General Situation. The reporting period, 1st to 31st January 2020 recorded lower number of attacks compared to the period 1st to 31st January 2019. At the end of January 2020 there were 117 terrorist attacks compared to 141 for the same period in 2019.

With respect to casualties, there was a significant reduction in the number of deaths from terrorist attacks. While there were 1113 deaths recorded in January 2019, 715 deaths were recorded in January 2020 representing a 36% decrease.

Countries Most Affected. The five countries most affected by terrorism during the period were Niger, Burkina Faso, DRC, Nigeria and Mali (In decreasing order of deaths recorded).

Target of Terrorist Attacks. While 57 out of the 117 terrorist attacks were launched against Civilian targets, 53 targeted Military/Security Forces. Seven attacks targeted Government Institutions/Officials. The attacks by al Shabaab, Mai-Mai, ADF and ISCAP/ASWJ were mainly against Military/Security Forces, whilst Boko Haram and unknown/other groups mostly targeted civilians.

Weapons Used. The terrorist groups used Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in 81 out of the 117 attacks. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were used in 25 of the attacks and both IEDs and SALW were used in one attack. There were 10 cases of kidnapping.

Deaths from Terrorists Attacks. 715 deaths were recorded during the period: 296 civilians, 261 Military/Security personnel and 158 terrorists.

Casualties Inflicted by Terrorist Groups. Al Shabaab killed 26 persons (18 civilians, 8 Security); Boko Haram killed 58 persons (27 civilians, 31 security); Mai-Mai killed 9 security persons; ADF killed 67 persons (57 civilians, 10 security); ISCAP/ASWJ killed 22 security persons; and unknown/other groups killed 366 persons (194 civilians, 172 Security).

Casualties Sustained by Terrorist Groups. Boko Haram suffered the highest number of casualties during the period. Security forces killed 48 Boko Haram militants. Al Shabaab followed with 36 militants killed. Mai-Mai lost 29 militants, ADF lost 14 militants, ISGS lost 5 militants, and 139 militants from unknown/other groups were also killed

Kidnapping. 10 cases of kidnapping were recorded and a total of 44 persons were taken hostage in Burkina Faso, Niger, Cameroon and DRC. 26 of them were rescued, seven were killed and 11 remain in hostage.

Focus on Epicentres. Out of the total of 117 terrorist attacks, the Sahel region accounted for 45 and 355 deaths, Lake Chad Basin recorded 20 with 115 deaths, and the Central Africa (DRC) recorded 20 attacks with 121 deaths during the period.

High Profile Attacks. On 3 January, Tillaberi Region, Niger, unidentified gunmen attacked a military camp killing 89 soldiers, 77 militants were also neutralized. On 25 January, Silgadji, Soum province, Burkina Faso, unidentified armed militants attacked the village and killed 39 people. On 28 January, Manzingi and Maleki villages, Beni, North-Kivu, DRC ADF rebels killed 36 people in attacks on the two villages in eastern DRC.

Counter-Terrorism Response. CT operations resulted in neutralizing 113 militants of terrorist groups. Three Military/Security forces were also killed.


Although there was a 36% decrease in the number of terrorist attacks in January 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, the spate of terrorist attacks across the Continent with their resultant number of deaths continue to be a source of concern. Except for North Africa, all the regions of the Continent recorded incidents of terrorism and violent extremist activities that claimed the lives of 715 people. The intended quick resolution, through kinetic counter terrorism military operations, of the prevailing situation has not produced the needed outcome of comprehensively taming the activities of terrorist groups. With more than a decade of counter terrorism military intervention, the situation remains dire. A robust program of amnesty, counter-radicalization and deradicalization need to be fused with existing military solution. Civil society and private actors should be encouraged to play a role in preventing and countering terrorism through a whole of government whole of society response approach.

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