AFRICA RECORDED A TOTAL OF 99 TERRORIST ATTACKS RESULTING IN A TOTAL OF 529 DEATHS

Map April 20-s

General Situation. The reporting period, 1st to 30th April 2020 recorded a lower number of terrorist attacks compared to the period 1st to 31st March 2020, curving the continuous increase witnessed from January to March.

At the end of April 2020, there were 99 terrorist attacks compared to 153 for the period of 1st to 31st March 2020, representing a 35% decrease in attacks. With respect to casualties, there was also a decrease in the number of deaths from terrorist attacks. While there were 944 deaths recorded in March 2020, 529 deaths were recorded in April 2020, representing 44% decrease.

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

Target of Terrorist Attacks. While 62 out of the 99 terrorist attacks were launched against Civilians, 32 targeted Military/Security Forces. Five attacks targeted International Organizations. The attacks by Al-Shabaab and ISWAP targeted Military/Security forces while Boko Haram, ADF and other unknown groups mostly targeted civilians.

Weapons Used. The terrorist groups used Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) in 80 out of the 99 attacks. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were used in 16 of the attacks.
Deaths Occasioned by Terrorist Attacks. 529 deaths were recorded during the period: 308 civilians, 76 Military/Security personnel and 145 terrorists.

Casualties Inflicted by Terrorist Groups. Boko Haram killed 77 persons (22 civilians, 55 Military/Security Forces); Al-Shabaab killed 34 persons (26 civilians, 8 Military/Security Forces); JNIM killed 25 Military/Security Forces; ISCAP/ASWJ killed 52 civilians; ADF killed 28 persons (26 civilians, 2 Military/Security Forces); ISWAP killed 5 Military/Security Forces; Mai-Mai killed 4 persons Military/Security Forces; LRA killed 3 civilians and unknown/other groups killed 219 persons (179 civilians, 40 Military/Security Forces).

Casualties Sustained by Terrorist Groups.Boko Haram suffered the highest number of causalities during the period. Military/Security forces killed 1257 Boko Haram terrorists. ISCAP/ASWJ followed with 128 terrorists killed, Al-Shabaab lost 67 terrorists, JNIM lost 12 elements, Mai-Mai lost eight and 239 terrorists from unknown/other groups were also killed.

Kidnapping.Three cases of kidnapping were recorded and a total of six persons were taken hostage in Burkina Faso and Mali during the period. Two captives were released, and four abductees remain in hostage.
Focus on Epicentres. Out of the 99 terrorist attacks, the Sahel region accounted for 45 and 206 deaths, , the Central Africa epicentre (Eastern part of DRC) recorded 19 attacks with 160 deaths, and the Horn of Africa recorded 16 attacks with 45 deaths during the period.

High Profile Attacks. 02 April, in Tillaberi Region, Niger. Unidentified armed group onboard motorcycles attacked a military position. 63 terrorists and four soldiers were killed. 19 soldiers were also injured. 07 April, in Xitaxi, Mozambique. ASWJ terrorists killed 52 villagers after locals refused to be recruited to their ranks. 06 April, in Bamba Town, Mali. An attack on a military base by JNIM terrorists led to the death of 25 soldiers and injury to six others. A counter-attack by FAMa led to the deaths of 12 terrorists. 13 April, Djugu territory, DRC. Militants from the CODECO armed group attacked the village at night and killed 23 people. 24 April, Ngurai village, DRC. CODECO militants killed 23 people and injured seven others, including a FARDC soldier during a terrorist attack.

Counter-Terrorism Response. CT operations resulted in neutralizing 1575 terrorists. 63 Military/Security Forces died during those operations.

Conclusions/Recommendations. The drastic fall in terrorist attacks and deaths recorded in April 2020, marks a shift from an ominous pattern of persistent monthly increases in number of terrorist attacks and casualties since the turn of the year. This is a reprieve from the pressure brought to bear on the countries most affected by the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism.
The fall has been attributed to robust counter-terrorism operations, infighting among armed terrorist groups and possible impact of the COVID-19 on terrorist movements. This positive development may, however, be temporal if Member States do not keep up the pressure on the terrorist groups by implementing sustainable developmental programmes to gain the trust of the people.

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