Non-State Actors

The Contribution of Youth to Peace-building in Chad

January 18, 2020

Jesutimilehin Akamo

 

 

 

The intention of this article is to highlight why the roles of youth in peacebuilding in Chad is important within the context of combating violent extremism (VE). These roles do require an appropriate corresponding response to create a conducive atmosphere for the success of combating VE.

 

 

Reconstructed Scenario is based on the following judgments: 

 

  • The Youth plays a critical role in preventing and limiting the impacts of VE

 

  • Technical and non-technical support and capacity building will strengthen the roles and contributions of youth in preventing VE. This will reduce the success rate of VE

 

  • There is a realistic probability that VE will be more difficult to fight within the next decade if the roles of youth are not attended to

 

 

 

 

Reconstructed Scenario

 

 

It is almost certain that the non-responsiveness of governments to the demands and aspirations of citizens stimulate VE. The impact of VE on Chad is far reaching. It reflects in how youths have been victims and perpetrators of VE. They sometimes become members of extremist groups. This is done to cater to the needs the government failed to address. This contributes to the negative narrative on youth. The negative narrative in turn complicates the problem of sustainability suffered by continental, regional and national initiatives in the fight against VE.

 

 

Youths occupy more than 50% of Chad’s population. They suffer from political and economic challenges. These challenges position them as drivers of VE. It is worsened by failure to prioritize them in political, economic and social engagements. Yet, prioritizing them by providing support and capacity building assistance is proven to reduce the success of VE. Despite the lack of prioritization, empirical findings affirm that the roles and contributions of youth are critical to fighting VE in Chad, and Africa at large. A scientific study on the Roles and Contributions of Youth to Peace and Security in Africa validates this – Youth for Peace Program (Y4P).

 

 

 

 

Crisis Profile (Chad): Leveraging All Available Resources

 

 

  • Within the last decade, oil has increased export earnings in Chad. World Bank’s economic outlook estimates Chad’s per capita GDP growth from about $497 in 2001/02 to almost $823 in 2017. However, disagreements over expenditure stirs violence between government and anti-government forces

 

  • Chad also experiences violent clashes between the farmers and nomads over land use rights and access to water in the northern part of the country

 

  • Chad is further stressed by the influx of refugees from the conflict of neighbouring countries. As of 2018, this includes 446, 091 refugees and 129, 010 asylum seekers

 

  • To the west, violent extremism (VE) around the Lake Chad Basin region causes more problems

 

 

Youths offer a great opportunity to limit the spread and impact of VE in Chad. Therefore, they need more help from the government and other actors. Youth groups / organisations already play vital roles. Grey Dynamics African Intelligence Assessment thus reveal that the activities of the youth organisations are focused on addressing the factors that led to VE, engenders VE, encourages youths to join extremist groups.

 

 

Comité d‘Organisation Pour la Paixdans Les Etablissements Scolaires (COPES) engages peace education. The purpose is to discourage membership of extremist groups and promoting a peace culture. They also educate teachers. Collectif des Associations et Mouvements des Jeunes du Tchad (CAMOJET) addresses VE by focusing on the reintegration of former Boko Haram members. In the same vein, the Project on Fighting against Violent Extremism and Radicalization of Former Terrorist Fighters and Victims (ATPIR) focuses on eradicating poverty through income generation.

 

 

Another instance is the Association Jeunesse pour la Paix et la Non-violence (Youth Association for Peace and Non-violence, AJPNV) which seeks to achieve the following objectives:

 

  • To promote a culture of peace and non-violence; 

 

  • The prevention of conflicts by education, communication, and dialogue; 

 

  • The rehabilitation of victims of violence by providing them with free medical, psychosocial and legal support; 

 

  • The reinsertion of women that have been subject to domestic and sexual violence by providing them with free medical, legal and psychosocial support and by providing them with training for professional reintegration

 

 

And, it has successfully carried out the following programs:

 

  • Youth, Peace, and Development

 

  • Promotion of Good Governance, Democracy, and Peace

 

  • Rehabilitation of Female Victims of Sexual Violence

 

 

Cooperative des Jeunes de Gabri Golo also seeks to strengthen peacebuilding in communities. As a result, it carried out the ‘Peace First’ Program which was a Door-to-Door Awareness that engaged 200 young volunteers. There are other organisations. However, this is just to highlight the value of the role they can play, especially in spaces where the reach of the state is weak. This is very vital in fighting and preventing VE. 

 

 

 

What If?

 

Where youth organisations lack the required resources, the quality of their impact may drop; whereas it needs to be enhanced. There is, therefore, a need for the government to review its position because findings suggest that only COPES receive actual support from the government.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Screen Capture from “Chad Child Soldiers”

 

 


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grey Dynamics LTD.

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