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Vol. 4 (2023): Panoply Journal

The Concentric Circle of Conflict in the Lake Chad Region: Between Youth, Exclusion and Grievance

31 August 2023


This article presents an overview of armed conflict in the Lake Chad region of Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon, particularly in relation to youth exclusion and grievances. The study aims to identify the drivers of youth exclusion and grievance, including marginalization, unemployment, poverty, state weakness, and relative deprivation. While previous research has examined the drivers of youth involvement in conflicts in Africa, this study focuses on the specific case of the Lake Chad region and the role of exclusion and grievance in driving youth complicity in violence. This study also aims to contribute to the understanding of the factors responsible for the surge in violence and challenges faced by young people in the region. The analysis is based on the theoretical proposition of exclusion-grievance, which argues that exclusion and marginalization are major causes of rebellion in Africa. The study adopts a qualitative and descriptive approach, analyzing previous research and reports to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge on youth, exclusion, and conflict in the Lake Chad region. The study finds that exclusion and grievance are major drivers of youth complicity in conflicts in the Lake Chad region, with factors such as poor economy, weak state presence, poverty and unemployment and poor governance exacerbating youth susceptibility to violence. It is recommended that attention be paid to the root causes of exclusion and deprivation by improving governance, infrastructure, and social services, empowering youth, and promoting employment opportunities.

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