Group advocates new strategies in countering extremism

Adoba Echono

Countries fighting insurgency and extremist groups around the globe have been urged to adopt new strategies in combating such groups.

The International Crisis Group, ICG, made the recommendation on Friday at public presentation of a report in Abuja titled Exploiting Disorder: al-Oaeda and the Islamic State.

The Brussels based conflict prevention group observed that financial sanctions, travel bans, targeted killings and special forces operations have proved insufficient  in checking  the activities groups like Boko Haram and al Shabaab in Africa.

At the Public Presentation of the report, hosted by the Embassy of Switzerland in Nigeria, Crisis Group’s Africa Programme Director, Dr. Comfort Ero, observed that the activities of these violent extremist groups had increased in the last twenty five years across a wide belt that stretches from West Africa to South Asia.

In recommending new approaches, to dealing with these terrorist groups, the report advocates a “distinguishing between groups with different goals, applying force more judiciously, opening lines of communications and investing more in conflict prevention.”

“The report further recommends that in countering violent groups, governments should apply force more strategically, in order not to alienate local communities to even drive them to support the extremists. “

Governments should always keep try to keep the lines of communication open with such groups or keeping any existing lines open, according to the report.

Emphasis should also be placed on conflict prevention through dialogue, inclusion and reform, the report emphasized.”

Dr. Ero said the report is a new crisis Group Project on Violent Extremism and Modern Conflict, focused on understanding the diverse movements involved in and developing smarter policy options.

In his welcome address, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Eric Moyoraz, emphasized the necessity to recognize political exclusion and social marginalization as some of the most central divers of violent extremism.

He advocates promotion of peace and in human security activities in the most inclusive political processes, based on the rule of law and respect for universal human rights.