Preventing violent extremism in Sudan

Salah Bendaoud, Canadian Charge d’affaires en pied to Sudan, speaks of the importance of understanding violent extremism in Sudan.

The UN Resident Coordinator, the UNDP Head of Office, the Charge d’affaires a.i. of Japan and the head of the Sudanese National Commission on Counterterrorism listen to a presentation by the project’s lead researcher.

Sudanese representatives from government and civil society listen attentively to the data presented at the event.

The Canadian Embassy to Sudan is partnering with the Embassy of Japan in Sudan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Sudan National Commission on Counter Terrorism to fund the first public study on violent extremism in Sudan and an awareness raising video targeting youth.

The preliminary results of the study were shared with members of the Sudanese government, the international community and on live television in Sudan. The aim is to support Sudan’s efforts to prevent and combat violent extremism by, first, better understanding the phenomenon in country.

Although not yet a hotbed for extremism, Sudan has recognized over the past year that radicalization is taking place on its soil and that now is the time for preventive action and that partnerships with international actors is to their benefit. UNDP and the Sudan National Commission on Counter Terrorism are working across government ministries to develop a holistic approach to preventing violent extremism in Sudan, and Canada is part of this effort.

At an opening ceremony, the head of mission in Khartoum, Salah-E. Bendaoud, addressed the attendees and pointed out that the violent extremism is becoming a common problem for several societies and that prevention is an aspect of countering violent extremism that would require the participation from all levels of governments, civil society and most of all local communities. Raising awareness among youth is critical. He concluded by thanking the Government of Sudan for taking these steps with such a transparency.

“Violent extremism is a universal problem today. It is something we are struggling with in Canada. We have found that prevention is a major aspect of countering violent extremism, and that in order for prevention to be successful, we need the support and participation of all levels of government, civil society and, most of all, local communities and individuals.”

Head of mission, Salah-E. Bendaoud

In addition to the head of mission, the Minister of Cooperation, UN Resident Coordinator and a representative from the Embassy of Japan also addressed the audience with a large participation of diplomatic missions, actors from civil society and various stakeholders from Government of Sudan agencies.