Within the framework of the project Mali (Dis-) Engagement and Re-Integration related to Terrorism (MERIT), UNICRI and the International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT-The Hague) are developing and implementing activities in Mali to prevent and counter violent extremism by increasing the resilience of Malian youth and their communities. The activities are conducted in collaboration with a number of local, national and international partners including MINUSMA, the Malian Prison Administration, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and civil society organisations and in synergy with various actors of the international community, such as the Royal Danish Embassy in Bamako and the US Bureau of Counterterrorism.
In close collaboration with Think Peace Sahel, Conseil National de la Jeunesse, International Alert, and SNV-ICCO-OXFAM, a set of engagement and empowerment training sessions addressed to young people to promote alternatives to violence have been carried out. In particular, youth leaders have been supported in developing media literacy and alternative narratives, local practices have been strengthened while ensuring local ownerships, raising awareness and promoting dialogue and inclusion. In Mali, terrorist groups are taking advantage of the vulnerability of youth. Supporting young people and empowering communities are fundamental to build sustainable peace and promote development.