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Dialogue with violent extremist groups: community perspectives in the Lake Chad Basin


Key findings

The following key findings summarise the perspectives of local communities on dialogue as an option for resolving the Boko Haram crisis in the Lake Chad Basin. They are based on questionnaires distributed to representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs) attending a workshop in Abuja, Nigeria in August 2019.

  • Although the type of dialogue referred to was an exchange between state/government actors and violent extremist groups such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a few of the respondents referred to intercommunal dialogue in their questionnaires.
  • The respondents were divided on the ability of the Multinational Joint Task Force to secure peace in their communities. The Force’s capability of securing peace ahead of any peace negotiation or cease-fire during a dialogue process will largely rest on how it is trained and equipped in the future.
  • There is a need to dispel what local communities understand a securitised approach to mean and whether an improved military response as opposed to a less securitised approach is needed.
  • Although a number of participants stated that dialogue should be both considered and pursued as an alternative or a complementary method to end the crisis, the majority of respondents raised various criticisms and/or challenges explaining why, in their perception, it is unlikely that a successful dialogue process can take place

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