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Inculcating the culture of peace and tolerance among youth in the zinder/damagaram region of Niger republic: another alternative for West African counter insurgency efforts in the 21stcentury


Sociology International Journal
Mukhtar Umar Bunza, Labbo Abdullahi

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Abstract

Modern-day Zinder region was originally a Sudanic Kingdom of Hausa and Kanuri people whose culture was deeply rooted in Islamic teachings. Zinder society had in the past, a tolerant and accommodative culture that sustained peaceful co-existence among its members and neighbors. Today, the region witnesses an alien culture of intolerance, extremism and youth violence due to cultural disruption by foreign influences. The youth represents higher percentage of Zinder population, and the demographic contours favor that class of people, who are vulnerable and prone to external influences or abandoning of established and cherished traditions in the society. The cultural gap between the youth and the society begot a number of fadas (violent groups) among the youth who destroy lives, public buildings and places of worship. Thus, cultural renaissance and refinement is imperative in addressing the current youth violence and extremism in Zinder Region. It is in line with this reality, that the paper submits that the norms and values of Hausa and Kanuri people that sustained peace and tolerance in Zinder in the past need to be resuscitated, and inculcated in the minds of the youth to address the current prevalence of violence and extremism in the West African sub-region instead of use of military options.

Keywords

cultural renaissance, extremism, counter insurgency, Niger/Nigeria, West Africa

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