AFRICA RECORDED A TOTAL OF 117 TERRORIST ATTACKS RESULTING IN A TOTAL OF 748 DEATHS

Map-Feb-20-s

General Situation. The reporting period, 1st to 29th February 2020 recorded a higher number of attacks compared to the period 1st to 31st January 2020. At the end of February 2020 there were 139 terrorist attacks

compared to 122 for the period of 1st to 31stJanuary 2020. With respect to casualties, there was a marginal increase in the number of deaths from terrorist attacks. While there were 715 deaths recorded in January 2020, 748 deaths were recorded in February 2020, representing 5% increase.
Countries Most Affected. The five countries most affected by terrorism during the period were: Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, DRC and Somalia (In decreasing order of deaths recorded).

Target of Terrorist Attacks. While 89 out of the 139 terrorist attacks were launched against Civilian targets, 47 targeted Military/Security Forces. Three attacks targeted Government Institutions/Officials. The attacks by Al-Shabaab and ISWAP 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 117 out of the 139 attacks. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were used in 11 of the attacks and IEDs & SALW were used in two attacks.

Deaths from Terrorists Attacks. 748 deaths were recorded during the period: 456 civilians, 126 Military/Security personnel and 166 terrorists.

Casualties Inflicted by Terrorist Groups. Al-Shabaab killed 34 persons (6 civilians, 28 Military/Security Forces); Boko Haram killed 18 persons (16 civilians, 2 Military/Security Forces); ISWAP killed 43 persons (35 civilians, 8Military/Security Forces); ISGS killed one civilian; ADF killed 30 persons (29 civilians, 1 Military/Security Forces); IS Affiliates killed one Military/Security Forces; and unknown/other groups killed 467 persons (376 civilians, 91 Military/Security Forces).

Casualties Sustained by Terrorist Groups. Ansaru suffered the highest number of causalities during the period. Military/Security forces killed 250 Ansaru terrorists. Al-Shabaab followed with 57 terrorists killed, ISWAP lost five terrorists, Boko Haram lost 3 elements, and 397 terrorists from unknown/other groups were also killed.

Kidnapping. Nine cases of kidnapping were recorded and a total of 20 persons were taken hostage in Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Mali and Niger during the period. Eight captives were killed and six were released. Six of the 20 people kidnapped remain in hostage.

Focus on Epicentres. Out of the total of 139 terrorist attacks, the Sahel region accounted for 65 and 268 deaths, Lake Chad Basin recorded 15 with 62 deaths, and the Horn of Africa recorded 14 attacks with 68 deaths during the period.

High Profile Attacks. 01 February, in Eastern DRC terrorists killed at least 62 civilians in a series of attacks. 19 February, Tibesti Region, Chad. 50 members of the CCMSR terrorist were killed by Chadian security forces during an ambush. 14 February, in Mopti Region, Mali unidentified gunmen attacked and killed 31 civilians. 09 February, in Auno Town, Borno State, Nigeria, Boko Haram militia attacked and killed 30 civilians and destroyed 18 vehicles.

Counter-Terrorism Response. CT operations resulted in neutralizing 559 terrorists of terrorist groups. Five Military/Security Forces died during those operations.

Conclusions/Recommendations. The spate of terrorist attacks across the continent with their resultant number of deaths continue to be a source of concern. There was a 5% increase in the number of terrorist attacks in February 2020 compared to the previous month. All the regions of the continent recorded incidents of terrorism and violent extremist activities that claimed the lives of 748 people. The continued use of SALW by terrorist and violent extremist groups indicates the availability of such weapons and the ease with which these groups are able to access them. As part of efforts to address the phenomenon, efforts have to be made by Member States in conjunction with RECs and the AU to prevent the proliferation of SAWL in the continent and the ease with which they are moved from one region to another and from one country to the other.

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