When violent conflict erupts, its roots often must be found and healed at the community level. Amid such turmoil, however, government officials, police, and community leaders are likely to mistrust each other—a breakdown in relations that opens space for security threats, including violent extremism and organized crime.
Drawing on a wide range of cases, including Burma, Colombia, Senegal, and Uganda, this Peace Brief discusses the internal cohesion of nonstate armed groups, explains how weak cohesion can undermine a peace process, and offers various strategies that those supporting peace processes can deploy to mitigate such risks.
A seaside suburb of Dakar, Senegal’s capital, Guédiawaye boasts a new coastal highway, large stadiums for wrestling and soccer, and new urban parks that even have marshes to manage periodic flooding. By all appearances, it is a growing, productive community. Yet underneath, the city struggles with high crime rates, environmental degradation, extreme poverty, unemployment and a disturbing growth in the number of suspected extremists.