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Combating violent extremism in Montenegro

In addition to the Strategy for the Suppression of Violent Extremism 2016-2018, the Government of Montenegro will consider the idea of a new platform against this phenomenon, which would bring together experts from the public, private, non-governmental, scientific, and civil sectors.

This was announced at the conference "The Role of the Community in the Fight Against Violent Extremism", organized by the NGO Center for Democratic Transition (CDT) on 31 October in Podgorica, with the support of the Regional Cooperation Council.

Interior Minister Mevludin Nuhodzic said that this complex issue must be addressed in a comprehensive manner and in all areas of society, and that the goal of the platform is to provide a better planning of the measures focused on a wider community engagement.

The Minister said that there is a strategy for the suppression of violent extremism and an action plan for its implementation. He added that violent extremism is a complex phenomenon that represents a challenge requiring concerted efforts: "Therefore, it is necessary to further develop local level-based initiatives in addition to law enforcement agencies, including other state institutions, as well as academic community, civil society organizations, media and, above all, families ".

Milica Kovacevic, representative of the Center for Democratic Transition, said that almost two years after the adoption of the Strategy, this document is partially implemented: "Of the 27 authorities responsible for its implementation, only a few of them actively dealt with this, primarily all security organs and several of them dealing with the ’soft’ prevention of extremism and radicalism". Kovacevic stressed that the NGO suggests a significant change of approach in this field in the form of a platform that will more effectively deal with violent extremism, which includes a revision of the strategy.

It is important to emphasize that there are still no official information on the implementation of this strategy. However, it is not the only document dealing with violent extremism: the Strategy for Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism, Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing 2015-2018 and Action Plans contains some measures and activities that are substantially identical with the measures and activities in the Strategy for Suppression of Violent Extremism and Action Plan, for example: identification of groups subject to the influence of violent radicalism and extremism and potential links with foreign fighters, assessment of risk and risk analysis, as well as familiarization of the local police with measures for identifying forms of violent radicalization and terrorism. Implementing these measures means that the Strategy for Suppression of Violent Extremism is being implemented both directly and indirectly.

In any case, an additional mechanism such as the Platform for the Fight Against Violent Extremism appears useful at least for spreading the awareness of the negative dimensiony of this phenomenon in the Montenegrin society.

Sources:
- Montenegrin Ministry of Interior
- Center for democratic transition

14 November 2017