Following the regional seminar on the prevention of Violent extremism, held in Yaoundé in November 2017, which launched the « Central Africa Cluster » of the initiative of « Regional Conversations for the prevention of violent extremism », initiated in 2016 in Dakar, the African Center for International, Diplomatic, Economic and Strategic Studies (CEIDES), based in Yaoundé and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAE), organized, with the support of the Government of Cameroon, a « Participative dialogue for the prevention of violent extremism in the far north of Cameroon and its periphery », on the 24 and 25 July 2018 in Maroua.
The meeting at Maroua therefore aimed at bringing these conversations closer to the actors of a region which is affected daily by violent extremism, in order to initiate a dynamic of exchange at the local level and to strengthen and federate the initiatives of Existing prevention. The main focus was to stimulate the emergence of a dialogue on the « reasons » of this violence, and « how » each actor can contribute to the prevention of violent extremism and the emergence of a narrative different from the violence affecting the Far North of Cameroon and its periphery.
For two days, the sixty participants exchanged animated discussions on the causes of violent extremism in the Lake Chad region, the various forms this violence has taken over the past decade, the solutions both at the security and civilians levels, and the developments that it could take in the future according to the strategies that are and will be opposed to it, including that of contacting, or even negotiating with some components of the Boko movement Haram.
From the point of view of the actors who are immersed in this reality on a daily basis, It accounts from this meeting that we are far from escaping the spiral of violence, despite the efforts made at the military level. On the one hand, violence continues on a daily basis. There is still no treatment that addresses the identified causes of this violence. On the other hand, the authorities, the communities and the various actors are at a loss for some complex issues. In particular, there are certain points on which applied research could particularly bring significant added value.
The inclusive dialogue proposed by the meeting was an innovative model for participants. While there was some reserve at the beginning, the participating actors finally ended up speaking freely and open to the most sensitive questions. This inclusive dialogue initiative was unheard of in the region and everybody expressed the desire to perpetrate it, particularly with capacity-building seminars. https://www.ceides.org/portfolio/participative-dialogue-for-the-prevention-of-violent-extremism-in-the-far-north-cameroon-and-its-periphery/