On 25-26 January 2018, the ALPS Resilience’s Program Director and Program Officer met with representatives from the State Department to discuss violent extremism and resilience in Southern Africa. ALPS Resilience has been monitoring extremist threats in the region, particularly in the Northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado. Along with an updated situational analysis focusing on Al Shabaab and ISIS-related activities, we delivered some key policy messages:
In Africa, violent extremism has spread outside of its epicentres to previously low risk countries.
Geographical, socio-political, and economic factors make Mozambique a potentially attractive operating environment and target for violent extremism and a possible corridor for international jihadists going to South Africa and beyond.
Attacks in Mozambique pose a threat to South Africa given the country’s political and economic vulnerabilities, lack of social cohesion, history with terrorism and recent events involving ISIS.
As more pressing developmental concerns are prioritised, Southern African countries have been slow to develop robust responses to terrorist threats.
Holistic responses are needed now, at this critical juncture, in order to prevent violent extremism as opposed to countering it.
To learn more, download our policy brief, "Understanding and responding to extremist threats in Southern Africa" here.