The United Kingdom says it is currently supporting initiatives to increase economic opportunities for youth in northern Nigeria with development funding worth nearly 50 million dollars (N15 billion).
Mr James Roscoe, the UK Ambassador on General Assembly Matters to the United Nations, stated this at a UN Security Council meeting on peace and security in West Africa, in New York on Monday.
Roscoe said the UK was providing additional 28 million dollars (N8.5 billion) in funding for projects to “reduce young people’s vulnerability to recruitment by violent extremist groups” in Borno.
The gestures, according to him, are part of the UK’s contributions, working with its partners in West Africa, to support domestic efforts at preventing extremism and inter-communal violence in the region.
Earlier at a briefing, Mohamed Chambas, Special Representative and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), said the region had been “shaken by unprecedented violence” in recent months.
Chambas said “relentless attacks on civilian and military targets have shaken public confidence”, citing last week’s attack by militants on a military base in western Niger that left 71 soldiers dead.
He blamed the situation partly on poor management of national resources, inequalities, marginalization, corruption and the failure of governments in the region to provide security and justice.
The special envoy, however, noted that “recipes against violent extremism” were being put in place in many West African countries.
Specifically, chambas said that some grassroots initiatives, such as inter-faith coalitions in Nigeria, were in place to curtail recruitment by Boko Haram.