Togo’s Resilience: Strengthening Security and Stability Against Extremism

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The West African nation of Togo and its coastal neighbors are strengthening their measures to bolster security, governance, and economic stability in communities threatened by violent extremism and terrorism. The US is partnering with Togo in this crucial endeavor and mobilizing support under the U.S. Strategy to Contain Conflicts and Boost Stability (SPCPS), a whole-of-government endeavor with 10-year plans backed by President Biden in March 2023. 

The Government of Togo appointed the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Prevention and Fight against Violent Extremism (CIPLEV) in 2019 with help from a public diplomacy grant from the U.S. embassy in Lomé, Togo. The panel includes representatives of the Ministries of Decentralization, Health, Justice, Social Affairs, and Grassroots Development, among others. In addition, they also made sub-committees at the prefectural and communal levels to cooperate with the national level committees and show the unity of effort. These subcommittees comprise representatives from civil society, the security forces, spiritual leaders, and local authorities operating together in an integrated fashion to optimize prosperous outcomes.

These efforts mirror the government’s awareness of the seriousness of the violent extremism threat and its estimation that security forces cannot counter it alone. Outstanding in its constitution, CIPLEV showcases the muscles of a holistic approach to opposing violent extremism.   

In 2022, President Biden revealed that the United States would prioritize coalitions with countries of Coastal West Africa, including Togo, to enforce the SPCPS. President Biden conveyed to Congress the 10-year plan for implementing the SPCPS with the Coastal West African nations of Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, and Togo. This was observed by a historic visit by Vice President Harris to Ghana, during which she revealed that the United States would finance more than $100 million in assistance to Coastal West Africa.  

The United States funds Togo and its Coastal West African neighbors in this integrated dispute prevention and stabilization approach. Under the SPCPS, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department have started implementing new programs to support and strengthen economic development and improve governance and resilience in at-risk communities, including northern Togo. 

Under this endeavor, the US has mounted support for CIPLEV, including two new grants stated by the U.S. Embassy in Lomé. The first focuses on enhancing building to improve community dialogues and create an early warning system. The second is concentrated on developing structured community collaboration in partnership with nearly 2,000 local authorities, municipal players, and young citizens in nine communes most damaging to violent extremism. In the nine months since enforcing the grant, thousands of CIPLEV support agents have been trained across Togo’s Savanes, Kara, and Centrale border areas, and the developing early warning system is already collecting invaluable Violent Extremist Organization (VEO) threat data.  

At the end of last year, a senior defense, diplomacy, and development (“3D”) interagency delegation visited Lomé, Togo, and met with management and civil society leaders to affirm this reinforced partnership. During a meeting with the Republic of Togo’s President, Faure Gnassingbe, the 3D delegation and U.S. Ambassador to Togo, Elizabeth Fitzsimmons, affirmed that a whole-of-government approach to addressing insecurity in Togo offers the most effective and sustainable path to success.

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