The struggle against violent jihad: An alternative approach to bringing peace to the Sahel?

In a recent article, Reuters documents regional peacekeeping comittees’ efforts to maintain stability in Amataltal, Niger.

“In the Tillaberi region, a lack of local leadership, peace mechanisms or strong ties with Niamey have allowed ethnic rivalries to fester and attacks to continue, security experts said. Jihadist groups have won recruits among disaffected locals who believe the state has abandoned them.”

With French troops struggling to contain violence elsewhere, and the US contemplating a drawdown of forces, local leaders offer a possible blueprint for defeating militants without weapons: a network of influential ex-rebels, clerics and peace committees that has stopped jihadists gaining a foothold by monitoring grievances and people with extreme ideas.

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