Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken at a Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration, and Reconciliation Event

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  I hope you all got a chance to maybe listen in and hear what we heard.  But what’s truly remarkable is the approach that Niger has taken to countering violent extremism and doing it through this very impressive program of demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration.

But I think what you’ve seen and what you’ve heard today is that there’s an approach that I think is incredibly wise in, again, bringing people back into society, doing it with the support and the participation of the communities in question, helping to give people livelihoods, and in effect giving them a better choice than falling into violent extremism.

It’s especially impressive when you see that, as we saw at the very outset, if you look at where Niger is located, you can see the challenges that it faces coming literally from all sides, many of which have been, in effect, imported in.  This approach is very – I think, from our perspective – very much a model that others can look to.

So it was very powerful to hear about it directly, including from people who participated in the program, community leaders, and something that we’re very proud to support in a variety of ways as well.

So good first stop.  I know we’ll have a chance to talk later.  Enjoy.  Thanks.

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originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS