Timbuktu Institute

Timbuktu Institute

Sacré-Coeur 3 – BP 15177 CP 10700 Dakar Fann – SENEGAL. +221 33 827 34 91 / +221 77 637 73 15

According to Yague Samb, in charge of conflict resolution and political dialogue at the Timbuktu Institute- African Center for Peace Studies, “Privatization to maintain security and order in certain regions of Burkina Faso is risky in terms of inter-community conflicts.” Yague Samb, a specialist of the Sahel region explains 
 
“The recent killings committed in the Djibo region are a sign that the security measures entrusted to self-defense groups can be counterproductive and effect already existing relationships between communities who for a long time have lived together peacefully. As a reminder, this Sunday, 8 March 2020, attacks were perpetrated against the Fulani villages of Dinguila, Barga, and Ramdola in the north of the country by the Koglweoago, according to radio Oméga. However, a press release by the president of Burkina Faso still carefully refers to the attackers as “unidentified armed individuals.” 
 
According to Yague Samb, “Beyond a very symbolic national mourning decreed by the authorities of Burkina Faso, other urgent measures are necessary to ease the inter-community tensions in order to avoid at all costs a scenario similar to that of Central Mali—with massive killings such as in Ogossagou.” 
 
“The terrible events of Yirgu Fulbé should have been a wake-up call and the authorities must review the strategy of entrusting entire sections of security to militias and other vigilante groups despite the security pressure and the outbreak in attacks,” said Yague Samb. 

"By investing in the prevention of violent extremism in the Sahel, the Americans have so far opted for upstream action against terrorism by focusing on community awareness rather than military action," said Dr. Bakary Sambe, director of the Timbuktu Institute-African Center for Peace Studies, based in Dakar and Niamey.


For him, "the choice of Dr. J. Peter Pham, who previously served in the Great Lakes region, illustrates a consideration of the preventive dimension and a strategy based on knowledge of the field, especially since this new Special Envoy will be responsible for coordinating U.S. engagement with international and regional partners, including the G5 Sahel and ECOWAS member states.

With a capacity-building program for Sahelian and West African states entitled Partnership for Peace Projects (P4P), "the United States had already supported the G5 Sahelian states in the development of a regional guide that was used to develop national strategies to prevent violent extremism," Dr. Bakary Sambe said. "Moreover, Niger has launched the development of its national strategy entrusted to the National Center for Strategic and Security Studies since November 2018, within the framework of this project funded by USAID", recalling that the "HACP will be an essential link in the implementation".

On the missions of this senior State Department official, the director of the Timbuktu Institute understands that he will be "heavily invested in addressing the threat of violent extremist organizations and preventing the threat from affecting other regions, as well as supporting the implementation of the Algiers Agreement and regional efforts to stabilize the tri-border region of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger".

"Having been Vice-President of ASMEA, an Association of American Scholars for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, with which I have been working since 2008 while participating in the IVLP Program of the State Department, Dr. J. Peter Pham is first and foremost an expert recognized for his good knowledge of Sahelian issues, especially in terms of interactions between Africa and the Arab world," recalls Dr. Sambe.

(Niamey et les 2 jours) - A l'issue d'une manifestation qui a mobilisé une foule immense dans les rues de Bamako et au Palais de la Culture Amadou Hampathé Bah, le samedi 29 février, "l'Imam Mahmoud Dicko, ancien président du Haut-Conseil islamique du Mali a voulu prouver qu'il était incontournable dans le jeu politique malien" souligne Bakary Sambe, directeur de Timbuktu Institute. Pour ce dernier, "en mobilisant plus que que tout autre homme politique, cette personnalité parfois controversée, qui avait aussi participé au triomphe d'IBK, veut désormais ajouter à sa légitimité religieuse celle politique, à un moment de discrédit du leadership actuel".

"C'est une opération de récupération des frustrations et des contestations avec un nouveau discours, dépouillé de références religieuses afin de s'inscrire dans une forme de normalité politique loin de l'étiquette islamiste qui pourrait lui desservir".

Au moment où le Mali traverse une crise sécuritaire sur fond de contestations politiques, les autorités ont lancé un processus de dialogue « national inclusif » qui n'exclut même pas les deux principaux groupes terroristes dirigés pas Iyad Ag Aly et Amadoun Khouffa. Mais, cet "appel à l'insurrection" donnant un ultimatum au gouvernement est un nouveau jalon posé par Imam Mahmoud Dicko défiant aussi bien les autorités politiques, mais aussi les partenaires internationaux du Mali.

"Les termes utilisés par Dicko parlent d'eux mêmes. Lorsqu'il dit vouloir mettre fin à la "corruption" et à la "soumission", il adresse un message clair au pouvoir de Bamako et à la communauté internationale sur son intention de devenir le maître du jeu politique", analyse Bakary Sambe, qui rappelle que "toutefois, Dicko n'appelle pas à la cessation des attaques mais à une trêve, ce qui lui permet de maintenir la pression sur Bamako et de s'imposer comme le médiateur par excellence".

Selon le directeur de Timbuktu Institute, "ce discours est le prototype même de celui d'un acteur religieux surfant sur l'échec du politique pour s'imposer en porte-voix de populations en quête de repères, face au désaveu et au discrédit du leadership actuel. Mais le fait d'appeler les chefs terroristes à la trêve, notamment Iyad et Khouffa qu'il qualifie de "frère", illustre bien son poids et son influence dans ces milieux."

En termes de positionnement politique, le timing est bien choisi par cet "imam tribun" qui avait fait reculer ATT pour la promulgation du Code de la famille en 2009  et qui, avec le mouvement Sebati 2012, avait largement contribué à l'arrivée au pouvoir d'IBK. "Reste à savoir, quelle sera, d'ici vendredi, la réponse du palais de Koulouba face à cet imam aux grandes capacités de mobilisation, sachant profiter des moments toujours propices à la contestation du pouvoir », conclut Bakary Sambe.

With a strong participation of Timbuktu Institute associate researchers’, Dr. Bakary Sambe was the facilitator of this important workshop held in Ndjamena during October. In addition to Professor Saidou Issa who recently joined the Timbuktu Institute as Senior International Fellow, Herman Femeugne, representing the Institute in the far north of Cameroon, and Ms. Khalia Annadif, who coordinates the Institute's activities in Chad, particularly in the Lake region, also participated.

 

The Multinational Joint Taskforce (MNJTF) and the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organised an inception workshop to articulate an inclusive regional communication strategy to prevent violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin. This laudable and proactive initiative was in recognition of the need to reinforce information and communication line of operation to counter (prevent) and replace the extremist ideology propagated by the Boko Haram and armed groups with a Constructive Alternative Narrative capable of discouraging extremism, restoring trust, confidence and a secured future.