Our Stories | Office of Transition Initiatives

Speeches Shim

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.

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.