Our Stories | Office of Transition Initiatives

Speeches Shim

Last updated: November 24, 2020

November 23, 2020

Since 2017, there has been an increase in the number of terrorist attacks and assassinations targeting male community members across the Komondjari Province in the Est region, especially in areas that border Niger. Many women who have lost their husbands arrived in the Gayéri, Foutouri, and Bartiébougou communes without any sources of income to care for their children. Their social and financial fragility make them vulnerable to recruitment from armed groups, who offer financial incentives in exchange for carrying weapons or providing food or information about targets.

October 23, 2020

Municipalities such as Thiou, near Burkina Faso’s border with Mali, are witnessing the proliferation of radical groups led by religious leaders, whose extremist messages threaten to further divide communities in a region that is already struggling to maintain peace.

October 5, 2020

Solhan is a rural commune in Yagha Province with a population of about 26,000 inhabitants comprised of Fulani, Tamasheq, Mossi, Songhai, and Gourmatche ethnicities. In 2018-19, terrorist groups exploited existing social divisions through attacks and threats against different ethnic groups, increasing tension and division. Since 2019, attacks on civilians, abductions, and targeted assassinations of local leaders and representatives of the state have risen, and the resulting rift between ethnic groups has provoked more insecurity.

September 2, 2020

Sinjar is a rural district in Iraq's northwest Ninewa province bisected by the Sinjar Mountains. In 2016, The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) occupied Sinjar and targeted the district’s Yezidi residents for genocide. ISIS was eventually defeated, and Sinjar liberated, but displaced residents of Sinjar attempting to return home faced a number of overwhelming challenges. The spread of the COVID-19 virus in recent months further complicated the situation, spurring many displaced Yezidi families to accelerate their return home in order to reduce potential exposure to the virus in crowded camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs). The accelerated timeline prevented many families from securing livelihoods and income-generating opportunities necessary to support their families and restore their homes.

July 30, 2020

Fada N’Gourma and Gayéri are two communes located in Est region, Burkina Faso that have been targets of multiple attacks by extremist organizations. Following each attack, particularly those on churches, members of predominantly Muslim groups—like the Peulh—are accused of cooperating with terrorist groups. As a result, Peulh community members are stigmatized by other community members. Each attack renews fears that further cleavages will be sewn among different ethnic and religious groups within these communities.