Terrorist Groups Cause 503 Deaths in Mid-February 2019 – ACSRT report


The African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) in its bi-weekly “Africa Terrorism Bulletin” has recorded 503 deaths resulting from 73 terrorist attacks across Africa between the periods of 1st-15th February 2019. The period under review recorded a total of 826 terrorism related deaths out of which, 503 resulted directly from terrorist attacks whereas 323 were killed during counter-terrorism operations by security forces. The Sahel region recorded 48 out of 73 incidents of terrorist attacks. Civilians accounted for a greater number of casualties, with 69% while Security Services personnel registered 52% of deaths in the Sahel region.
For the entire Africa, the bulletin reveals that 46% (381) of all terrorism-related deaths were civilians whereas 44% (364) were members of terrorist groups. Security/Military Forces accounted for 10% (81) of the deaths. In 52 out of the 73 attacks, the terrorists used Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). 18 attacks involved the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and 3 were cases of kidnapping and murder.

Al-Shabaab used IEDs more in their attacks than SALW whereas Boko Haram used SALW more than IEDs in their attacks. All attacks by Jama’a Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen (JNIM) and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a faction of Boko Haram used SALW. The use of SALW accounted for 88% of attack related deaths, whereas IEDs accounted for 12%.
The report further reveals that 34 attacks were targeted at civilians, 24 targeted at security forces, 9 targeted at Government Institutions/Officials, and 6 targeted at International Organizations. Attacks carried out by Al-Shabaab resulted in 48 deaths, while those of Boko Haram, JNIM and ISWAP resulted in the deaths of 29, 11 and 13 respectively. The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the DRC engaged in attacks that killed 7 persons.
In terms of casualties suffered by the terrorist groups, Al-Shabaab lost 88 members while Islamist groups in the Sinai region of Egypt lost 15 members in CT operations. Boko Haram and ADF lost 13 and 4 of their members respectively. 244 others suspected terrorists killed during counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations belong to unidentified/unaffiliated groups.
The five countries most affected by terrorism during the period are Nigeria, Cameroon, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Somalia. Countries of the Sahel region recorded a total deaths of 499 out of the 826 representing 60% of the terrorism related deaths for the period. Out of the 499 casualties, 261 were civilians, 196 terrorists, and 42 security/ military personnel..
The findings from the bulletin for the period under review (1st-15th February 2019) reveal an increase in the number of terrorist attacks across Africa. Although collaborative efforts are delivering some effective preventative and counter-measure responses to the threats of terrorism and violent extremism in Africa, terrorist and violent extremist organizations continue to hold considerable initiative. All across the continent, border areas feature rather prominently in the areas most attacked by the terrorist groups during the period. The vulnerability of border areas to attack would thus require attention.

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