Advancing regional cooperation and capacity-building on the rights and needs of victims of terrorism in Africa
Regional focus on East Africa and West Africa. National focus on Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger
The challenge

Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have been at the center of large-scale crisis in recent years, leading millions of people to flee violent extremism. The Liptako-Gourma region straddles the common borders of the three countries, covering an area of 370,000 square kilometres. Multiple attacks by terrorist groups and other non-state armed groups in the region continue to cause significant damage to community infrastructure and livelihoods.

Despite recent progress towards protecting and promoting the rights of victims of terrorism, more has to be done at national and regional levels to ensure that victims’ concerns are adequately reflected in all counter-terrorism and preventive strategies. 

A regional approach will enable African countries that have not been able to identify the best way to engage or begin their work in support of the rights and needs of victims and survivors of terrorism to learn from African neighbours and counterparts, and regional organizations, and to adapt relevant practice from interventions in their respective regions that have been effective in delivering this support.

The project

The project aims to strengthen the capacity of member states (Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger), regional and sub-regional organizations (ECOWAS / IGAD) and relevant Member States, to identify, recognize, and address the needs of victims and survivors of terrorism and to promote and uphold their rights.


This project aims to enhance South-South collaboration and drive regional efforts in East Africa and West Africa to holistically prevent and address terrorism and violent extremism through enhanced strategic partnerships that involve victims and survivors of terrorism in the development of regional counter-terrorism and PCVE strategies. Through awareness-raising, partnership-building, and regional collaboration, this project aims to generate enough buy-in at the grassroots level to sustain regional engagement and action at the national and local levels.

At the national level, the project will build the capacity of national authorities in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger with respect to legislation, strategies and policies in support of victims of terrorism, raising awareness of victims’ rights and needs, providing practical support and skills to national entities in charge of providing legal aid, access to justice and representation of victims of terrorism in judicial procedures for terrorism, and strengthening the capacity of medical, forensic and mental health experts at the national level to be able to provide effective support to victims and survivors.

Expected impact

In the medium term the project will strengthen the capacity of participating regional organizations and Member States to develop and implement measures to support the needs and protect the rights of victims of terrorism. The Member States will have enhanced capacity to meet the needs of victims of terrorism through legislative frameworks and knowledge on developing national comprehensive assistance plans to support the needs and protect the rights of victims of terrorism, and their capacity to provide medical, mental health, and psychosocial support in a victim-centric manner will be strengthened.

Ultimately, this will enhance regional and sub-regional collaboration on counter-terrorism and PCVE efforts, with a view to collectively addressing the promotion and protection of the rights and needs of victims of terrorism through leveraging of shared perspectives, knowledge and enhanced South-South collaboration.

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