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Dynamics of Support and Engagement: Understanding Malian Youths' Attitudes towards Violent Extremism

The casualties caused by armed violence in Mali have increased fourfold between 2016 and 2019, with young people being among the most affected by the situation. Although many initiatives have been launched to prevent and counter violent extremism in Mali, there remains a gap in understanding the interplay of factors that lead persons—especially young people—to support violent extremism. As the harmful socio-economic and psychological impact of terrorism continues to affect the lives of young Malians, it is ever more pressing that the factors that enable extremist groups to operate over increasingly large sections of the country be understood and effectively countered. Based on primary data collected by ICCT and UNICRI in the field as part of their MERIT project, this report looks beyond the usual factors such as insecurity, lack of economic opportunities, limited mobility and poor governance to explain support for or engagement with violent extremism, examining the role played by factors such as identification with one's ethnic or religious group, geographic setting, and exposure to violence, among others.

Take a look at the first report in the project: