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The Climate Security-Violent Extremism Nexus in West Africa

Our 5th Southern Talks welcomes Dr. Ebimboere Seiyefa

Africa - Fight Against Terrorism - Format: Video - Size: 0 Bytes - Date: Feb, 2024 - Pages: - Copyright: NATO Strategic Direction South HUB - Tags: Extremism, West-Africa, Radicalisation

The Southern Talks #5 - Full Webinar

 The Climate Security-Violent Extremism Nexus in West Africa

Our esteemed guest, Dr. Ebimboere Seiyefa of Baze University, Nigeria offers her regional perspective on how the rise of Violent Extremism across the region relates to Climate Security.

Dr. Seiyefa briefs on the current Climate Crisis in West Africa and how it can worsen existing conflicts, increase recruitment and even lead to new conflict. At the same time, conflict can prevent or disrupt Climate Action, designed to reduce the effects of the Climate Crisis. 

There is an immediate need to break this vicious circle, perhaps turning it into a virtuous cycle by way of the implementation of a more holistic, investment-backed aid system to help rebuild and develop local communities.

Her comprehensive presentation is followed by a Q&A session with the audience.


  • Over 130 VEO’s are spread across West Africa, all unique in their own way. Civilian governments have failed to control them, leading to NSAGs and militias developing in response.
  • Small and mid-size agro economic businesses make up >60% of the economy in many countries and these businesses are the worst hit by the Climate Crisis. This leads directly to higher unemployment, greatly exacerbating local vulnerabilities, especially regarding VEOs and NSAGs. In turn, there is more and more recruitment. This is not belief-based, but the requirement to replace lost income continues to feed recruitment of footsoldiers by NSAGs, VEOs and transnational crime groups. Assisting those in financial difficulty and abject poverty caused, at least in part by the effects of climate change combined with existing conflicts, would reduce or eradicate much of this issue.
  • Multilateral Responses to VEOs/NSAGs need to incorporate the Climate Crisis as a driver and threat multiplier. The local people are very unprepared for further worsening of the current state of affairs.
  • Meaningful Engagement with NATO, EU etc. regarding Climate Crisis policy is a key way forward. CT and COIN alone are insufficient.
  • Kinetic Military intervention, followed by sporadic army presence, and internationally signed agreements is not achieving its goals. A holistic, long-term investment plan to rebuild communities and then provide regular patrols is what is urgently needed. 
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