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Building resilience and strengthening community capacity to counter violent extremism in Cabo Delgado


WHY USAID/OTI IS IN MOZAMBIQUE

Mozambique is a country undergoing multiple transitions. Twenty years of relative peace following a civil war has been disrupted by the global financial crisis. Ongoing corruption and governance challenges have been compounded by the damage and disruption caused by two consecutive cyclones in 2019. The country’s ability to successfully transition from natural disaster to long-term recovery is complicated by violent extremist attacks perpetrated by the Islamic State-Mozambique (IS-M) in Cabo Delgado province. The pace and brutality of attacks threatens long-term development and stability, and poses a threat to regional security as well as U.S. and international commercial interests.

USAID/OTI’S ROLE IN MOZAMBIQUE

USAID/OTI partners with local government, community leaders, and civil society organizations in northern Mozambique to counter violent extremist threats. As part of the U.S. Government’s larger response in northern Mozambique, USAID/OTI coordinates closely with other U.S. Government activities. The program currently works in northern Mozambique to:

  • Understand the context around issues of conflict and community resilience; and
  • Identify and demonstrate approaches to strengthening community conflict management capacity.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • Local artists play a critical role in Cabo Delgado province by reinforcing cultural messages that resonate in their communities. OTI supported the Provincial Directorate of Tourism and Culture to help local artists influence culture through its Provincial Culture Center, “Casa da Cultura.” OTI provided sound and lighting equipment as well as an expert to build artists’ capacity to produce quality Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) programming. These contributions will allow Casa da Cultura to become more active on P/CVE issues and increase community awareness of violent extremist activities.
  • Since January 2020, IS-M has constructed a narrative that it is fighting against the government with civilian interests in mind, so civilians don’t need to be afraid of them. While extremists seek to build credibility within communities, local perspectives on the government continue to sour in part due to the military cracking down on civilians who are suspected of supporting or being sympathetic to IS-M. In order to introduce and promote alternative perspectives to violent extremist narratives around community grievances, OTI is partnering with local radio stations in Cabo Delgado. The partnership consists of producing and broadcasting a radio soap opera related to CVE and community grievances which have will be aired in four local languages across six local radio stations. The soap operas include aspects drawn from real life events from the conflict and has been will be narrated in a humorous way to attract the listener’s attention.

Last updated: October 01, 2020

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