Daily Archives: 18/10/2020



General Situation. The reporting period, 1st to 31st August 2020 recorded a lower number of terrorist attacks compared to the period 1st to 31st July 2020. At the end of August 2020 there were 183 terrorist attacks compared to 288 for July 2020, representing a 57% decrease. With respect to casualties, there was also a decrease in the number of deaths from terrorist attacks. While there were 1035 deaths recorded in July 2020, 763 deaths were recorded in August 2020, representing 36% decrease.

Countries Most Affected. The five countries most affected by terrorist attacks during the period were: DRC, Somalia, Mali, Mozambique and Burkina Faso. (In decreasing order).
Target of Terrorist and VE Attacks. While 101 out of the 183 terrorist attacks were launched against Civilians, 70 targeted Military/Security Forces. Nine attacks targeted Governmental Institutions/Officials and three attacks targeted International Organisations. The attacks by Mai-Mai groups and ADF were mainly against Civilians, whilst Al-Shabaab mostly targeted Military/Security Forces.
Weapons Used. The terrorist groups used Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) in 143 out of the 183 attacks. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were used in 27 of the attacks and Mixed (SALW & IED) were used in three of the attacks.
Deaths from Terrorists and VE Attacks. 763 deaths were recorded during the period: 400 civilians, 204 Military/Security personnel and 159 terrorists.

Casualties Inflicted by Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups. ASWJ killed 112 persons (45 civilians and 67 Military/Security Forces); ADF killed 103 persons (77 civilians, 26 Military/Security Forces); Al-Shabaab killed 88 persons (34 civilians, 54 Military/Security Forces);
Boko Haram killed 17 persons, all civilians; ISWAP killed 17 persons (14 civilians and 03 Military/Security Forces);
Other IS Affiliates in North Africa killed one Military/Security Forces; Mai-Mai groups killed 118 persons (92 civilians and 26 Military/Security Forces); Other VE groups killed 30 persons (29 civilians and 01 Military/Security Forces); Unknown groups killed 151 persons (114 civilians, 37 Military/Security Forces).

Casualties Sustained by Terrorist Groups. Al-Shabaab, Mai-Mai groups, ISWAP and Boko Haram suffered highest number of casualties during the period.
Military/Security forces killed 147 Al-Shabaab, 63 of Mai-Mai group members, 23 members of ISWAP and 22 of Boko Haram fighters. ASWJ suffered 16 casualties. 36 members of other VE groups and 62 members from unknown groups were also killed during the period.

10 cases of kidnappings were recorded.
A total of 302 persons were taken hostage in DRC, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali while 143 captives were released during the same period.

Focus on Epicentres. Out of the 183 terrorist attacks, the Great Lakes region recorded 90 attacks with 280 deaths, the Horn of Africa recorded 43 attacks with 190 deaths, the Sahel region accounted for 32 attacks and 106 deaths and Lake Chad Basin accounted for seven attacks with 50 deaths during the period.

High Profile Attacks.
10 August, Litamanda Village, Macomia District, Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique. Suspected ASWJ ambushed the military killing 55 soldiers.
13 August, Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique. Suspected ASJW reportedly sank a boat carrying displaced persons from Nkomangano village to Nhongue Island, killing 40 people.
10 August, Mogadishu, Somalia. Al-Shabaab inmates who smuggled pistols and grenades inside a prison attacked and killed four guards and two civilians. Fifteen inmates including four Al-Shabaab inmates were also killed.
07 August, Gourma Province, Burkina Faso. An attack by unknown gunmen led to the deaths of 25 people.
27 August, Mopti Region, Mali. Unknown terrorists ambushed FAMA forces killing four soldiers and injuring 12 others. A counter attack by the military killed 20 terrorists. Two pick-ups trucks were recovered and 12 motorcycles destroyed.
26 August, North-Kivu Province, DRC. 24 dead bodies of civilians, killed by ADF/MTM were discovered.
07 August, Bay, Somalia. Al-Shabaab fighters launched an attack on a Somali National Army (SNA) base resulting in a gun battle in which 17 terrorists were killed and 23 others injured in retaliation. Five soldiers were also killed including a senior officer.

Counter-Terrorism Response. CT operations resulted in neutralizing 250 terrorists. 11 Military/Security Forces died during those operations.

Conclusions/Recommendations. The military coup in Mali on 18th August 2020 that overthrew the government of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK) has the tendency to exacerbate the already fragile security situation in Mali and the Sahel. The current volatility in the region begun after the Tuareg uprising in Mali in January 2012 and was exacerbated by the military overthrow of the Amadou Toumani Toure’s government. The uncertainty that followed the overthrow of President Amadou Toure was exploited by terrorist and armed groups to make significant territorial gains in northern Mali. Although there hasn’t been obvious deterioration of the terrorism situation in Mali since the 18th August coup, the wide-raging economic sanctions imposed by ECOWAS and the uncertainty regarding the future of the junta could lead to a repetition of the 2012 debacle.

Considering the fact the terrorism incidents in the Sahel have been dwindling since April, it is essential that all stakeholders including the Malian people, the Military junta, ECOWAS, the AU and other international partners work together to address the uncertainty around the transition government that will lead to the lifting of all sanctions and to enable the Malian state work towards a stable environment that will not be exploited by terrorists.

Southern Africa Region is being increasingly affected by terrorism and violent extremist activities. For the first time since the scourge emerged in the region, it recorded, during the month under review, a higher number of deaths than the West Africa Region. It also recorded the highest total deaths of military/security personnel in the continent.

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