Niger Inaugurates a New Transition Centre to Facilitate the Return and Reintegration of Former Associates of Violent Extremist Organizations
Hamdallaye - On 26 May, the Government of Niger officially inaugurated a new transition centre for former associates of violent extremist organizations in the town of Hamdallaye, Tillabéri region.
The two-hectare transition centre was built with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNDP. It will accommodate around 200 people as they transition to start a new life upon their return. In the centre, individuals will receive support tailored to their needs, including skills development and psychosocial and health assistance, to prepare them for their return and reintegration into the communities.
The Minister of the Interior of Niger and the local and traditional authorities of the Tillabéri region seized the opportunity of the ceremony to call out for more people to leave non-state armed groups.
In 2016, the Government of Niger launched an appeal for the voluntary surrender of people who had joined non-state armed groups, and the first transition centre has been in place in the department of Goudoumaria, Diffa region, since 2019. In recent years, the Tillabéri region has been characterized by increasing instability due to attacks by various non-state armed groups. The centre in Hamdallaye will contribute to peace and pave the way for durable solutions for the internally displaced.
Since 2017, as part of a wider, regional programme on Disengagement, Disassociation, Reintegration and Reconciliation (DDRR) in the Lake Chad region, IOM has been supporting the development and operationalization of the legal and policy frameworks for DDRR designed by the Government of Niger. As a result, in 2021, the country launched its first national policy called “Programme national de prise en charge de la reddition au Niger” (PNPCR).
“The PNPCR has successfully evolved from the local to the national level, with the support of IOM, and can now be implemented anywhere in the country. Its implementation will contribute to the durable reintegration of former associates of violent extremist organizations into the communities of their choice,” said Mr. Hamadou Amadou Souley, the Nigerien Minister of Interior and Decentralisation.
In addition, through IOM’s Niger Community Cohesion Initiative (NCCI), IOM and local partners have supported the reintegration of persons disassociated from armed groups within their communities of origin. NCCI also strengthens the resilience of communities affected by violence and conflict in Tillaberi, Tahoua, Maradi and Diffa by addressing root causes of conflict and drivers of instability in order to withstand future shocks, build and sustain peace, including through the provision of economic opportunities to vulnerable communities such as women and youth. The initiative also raises awareness with respect to violent extremist and its prevention.
"IOM supports the Government of Niger in its efforts to build peace in places affected by insecurity in Niger. This new transition centre is a tool that will allow people to expand their perspectives and contribute to promoting and consolidating peace in their communities," says Barbara Rijks, IOM Niger Chief of Mission.
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