Our Stories | Office of Transition Initiatives

Speeches Shim

Last updated: January 25, 2021

January 25, 2021

Many people in the rural Est, Nord, and Sahel regions of Burkina Faso are reluctant to visit urban health centers due to the risks associated with traveling to them, including potential run-ins with violent extremist organizations (VEOs), and instead rely on the assistance of community-based health workers (CBHWs). Recently, VEO attacks and threats against health workers in those regions led to the closure of several remote health centers and the relocation of health workers to urban centers. The result—fewer health workers and a lack of medical and psychological assistance—facilitates local populations’ sense of abandonment by the state, and reduces the chance of survival for those injured during VEO attacks.

January 12, 2021

On October 18, 2020, the city of Pemba, Mozambique celebrated its 62nd anniversary. In previous years, communities within the city would come together to celebrate and reaffirm Pemba’s history, identity, values, and vision. This year, however, conflict is at the city’s doorstep. Pemba hosts an estimated 80,000 Cabo Delgado citizens who have been displaced by conflict in the region. Already scarce resources and services are at a breaking point, with COVID-19 further compounding these stressors and increasing the risk of instability emerging between host communities and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Pemba.

December 31, 2020

Thiou is a rural commune situated between the city of Ouahigouya in Burkina Faso, and Koro, the closest Malian city on the other side of the border. The commune’s degraded security situation severely limits economic opportunities, leaving many young people in financially precarious positions without steady employment or viable sources of income. This insecurity contributes to increased youth vulnerability to the financial incentives terrorist groups offer to entice potential recruits. 

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.