.

The consultative sessions was attended the Undersecretary of Ministry of Justice H.E. Mr. Abbas Alruzam; the Japanese Ambassador in Sudan H.E. Mr. Hideki Ito;  Representative from IGAD, Dr. Simon Nyambura;  - Director General of Sudan National Commission for Counter Terrorism, Dr. General Mohamed Jamal Eldin Ahmed, and UNDP Country Director, Dr. Selva Ramachandran.

A spectrum of stakeholders have participated in these rich discussions to analyze and address the genesis of violent extremism in the region, which will go a long way in formulating the regional strategy as envisioned by the Regional hub of UNDP Africa.  

UNDP Sudan has already embarked on a study in coordination with the Ministry of Guidance and Endowments and the National Commission on Countering Terrorism to examine the reasons for radicalization within the country and also their interconnections within in the region.

Director General of Sudan National Commission for Countering Terrorism, Dr. General Mohamed Jamal Eldin Ahmed, have stated that “This phenomenon threatens national unity and stability in all African countries and will subsequently spill over to other countries if not addressed as it knows no borders.”

For his part, Dr. Simon Nyambura - IGAD Representative showcased the importance of this regional consultations by stating “For a number of years, countries of the IGAD have been trying to come up with a strategy that counters terrorism in the region in a holistic and coherent way and we are pleased to see that UNDP and Japan are helping us in the formulation of this strategy.  High-level delegates from a number of IGAD countries are present with us today which reflects the strong commitment by each country in the region to address violent extremism. “

Earlier this year, Ms. Marta Ruedas, Resident Coordinator of UN and Resident Representative of UNDP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Endowments and Guidance to conduct a study on reasons for radicalization, to launch activities of sensitization and to strengthen the livelihoods of unemployed youth who have the potential to be radicalized.

UNDP Country Director Dr. Selva Ramachandran stressed that “It is necessary to address the root causes of violent extremism such as unemployment and poverty. Livelihood support should be extended to people to become productive citizens; as enshrined in Sudan National Five Year Plans and the Sustainable Development Goals. In this regard, UNDP is promoting alternative livelihoods for unemployed youth to transform them into productive and peace loving citizens of Sudan.  Cognizant of the enormous significance of this issue, UNDP Sudan is in touch with relevant ministries and national bodies besides civils society, religious and traditional leaders, youth and women representatives to forge a strategy to prevent violent extremism not only in Sudan but also help region to build resilience against this phenomenon.”

Sudan’s regional position can positively impact the issue of radicalization and migration. At present, Sudan has assumed this role by forging cooperation amongst countries in the region to from a united front to prevent violent extremism. Recently, two regional conferences were held in Sudan in the last two months to underscore importance of regional cooperation on this subject.

UNDP and partners are working closely together to mitigate the spread of violent extremism to help promote the stability and prosperity of Sudan and the region as a whole.