KAIPTC and Japanese government reaffirm commitment to Preventing Violent Extremism, Radicalization, and proliferation of Small Arms in the Sahel and Coastal Countries of West Africa

Project Steering Committee Meeting June 2023 – A cross section of member’s from (L to R), Accra Initiative, KAIPTC, UNDP and Japan

The KAIPTC has had a long running partnership with the Government of Japan since 2008. Japan has been highly instrumental in strengthening the knowledge and skill sets of sub-regional SALW control practitioners. Under the ongoing KAIPTC/JAPAN/UNDP project on ‘Preventing Violent Extremism, Radicalization, and Small Arms Proliferation in the Sahel and Coastal Countries of West Africa’ the focus is to sensitize stakeholders on the dynamics of violent extremism and SALW proliferation in the region.

Consultative visits have so far been undertaken in Benin, Niger and Togo, as well as a Research study in Burkina Faso. The consultative visits and research findings highlight severe threats to stability in Niger and Burkina Faso, primarily due to violent extremist activities facilitated by the movement of small arms and light weapons (SALWs) and the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). These challenges have had devastating consequences on human security, aggravated by political instability such as coup d’états. Specific geographic areas, particularly the tri-border regions of Niger, Burkina Faso, and Benin, continue to be hotspots for terrorist activities

FAAR Research team with Groupe d’etude et de recherché sur la Democratie et le developpement economique et social au Burkina/ CSO organization during a field visit to Ouagadougou, June, 2023

Additionally, women are not only victims but also actively involved in extremist narratives. Despite these challenges, both state and civil society groups are implementing interventions to strengthen resilience and mitigate the impact on communities, particularly women and children. These efforts focus on addressing the root causes of extremism and promoting community resilience.