For the past four years, Burkina Faso’s eastern region has been the theater of violent extremist expansion. Rather than a mere spillover dynamic, violent extremist organizations (VEOs) have successfully implanted themselves in eastern communities, exploiting widespread grievances against the central state and local elites amid decades of state neglect and prevailing hierarchical socioeconomic relations.
As the interface between the neighboring Sahelian states of Mali and Niger and coastal states of Benin and Togo, understanding the drivers and limitations of community resilience against violent extremism in the Est region constitutes an urgent endeavor in the quest to counter and prevent violent extremism. This report focuses on the role of customary governance actors – traditional chiefs and religious leaders – to assess their contribution to community resilience against violent extremism.
About the project
This report is part of a series of reports produced for the project Customary Actors & Community Resilience. The project explores community resilience against violent extremism. It assesses specifically how traditional and religious authorities can improve the resilience of their community. In partnership with USAID and ICCT Clingendael experts surveyed nearly 30 municipalities in the Ménaka and Gao regions (Mali), the Tillabéri region (Niger), and the Sahel, Est, and Centre-Nord regions (Burkina Faso). Results are based on 1400 quantitative surveys and 600 qualitative interviews.