Home News Religious Ideology: Hope For Better Jobs Eclipses Religious Ideology – UNDP

Religious Ideology: Hope For Better Jobs Eclipses Religious Ideology – UNDP

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Religious Ideology: Hope For better Jobs Eclipses Religious Ideology - UNDP
Religious Ideology: Hope For better Jobs Eclipses Religious Ideology - UNDP

Religious Ideology: Hope for better jobs eclipses religious ideology as the main driver of recruitment to violent extremist groups in Sub-Saharan Africa

Religious Ideology: Hope For better Jobs Eclipses Religious Ideology – UNDP

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, United States of America, February 7, 2023/ — Hope of finding work is the leading factor driving people to join fast-growing violent extremist groups in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new report launched today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (www.UNDP.org).

Among nearly 2,200 interviewees, one-quarter of voluntary recruits cited job opportunities as their primary reason for joining, while 40 per cent said they were in urgent need of livelihoods at the time of recruitment—a 92 per cent increase from the findings of a groundbreaking 2017 UNDP study (https://bit.ly/3XashEw).

Religion came as the third reason for joining, cited by 17 per cent — a 57 per cent decrease from the 2017 findings, with a majority of recruits admitting to having limited knowledge of religious texts.

Nearly half of the respondents cited a specific trigger event pushing them to join violent extremist groups, with a striking 71 percent pointing to human rights abuse, often conducted by state security forces, as ‘the tipping point’.

Religious Ideology: Hope For better Jobs Eclipses Religious Ideology – UNDP

“Sub-Saharan Africa has become the new global epicentre of violent extremism with 48% of global terrorism deaths in 2021. This surge not only adversely impacts lives, security and peace but also threatens to reverse hard-won development gains for generations to come. Security-driven counter-terrorism responses are often costly and minimally effective, yet investments in preventive approaches to violent extremism are woefully inadequate. The social contract between states and citizens must be reinvigorated to tackle root causes of violent extremism,” UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said.

“Journey to Extremism in Africa: Pathways to Recruitment and Disengagement” draws from interviews with nearly 2,200 people in eight countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, and Sudan. More than 1,000 interviewees are former members of violent extremist groups, both voluntary and forced recruits.

The report explores pathways out of violent extremism, identifying factors that push or pull recruits to disengage. Interviewees most often cited unmet expectations, particularly financial expectations, and lack of trust in the group’s leadership as their main reasons for leaving. It also presents gendered data to understand violent extremism from the perspective of women.

“Research shows that those who decide to disengage from violent extremism are less likely to re-join and recruit others. This is why it’s so important to invest in incentives that enable disengagement. Local communities play a pivotal role in supporting sustainable pathways out of violent extremism, along with national governments’ amnesty programmes,” UNDP Preventing Violent Extremism technical lead in Africa Nirina Kiplagat said.

Religious Ideology: Hope For better Jobs Eclipses Religious Ideology – UNDP

To counter and prevent violent extremism, the report recommends greater investment in basic services including child welfare; education; quality livelihoods; and investing in young men and women. It also calls for scaling-up exit opportunities and investment in rehabilitation and community-based reintegration services.

This report is part of a series of three reports (https://bit.ly/3YqTcNu) on the prevention of violent extremism, including the report, “Dynamics of Violent Extremism in Africa: Conflict Ecosystems, Political Ecology, and the Spread of the Proto-State” which analyses the latest dynamics of violent extremist groups in Sub-Saharan Africa and provides recommendations for specific development actions.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Media contacts:
For more information, or to request an interview, please contact:
In New York HQ
Gabriela Goldman
[email protected]     
+1 917 288 7900

In Addis Ababa
Ngele Ali
[email protected]            
+251 901000962

In Amman
Noeman Alsayyad
[email protected]
+962 79 567 2901

Religious Ideology: Hope For better Jobs Eclipses Religious Ideology – UNDP

About the Report:
“Journey to Extremism in Africa: Pathways to Recruitment and Disengagement,” builds on UNDP’s groundbreaking 2017“Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives, and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” (https://bit.ly/3Yawb1I).

About UNDP:
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

SOURCE
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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