AFRICA RECORDED A TOTAL OF 209 TERRORIST ATTACKS RESULTING IN A TOTAL OF 926 DEATHS

Map June 2020-s

General Situation. The reporting period, 1st to 30th June 2020 recorded a higher number of attacks compared to the period 1st to 31st May 2020.

At the end of June 2020 there were 209 terrorist attacks compared to 153 for the period of 1st to 31st May 2020, representing a 36% increase. With respect to casualties, there was also an increase in the number of deaths from terrorist attacks. While there were 718 deaths recorded in May 2020, 926 deaths were recorded in June 2020, representing 29% increase.

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

Target of Terrorist Attacks. While 114 out of the 209 terrorist attacks were launched against Civilians, 79 targeted Military/Security Forces. Nine attacks targeted International Organisations and seven attacks targeted Governmental Institutions/Officials. The attacks by ADF and Mai-Mai groups 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 169 out of the 209 attacks. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were used in 23 of the attacks.

Deaths from Terrorists Attacks. 926 deaths were recorded during the period: 570 civilians, 210 Military/Security personnel and 146 terrorists.

Casualties Inflicted by Terrorist Groups.
Boko Haram killed 119 persons (110 civilians, nine Military/Security Forces); Al-Shabaab killed 86 persons (16 civilians, 70 Military/Security Forces); ADF killed 76 persons (52 civilians, 24 Military/Security Forces); ASWJ killed 57 persons (all civilians); JNIM killed 24 persons all Military/Security Forces. ISWAP killed 18 persons (Nine civilians and nine Military/Security Forces); Mai-Mai groups killed 63 civilians; other Violent Extremist groups killed 27 persons (four Civilians, 23 Military/Security Forces) and Unknown groups killed 361 persons (274 civilians, 87 Military/Security Forces).

Casualties Sustained by Terrorist Groups. Mai-Mai groups and Al-Shabaab suffered highest number of casualties during the period. Military/Security forces killed 105 members of Mai-Mai groups, 86 terrorists of Al-Shabaab and 29 of Boko Haram. ADF followed with five. 116 and 239 terrorists from respectively other Violent Extremist groups and Unknown groups were also killed.
Kidnapping. 17 cases of kidnappings were recorded.
A total of 135 persons were taken hostage in DRC, Nigeria, Niger, Kenya and Mali (in decreasing order of number of kidnappings) during the period and 64 were released on the same period.

Focus on Epicentres. Out of the 209 terrorist attacks, the Great Lakes region recorded 75 attacks with 226 deaths, the Horn of Africa recorded 40 attacks with 89 deaths, the Sahel region accounted for 30 attacks and 131 deaths and Lake Chad Basin accounted 13 attacks with 212 deaths during the period.

High Profile Attacks.
09 June, Borno State, Nigeria. Suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked and killed 81 people. They also rustled 2,400 cattle and camels.13 June, Borno State, Nigeria. Islamic militants’ attack has led to the deaths of 20 soldiers and 40 civilians. Many others were injured. 27 June, Borno State, Nigeria. An ambush by suspected Boko Haram terrorists on a civilian convoy escorted by the military led to the deaths of nine soldiers and 25 civilians. The soldiers killed 13 terrorists. 27 June, Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. Suspected ASWJ militants attacked a town, 40 bodies were buried following the attack. 05 June, Mopti region, Mali. An attack by terrorists killed 29 people including a female child. 04 June, Bay region Somali. Ethiopian troops escorting local Somali officials were targeted by a massive blast. 21 Ethiopian National Defense Force were killed. 26 June, Louroum, Burkina Faso. Unidentified armed men attacked a patrol of Burkina Faso Defense and Security Forces in a mission in the town. A soldier was killed. A volunteer for the defense of the fatherland (VDP) and four soldiers were also injured. The Army killed twenty attackers in reaction to the ambush.

Counter-Terrorism Response. CT operations resulted in neutralizing 435 terrorists. 48 Military/Security Forces died during those operations.

Conclusions/Recommendations. The prospect of diminishing the threat of terrorism and violent extremism does not appear to be imminent as the number of attacks and related deaths for month June was the highest since the beginning of the year. This development undermines the efforts aimed at suppressing terrorism and violent extremism and to and to make way for development across the various communities and countries immensely affected by the scourge. Except for the month of April, there have been persistent increases in either the number of terrorist attacks or related deaths or both, since the turn of 2020.

However, while most of the regions in the continent are reeling under the threat of terrorism and violent extremism, North Africa for most part of the year has remained relatively stable from the activities of terrorist and violent extremist groups with security services across the region conducting successful operations against terrorists. With the persistence of the threat, there is the need for a review of the continental CT framework. This review must be region and epicentre specific which should not exclude military response. However, any military response needs to be conducted along with the implementation of measures aiming to address factors enabling the emergence and development of terrorism and violent extremism, including developmental programs and projects that will deny the groups the sympathy of the local communities in the affected regions of the continent.

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