What allows violent extremist movements to take root, recruit, and spread? Why is it on the rise? Continue to fascinate scholars and policy makers globally.
Even more important is the question that while no country is immune, what makes fragile states more vulnerable to extremism? Over recent years, the world has continued to observe growing cases of coercive extremism that has taken the lives of numerous innocent people, whether based on religious, ethnic, or political grounds; extremist ideologies admire the supremacy of a particular group and resist a more significant persistent and all-inclusive society.
In addition, increasing level disparities are a regularly referred driver of violent extremism. Indeed, violent extremism results from historical, political, economic, and social contexts comprising the influence of territorial and international power politics. Critical perspective, unemployment or poverty alone is not the just push component encouraging violence and extremism: perceptions of grievance injustice, human rights violations, social-political exclusion, rampant corruption, or sustained injustice of communities are also deemed significant push factors. Above all, these level inequalities come together for a specific group, and radical movements and violence are more likely to break out.
Preventing violent extremism development activity is essential in offering the core for avoiding violent extremism. The United Nations for Development Programme (UNDP) proposes some conceptual framework interconnected to critical elements for a theory of change that describes how development could assist in preventing violent extremism. Such fundamental components notified by international, regional, and national strategies for the Prevention of Violence contain, these are included strengthening a rule of law and human rights-based techniques to Prevention Violence Extremism, Improving the fight against corruption, upgrading participatory decision-making, and raising civic space at local and national levels, delivering effective socio-economic alternatives to violence for groups at danger; etc.
More importantly, the existence of violent extremism in east Africa is harsh, and condition influence both national and global. Fighting violent extremism can involve community engagement, education, and strategic communications designed to eliminate the draw of and support extremist groups and improve resilience opposed to them.
The contemporary global engagement in Somalia has experienced two main weaknesses. First, fighting violent extremism interventions need to be focused correctly on design in connection to that side of Somalia they are to be executed. Second, opposing violence evaluation policies have yet to be grounded on lessons from past experiences in other countries: unachieved or have little information sharing among various fighting violent extremism measures within Somalia.
Debate and conflict prevention
The relationship between radicalization and extremist behavior has been debated for many years. Radicalization is understood as a process that culminated in the decision to join a violent extremist group but was driven by ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors. Push factors were primarily understood as the negative social, political, economic, and cultural drivers of individual decision-making. In contrast, pull factors are the positive characteristics or benefits a group offers in exchange for participation.
Social constraints are a significant source of radicalization. For example, education or lack of it can determine whether a person can be radicalized. In previous years people thought that radicalized only uneducated people, but recent events have proved that even highly educated people are also radicalized and engaged in extremist activities. Apart from education, the problem of unemployment is another problem is a significant reason for radicalization.
More so because poverty resulting from unemployment is targeted by extremist groups that promise prosperity and economic rewards; this means that unemployed people become vulnerable to being targeted by extremist groups. That explains why informal urban areas and villages see more young people being recruited.
A characteristic of today’s violent extremist networks is the disproportionate participation of youth in society’s various socio-political and political spheres. While this is not uncommon in violent extremist groups, it is unusual that the demographic is so heavily skewed towards young people and, at the same time, so geographically dispersed.
An even more typical trend is the roles being of the nature of games and films that children get exposed to at a young age. For example, films that show graphic images of battlefields, soldiers, executors, and suicide bombers carry out their activities. These experiences present myriad risks for and impacts on children and youths in conflict-affected, fragile, and developing countries. The different hats they wear — actors within the conflict, bystanders in theatre, sympathizers, activists, or observers — means that individuals might be simultaneously vulnerable to recruitment, mistreated within a legal system, and pose a danger to national security.
The emergence of different media platforms, mainly social media that are difficult to monitor has allowed other groups to mobilize and recruit young people. These social media platforms are being used to share propaganda and radicalizing information. Another issue is the question of gender. In many cases, women are marginalized from many aspects of society; this is the same trend in radicalization, where more young people get marginalized than women. That does not mean that women are not involved in extremism, but they play different roles.
In Somalia, radicalism is widespread due to many factors that need to be addressed independently to solve the problem of radicalism. In the first place, education should be reformed to ensure that social education is included to enable young people to develop critical decision-making skills to avoid being manipulated to join extremist groups. Secondly, creating job opportunities for different levels of qualification is essential.
Both skilled and unskilled young people must be committed to activities promoting nation-building. By keeping people preoccupied, they avoid being extremists. The community also needs to develop a mechanism where young people are monitored well so they can be realized very soon in case they start to build extremist behavior.
About The Author: Dr. Mohamed BINCOF (Ph.D.), Lecturer, Consultant, and Researcher. You can reach him at email: firstname.lastname@example.org