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The use of the term insurgency recognizes the political motivation of those who participate in an insurgency, but the term brigandry implies no political motivation. If an uprising has little support for example, those who continue to resist towards the end of an armed conflict when most of their allies have surrendered , such a resistance may be described as brigandry and those who participate as brigands. The distinction on whether an uprising is an insurgency or a belligerency has not been as clearly codified as many other areas covered by the internationally accepted laws of war for two reasons.

The first is that international law traditionally does not encroach on matters that are solely the internal affairs of a sovereign state, but recent developments such as the responsibility to protect , are starting to undermine the traditional approach. The second is that at the Hague Conference of , there was disagreement between the Great Powers who considered francs-tireurs to be unlawful combatants subject to execution on capture, and smaller states, which maintained that they should be considered lawful combatants.

The dispute resulted in a compromise wording being included in the Hague Conventions known as the Martens Clause from the diplomat who drafted the clause. The Third Geneva Convention , as well as the other Geneva Conventions, is oriented to conflict involving nation-states and only loosely addresses irregular forces:. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements The United States Department of Defense DOD defines it as this: "An organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through use of subversion and armed conflict.

This definition does not consider the morality of the conflict, or the different viewpoints of the government and the insurgents. It is focused more on the operational aspects of the types of actions taken by the insurgents and the counter-insurgents. The Department of Defense's DOD definition focuses on the type of violence employed unlawful towards specified ends political, religious or ideological.

This characterization fails to address the argument from moral relativity that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. The French expert on Indochina and Vietnam, Bernard Fall , who wrote Street Without Joy , [17] said that "revolutionary warfare" guerrilla warfare plus political action might be a more accurate term to describe small wars such as insurgencies.

Under the British, the situation in Malaya as often called the "Malayan insurgency" [19] or "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland. North points out, however, that insurgents today need not be part of a highly organized movement:. Some are networked with only loose objectives and mission-type orders to enhance their survival.

Most are divided and factionalized by area, composition, or goals. Strike one against the current definition of insurgency. It is not relevant to the enemies we face today. Many of these enemies do not currently seek the overthrow of a constituted government According to James D. Fearon , wars have a rationalist explanation behind them, which explains why leaders prefer to gamble in wars and avoid peaceful bargains.

Walter has presented a theory that explains the role of strong institutions in preventing insurgencies that can result in civil wars. Walter believes that institutions can contribute to four goals. According to Walter, although the presence of strong influential institutions can be beneficial to prevent the repetition of civil wars, autocratic governments are less likely to accept the emergence of strong institutions due to its resulting constraint of governmental corruption and privileges.

In her book, Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in Salvador , Elisabeth Jean Wood explains that participants in high-risk activism are very aware of the costs and benefits of engaging in civil wars. There are many selective incentives that encourage insurgency and violent movements against the autocratic political regimes. For example, the supply of safety as a material good can be provided by the insurgents which abolishes the exploitation of the government and thus forms one of the main incentives.

The revolutionary power can help manifest a social political network that in return provides access to political opportunities to diverse candidates who share a collective identity and cultural homogeneity. Also, civil wars and insurgencies can provide employment and access to services and resources that were once taken over by the autocratic regimes.

Insurgencies differ in their use of tactics and methods. In a article, Robert R. Tomes spoke of four elements that "typically encompass an insurgency": [25]. Tomes' is an example of a definition that does not cover all insurgencies. For example, the French Revolution had no cell system, and in the American Revolution , little to no attempt was made to terrorize civilians.

While Tomes' definition fits well with Mao's Phase I, [26] it does not deal well with larger civil wars. Mao does assume terrorism is usually part of the early phases, but it is not always present in revolutionary insurgency. Tomes offers an indirect definition of insurgency, drawn from Trinquier 's definition of counterinsurgency: "an interlocking system of actions—political, economic, psychological, military—that aims at the [insurgents' intended] overthrow of the established authority in a country and its replacement by another regime.

Steven Metz [28] observes that past models of insurgency do not perfectly fit modern insurgency, in that current instances are far more likely to have a multinational or transnational character than those of the past. Several insurgencies may belong to more complex conflicts, involving "third forces armed groups which affect the outcome, such as militias and fourth forces unarmed groups which affect the outcome, such as international media , who may be distinct from the core insurgents and the recognized government.

While overt state sponsorship becomes less common, sponsorship by transnational groups is more common. Metz suggests that contemporary insurgencies have far more complex and shifting participation than traditional wars, where discrete belligerents seek a clear strategic victory. Many insurgencies include terrorism. While there is no accepted definition of terrorism in international law, United Nations -sponsored working definitions include one drafted by Alex P.

Reporting to the Secretary-General in , the Working Group stated the following:.


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Without attempting a comprehensive definition of terrorism, it would be useful to delineate some broad characteristics of the phenomenon. Terrorism is, in most cases, essentially a political act. It is meant to inflict dramatic and deadly injury on civilians and to create an atmosphere of fear, generally for a political or ideological whether secular or religious purpose. Terrorism is a criminal act, but it is more than mere criminality. To overcome the problem of terrorism it is necessary to understand its political nature as well as its basic criminality and psychology. The United Nations needs to address both sides of this equation.

Yet another conflict of definitions involves insurgency versus terrorism. Morris, said [A pure terrorist group] "may pursue political, even revolutionary, goals, but their violence replaces rather than complements a political program. Insurgencies normally field fighting forces orders of magnitude larger than those of terrorist organizations. Their covert wing carries out attacks on military forces with tactics such as raids and ambushes , as well as acts of terror such as attacks that cause deliberate civilian casualties.

Mao considered terrorism a basic part of his first part of the three phases of revolutionary warfare. While not every insurgency involves terror, most involve an equally hard to define tactic, subversion. Subversion is literally administration with a minus sign in front. While it is less commonly used by current U.

Secretary of State Dean Rusk did in April , when he declared that urgent action was required before the "enemy's subversive politico-military teams find fertile spawning grounds for their fish eggs. In a Western context, Rosenau cites a British Secret Intelligence Service definition as "a generalized intention to emphasis added "overthrow or undermine parliamentary democracy by political, industrial or violent means. Rosenau mentions a more recent definition that suggests subversion includes measures short of violence, which still serve the purposes of insurgents.

Rather, he said the slogan "war on terror" is directed at "radical Islamism, a movement that makes use of culture for political objectives. Fukuyama argued that political means, rather than direct military measures, are the most effective ways to defeat that insurgency. There may be utility in examining a war not specifically on the tactic of terror but in co-ordination among multiple national or regional insurgencies. It may be politically infeasible to refer to a conflict as an "insurgency" rather than by some more charged term, but military analysts, when concepts associated with insurgency fit, should not ignore those ideas in their planning.

Additionally, the recommendations can be applied to the strategic campaign, even if it is politically unfeasible to use precise terminology. While it may be reasonable to consider transnational insurgency, Anthony Cordesman points out some of the myths in trying to have a worldwide view of terror: [36].

Social scientists, soldiers, and sources of change have been modeling insurgency for nearly a century if one starts with Mao. Kilcullen describes the "pillars" of a stable society, while Eizenstat addresses the "gaps" that form cracks in societal stability. McCormick's model shows the interplay among the actors: insurgents, government, population and external organizations.

Thomas Wuchte - Countering Terrorism and Radicalisation – An OSCE Approach

Barnett discusses the relationship of the country with the outside world, and Cordesman focuses on the specifics of providing security. Recent studies have tried to model the conceptual architecture of insurgent warfare using computational and mathematical modelling. Dixon, Michael Spagat, and Neil F. Johnson entitled "Common Ecology Quantifies Human Insurgency", suggests a common structure for 9 contemporary insurgent wars, supported on statistical data of more than 50, insurgent attacks.

Kilcullen describes a framework for counterinsurgency. He gives a visual overview [39] of the actors in his model of conflicts, which he represents as a box containing an "ecosystem" defined by geographic, ethnic, economic, social, cultural, and religious characteristics. Inside the box are, among others, governments, counterinsurgent forces, insurgent leaders, insurgent forces, and the general population, which is made up of three groups:. Often, but not always, states or groups that aid one side or the other are outside the box.

Outside-the-box intervention has dynamics of its own. The counterinsurgency strategy can be described as efforts to end the insurgency by a campaign developed in balance along three "pillars": security, political, and economical. Therefore, unity of command between agencies or among government and non-government actors means little in this environment. As in swarming, in Kilcullen's view unity of effort "depends less on a shared command and control hierarchy, and more on a shared diagnosis of the problem i.

Each player must understand the others' strengths, weaknesses, capabilities and objectives, and inter-agency teams must be structured for versatility the ability to perform a wide variety of tasks and agility the ability to transition rapidly and smoothly between tasks. Insurgencies, according to Stuart Eizenstat grow out of "gaps". Note the similarity between Eizenstat's gaps and Kilcullen's three pillars. McCormick's model [46] is designed as a tool for counterinsurgency COIN , but develops a symmetrical view of the required actions for both the Insurgent and COIN forces to achieve success.

In this way the counterinsurgency model can demonstrate how both the insurgent and COIN forces succeed or fail. The model's strategies and principle apply to both forces, therefore the degree the forces follow the model should have a direct correlation to the success or failure of either the Insurgent or COIN force.

All of these interact, and the different elements have to assess their best options in a set of actions:. In Thomas Barnett's paradigm, [47] the world is divided into a "connected core" of nations enjoying a high level of communications among their organizations and individuals, and those nations that are disconnected internally and externally. In a reasonably peaceful situation, he describes a "system administrator" force, often multinational, which does what some call "nation-building", but, most importantly, connects the nation to the core and empowers the natives to communicate—that communication can be likened to swarm coordination.

If the state is occupied, or in civil war, another paradigm comes into play: the leviathan , a first-world military force that takes down the opposition regular forces. Leviathan is not constituted to fight local insurgencies, but major forces. Taken together, the two offer a robust response to human insecurity. Uncannily, the aforementioned definition of human insecurity is more or less repeated in Article 72 of the same ECPF which enumerates the objectives of security governance. The simple reason is that terrorism and violent extremism had not gained currency in the region when the ECPF was adopted in It took the escalation of violence by Boko Haram in and the intensification of its attacks up to affecting parts of north-east Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon before a strategic regional response could be developed.

First, the CT Strategy mentions extremism and radicalization in the context of religion or more appropriately, exploitation of religion , thereby relegating other sources of violent extremism such as political exclusion and economic deprivation to a blind spot. Secondly, CT is too limiting a frame with which to address all forms of violent extremism and their root causes. Undoubtedly, there is a strong correlation between the rise in terrorism and increasing violent extremism. The root causes of violent extremism predate the rise in terrorist acts which became obvious in the region from While violent extremism is an instrument currently instigated by terrorist groups to achieve their mission, as long as the root causes and underlying conditions that enable it remain unaddressed, it may become a tool in the hands of other lethal groups or morphing interests in the future.

It is therefore necessary to humanize the approach to countering violent extremism CVE , and to address the root causes of violent extremism from the wider lens of security governance. Section III of the ECPF which touches on the root causes of violent conflict, links human insecurity to a continuum: the negative transformation of structural factors through the exacerbation of conflict accelerators , and the degeneration of conflict into open violence which is often sparked by triggers.

In other words, addressing the root causes of violent conflict—in this case violent extremism—needs to go beyond the surface to uncover the conditions that breed violent extremism.

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By extension, failing to address poverty, exclusion and political or economic inequalities in other parts of Nigeria may create conditions that breed violent extremism in various forms. On the contrary, if we assume that violent extremism constitutes a threat to individual and group rights, safety, life, livelihoods, and property, and that the threat constituted by violent extremism undermines the institutions and values of democratic governance, human rights and the rule of law, then the human security umbrella offered by security governance becomes a robust frame for addressing the threat.

Security governance as a strategic approach is overarching and cross-cutting.

It effectively links security efforts including: counter-terrorism, maritime security, control of small arms and light weapons SALW , border security, cross-border initiatives, humanitarian assistance, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration DDR , early warning, peace education the culture of peace , peace support, women and youth empowerment, and democratic governance. Promoting security governance is crucial to creating conditions that will eliminate the threat posed by violent extremism, and it will have a knock-on impact on all segments of the security sector.

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Article 74 d of the ECPF prescribes that ECOWAS shall develop, adopt and enforce prohibition legislation on mercenary and terrorist activities, and other cross-border criminal activities. The other two objectives enumerated in Article 72 of the ECPF address the reform of the security sector and seek improvement of security provisioning, management and oversight. Article 72 further underscores that the objectives of Security Governance shall be:. Therefore, improving security governance will not only promote human security and strengthen efforts at countering terrorism, violent extremism, maritime piracy, money laundering and other transnational organized crime, but will ultimately make security a public good and a vital element of sustainable development.

The rationale is quite simple: insecurity in any context arises mostly from common sources structural factors and thrives where it finds enabling conditions accelerators , though it manifests in various forms which may interact with one another.

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To reverse and overturn insecurity, addressing the common sources and neutralizing the enabling conditions will lead to more sustainable outcomes than merely focusing on the symptoms. With unprecedented advancements in information and communication technology and fluid mobility of human, material and financial resources, organized criminal networks are also increasingly interacting in ways that outpace the response capacity of state security agencies.

In addition, weak links in the security chain such as porous borders, demotivated security officials, poor training and outdated equipment for crime prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution, widespread disenchantment with state security actors, weak governance structures and weak regulatory regimes are exploited by traffickers, pirates and terrorists alike. Clear policies and instruments, organs and related programs in multiple sectors aggregate to such a web of insurance: a comprehensive toolbox for response available to ECOWAS, which addresses the root causes and enabling conditions of violent extremism.

The policy documents and instruments should be understood not merely as lifeless black letters on plain white paper, but as widely consulted and deeply negotiated confidence building processes involving regional experts, civil society actors, member states representatives, interest groups and partners, whose outcome is a common standard or expectation mutually agreed by the parties.

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The bottom-up process of development, improvement and adoption of the policies and instruments which often take years, help to ensure ownership and facilitate implementation. One of the priority areas of intervention under the Prevent pillar deals squarely with CVE. The section is reproduced verbatim hereunder.

The assessment examined country risk factors and emerging threats such as terrorism, violent extremism and their complex interactions, which are now becoming realities.

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Countering Terrorism Must Go Beyond International Law Enforcement

By combining qualitative analysis of the human security issues in the member states with quantitative elements and predictive analysis, it identified root causes of conflict, political, economic and social conflict risk factors, vulnerabilities, conflict triggers, mitigating factors, response options and recommendations for each of the 15 member states. The robust study supports evidence-based decision making on CVE and other conflict risks in the States.

Until recently, training curricula for the armed forces and security services in many ECOWAS member states have focused on public order, state security, regular warfare and peacekeeping and have not sufficiently addressed counter-terrorism, CVE and counter-insurgency. This gap has been noted as one of the reasons why Nigerian troops have greatly succeeded in peacekeeping in many regions of the world but have encountered challenges in counter-terrorism efforts at home. Some modules of the CT Training Manual go beyond theory, legal aspects and operational responses to terrorism to address issues relevant to CVE efforts including: intelligence and counterintelligence, early warning mechanism and coordination, border control, victim support and the role of the media.

Together with other relevant directorates, partners and member states, greater efforts would be directed at preventative aspects of CVE at national and regional levels, and improving human security and economic opportunities around border communities. Notably, both the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice and the Community Parliament have made extra-judicial and non-binding pronouncements regarding their commitment to contribute to the fight against terrorism and related crimes. They work to improve regional security cooperation and crime prevention, and to combat cross-border crime through information sharing, joint operations, harmonisation of legislation and procedures among other tasks.

They also report periodically to national and regional political authorities including Ministers in Charge of Security, Mediation and Security Council and Heads of State and Government on crime trends, emerging threats, planned action and programmes. While a global outcry has trailed the abduction of schoolgirls from Chibok community in Borno State in —heralded by the BringBackOurGirls campaign—significant local, national and international resources have been channeledto pursuing terrorists and neutralizing the threat of Boko Haram. There have also been renewed efforts aimed at addressing the plight of affected and displaced communities, even though comparably little attention and resources have been directed to addressing the root causes of violent extremism.

The geostrategic location of the group around the Lake Chad Basin and its incursions into Cameroon, Chad and Niger, coupled with its hit-and-run tactics, continue to pose operational challenges to ill-prepared forces from the affected States. However, centralizing analysis on Nigeria, the focus on Boko Haram and the north-east does not remove the fact that other forms of violent extremism exist and continue to emerge in other parts of the country.

Neither does it dilute the primary responsibility of the State to protect and safeguard the lives, livelihoods and property of its citizens in all parts of the country. This seeming marriage of CT and CVE efforts raises the need for both conceptual clarity and contextual practicality to address the complex nature of the challenge and to determine appropriate points of intervention in order to achieve desired results.

A series of key questions need to be addressed. For instance: at what point and under what conditions does radicalization begin to manifest in violent extremism? Do radicalization, violent extremism and terrorism overlap? What are their points of convergence and divergence? Do they arise from the same sources or motivations? Are there sufficient national laws or provisions in the Criminal Code addressing the threats? Does disproportional use of force by the armed forces and security agencies engender radicalization and violent extremism and how may this be addressed? Are responses adaptive enough to checkmate the ever-changing and adaptable nature of terrorism and violent extremism?

Will a victory against Boko Haram signal the end of the complementary CVE efforts and lead to fatigue in efforts to address the root causes of violent extremism? It is instructive that Boko Haram remains the only organization which has been proscribed in line with Section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act Nonetheless, of the six geo-political zones in the country, none can be said to have been totally free of some manifestation of radicalization and violent extremism in the past two decades.

The major manifestations have included the following. Different forms of colonial administration adopted in the different regions capitalized on cultural, economic and social divisions and other factors that reflect the complexity of the newly-created Nigeria. The problem with the historical narrative is that no regard was paid to what appears to be the natural dividing lines among the peoples and ethnic nationalities and, with independence, no serious attempt was made to use those lines as the bases for negotiating a federation that would respect the diversities while building on common interests and a common destiny in an organic way.

This structural factor has become a perennial source of conflict. Furthermore, emerging trends seem to suggest that some of the geo-political conflict complexes are now interacting in ways that were not anticipated by the national responses that have been crafted so far. For instance, some elements of Boko Haram terrorism in the north-east have been linked to the escalating nomadic herdsmen-settler conflicts from the north-west zone through the north-central, south-east, south-west and the south-south.

With the spike in their attacks in and the decimation of Boko Haram , this emerging form of mobile violent extremism risks becoming a major threat to security and stability in Nigeria. Preoccupation with religiously-motivated violent extremism alone, rather than robustly addressing its structural undercurrents and root causes, distorts the security realities and may further exacerbate the security situation in Nigeria.

Looking towards the future, the key lesson is that addressing the root causes of violent extremism through comprehensive security governance and a Whole-of-Society approach should be the starting point of efforts in CVE, not the end point. The following steps will improve regional support to CVE. The Agenda for Sustainable Development which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September is described as a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.

Beyond the banner and the primary goal of eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, Paragraph 55 of the UNGA Resolution [12] captures a way of doing things that is relevant to both human development and human security efforts. Relating the SDGs to the challenge of peace and security generally and violent extremism specifically, connected development finds expression in Goals 16 and Connected security is not just an idea that should exist only in academic texts, or an aspiration that should exist only in policy documents. It must be realized in practice.

This will certainly not come easy because it challenges traditional structures and ways of doing things. Due to the fact that insecurity is increasingly connected and complex, a similar approach of comprehensive security governance is needed at the national level beyond localized efforts. For instance, the Protocol on the Fight Against Corruption. Some entered into force provisionally upon signature, pending ratification. An example is the Mechanism.


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Global Terrorism Index Sydney: IEP, , Transforming our world: the agenda for sustainable development. General Assembly. Goal 17 is dedicated to the promotion of partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. These inclusive partnerships built upon principles and values, a shared vision, and shared goals are needed at the global, regional, national and local level. Featured Photo credit : africanews. February 4, February 7, Introduction Violence and armed conflict are not new to the West African region.

Terrorism, terrorist acts and violent extremism In spite of the depth of research over the decades, only a few definitions of terrorism have attracted much appeal even though they are still not universally accepted. Article 72 further underscores that the objectives of Security Governance shall be: [ii] to orient the focus and capacities of individuals, groups and institutions engaged in the security system to make them responsive and responsible to democratic control and adhere to basic human rights and the rule of law; [iii] to ensure the emergence and consolidation of accountable, transparent and participatory security systems in member states.

Strengthening of legal measures in combating crime including the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of and the Convention on Extradition of Prioritisation of conflict prevention and elaboration of mechanisms for conflict resolution by the Protocol Relating to a Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Resolution, Management, Peacekeeping and Security of Commitments to promoting democracy and political governance as encapsulated in the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance of