URI Takes Part in Launching Center Against Violent Extremism

3 May 2018, 3:46 PM

URI took part in the launching of the Center of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (ICEPCVE).

Greetings of peace and blessing from Djibouti.

This is to inform you that Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) Center of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (ICEPCVE) inaugurated in Djibouti at the Center’s Offices on 25th April 2018.

The inauguration ceremony was presided over by His Excellency, Mr. Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, Djibouti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Amb. Donald Y. Yamamoto, the Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State. The inauguration includes a donors’ caucus to solicit additional financial support for the new Center. On the occasion, IGAD also launched the Regional Strategy for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in the Horn and Eastern Africa Region.

For over one year, IGAD and its partners have been engaged in efforts to develop and operationalize the Center. Now the Center is fully operational and has secured permanent premises. URI Horn of Africa office, based in Djibouti, is working closely with the Centre.

The IGAD P/CVE Center of Excellence is based in Djibouti. It is a premier institution that is offering a dedicated platform to institutionalize the prevention and countering of violent extremism in the Horn and Eastern Africa Region. This Center of Excellence is intended to serve as a resource for governments, civil societies, youth, religious leaders, experts, practitioners, business people, and others interested in addressing violent extremism. It is an institution in which P/CVE trainings, gatherings, best practices, and research will be cultivated and shared.

Specifically, the Center will endeavor to empower youth, women, religious leaders and civil society, among other P/CVE actors; enhance their resilience and capacity in countering violent extremist ideology; message audiences both online and offline; generate positive alternatives for young people vulnerable to violent extremist recruitment; improve law enforcement and security-force engagement with local communities; amplify influential religious voices and critical thinking skills; prevent radicalization to violence in prisons; and rehabilitate and re-integrate disengaged fighters, including foreign terrorist fighters.

The Center’s focus areas include but are not limited to:

  • Training and Learning: providing training and practical tools to enhance the capacities of government and non-government stakeholders to design and implement effective programs and policies to counter violent extremism.
  • Convening and Connectivity: providing a dedicated platform to facilitate focused discussion and collaboration among national and local actors, civil society, researchers and community leaders involved in CVE.
  • Counter-Messaging: focusing on building the capacity of credible local partners and potential partners to develop and disseminate their own counter-messages and alternative narratives, and to amplify existing ones.
  • Research and Innovation: catalyzing more research to gain a deeper understanding of the localized drivers of violent extremism, and developing new ways to effectively counter it.

IGAD is an eight-country intergovernmental organization. Its member states are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda. The mission of IGAD is to assist and complement the efforts of the Member States to achieve, through increased cooperation: food security and environmental protection, promotion and maintenance of peace and security and humanitarian affairs, and economic cooperation and integration in the IGAD region.

It is to be recalled that on August 2015, URI-Africa & IGAD signed an agreement to work together in partnership in promoting a culture of peace, interfaith harmony and to address the issue of preventing violent extremism and hate speech in the region. IGAD also received the Africa Peace Award of URI –Africa in 2014.

May Peace Prevail on Earth.

In peace and gratitude,

Mussie Hailu

Written By

Global Envoy of URI, Continental Director for URI-Africa and URI Representative to the United Nations in Nairobi