Sudan, UNDP cooperate on ‘Prevention of Violent Extremism’
The United Nations Development Programme in Sudan (UNDP) and the Sudan National Commission for Counter-Terrorism (SNCCT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding today for collaboration in the area of Prevention of Violent Extremism.
In a joint statement today, UNDP and SNCCT report that both organisations intend to address at-risk youth and vulnerable people potential to be affected by extremism and build national, state, and civil society’s capacities to prevent and address violent extremism in Sudan.
In response to the increasing trend of violent extremism in the country, the Sudanese government established the SNCCT in 2014. Since its inception the commission has made significant strides addressing violent extremism.
In 2016, the UNDP in Sudan and the SNCCT agreed to cooperate on strengthening the stability and resilience of citizens who could potentially be radicalised and mobilised to join violent extremists groups, including ‘at-risk’ urban and rural youth.
As a means to understand the drivers of radicalisation towards violent extremism in Sudan, the UNDP, in partnership with the SNCCT and some civil society actors, set precedence by undertaking an evidence based and gender inclusive study on the trend of violent extremism in Sudan in 2016-17. In total, 380 key people were interviewed, including former members from the Islamic State and former Guantanamo Bay prisoners, their families, community members and leaders
A preventing and countering violent extremism initiative, the Partnering Against Violent Extremism (PAVE) programme is set to run for a three-year period and was officially launched in March 2017. The partnership between the SNCCT and UNDP will support the development of a National Strategy and Policy for Prevention/Countering of Violent Extremism (P/CVE) that addresses capacity development, continuation of in-depth research, strategic communications and advocacy, as well as gender and youth as programme pillars.
The aims of the programme include facilitating disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration to counter re-occurrence and to prevent recruitment and radicalisation towards violent extremism. The PAVE Programme includes several components and a research agenda for continued learning and P/CVE application in Sudan and internationally.
Another successful outcome of this partnership is the realisation of a film as part of advocacy efforts under the PAVE programme. Based on real events, the film ‘IMAN’ presents four intimate stories of the path towards violent extremism and puts a human face to the issue. The aim of this production is to convey a unified impactful message on the understanding of radicalisation and its negative affiliation with possible reasons for joining violent extremism.
The production targets youth and citizens who have potential to be affiliated with the violent extremism groups and will be screened around Sudan and uploaded through social media channels. The aim of the film is not limited to sensitisation but is expected to spread the call for dialogue, at Sudan level and also support regional and global initiatives of on this subject.
All the key activities such as development of PVE national strategy, continuous study, strategic communications, capacity development, and disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration of at-risk youth and gender responsive approach will be carried out within the framework of Memorandum of Understanding agreed between UNDP and SNCCT.
A total of 137 Sudanese joined terrorist groups in Syria, Libya, and Nigeria between January 2015 and July 2016, the Sudanese Minister of Guidance and Endowments reported last year.
Dozens of them died in combat in those countries, he told reporters in Khartoum on 17 August.
In 2013, a student of the private University of Medical Sciences in Khartoum left to Mali, to fight in the ranks of Islamic extremist groups. In March 2015, the first batch of Sudanese, eleven students and a doctor of the same university, were able to leave Khartoum International Airport for Islamic State in Syria.
Islamic extremist groups in Sudan are able to recruit young Muslims through associations in mosques.
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