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

At the end of May 2020 there were 153 terrorist attacks compared to 101 for the period of 1st to 30th April 2020, representing a 51% increase. With respect to casualties, there was also an increase in the number of deaths from terrorist attacks. While there were 530 deaths recorded in April 2020, 718 deaths were recorded in May 2020, representing 35% increase.
Countries Most Affected. The five countries most affected by terrorism during the period were: Nigeria, Somalia, Mali, DRC and Burkina Faso. (In decreasing order of attacks recorded).

Target of Terrorist Attacks. While 88 out of the 153 terrorist attacks were launched against Civilians, 62 targeted Military/Security Forces. Three attacks targeted International Organisations. The attacks by ADF and ISWAP were mainly against Civilians, whilst Al-Shabaab, JNIM and IS affiliates mostly targeted Military/Security Forces. Boko Haram targeted Civilians and Military/Security Forces in equal proportion.

Weapons Used. The terrorist groups used Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) in 124 out of the 153 attacks. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were used in 22 of the attacks and Mixed of SALWs and IEDs were used only once.
Deaths from Terrorists Attacks. 718 deaths were recorded during the period: 508 civilians, 75 Military/Security personnel and 135 terrorists.

Casualties Inflicted by Terrorist Groups. Boko Haram killed 54 persons (35 civilians, 19 Military/Security Forces); Al-Shabaab killed 43 persons (30 civilians, 13 Military/Security Forces); JNIM killed 7 persons (2 Military/Security Forces and 5 civilians); ADF killed 76 persons (all civilian); ISWAP killed 28 persons (8 Military/Security Forces, 20 civilians); Mai-Mai killed 6 civilians; ISGS killed 7 civilians; other IS affiliates killed 1 Military/Security Force and unidentified/other groups killed 361 persons (329 civilians, 32 Military/Security Forces).
Casualties Sustained by Terrorist Groups.
Boko Haram suffered the highest number of causalities during the period. Military/Security forces killed 231 Boko Haram terrorists. ISWAP followed with 83 terrorists killed, Al-Shabaab lost 73 terrorists, ISGS lost 30 elements, other IS affiliates lost 3 and 609 terrorists from unidentified/other groups were also killed.

Kidnapping: six cases of kidnapping were recorded and a total of 70 persons were taken hostage in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, DRC and CAR during the period.

Focus on Epicentres. Out of the 153 terrorist attacks, the Sahel region accounted for 54 and 162 deaths, Central Africa epicenter (DRC) recorded 22 with 146 deaths, and the Horn of Africa recorded 31 attacks with 74 deaths during the period.

High Profile Attacks. 11 May, Kankanfogouol Village, Yagha province, Burkina Faso. Unidentified terrorists ambushed Burkinabe soldiers killing eight soldiers. A counter attack by the military killed 20 assailants. 27 May, Tikamaibo village, Ituri province, DRC. Suspected ADF militants carried out an attack in Tikamaibo and killed 26 civilians. 28 May, Garki & Kuzari villages, Sabon Birni LGA, Sokoto State, Nigeria. Two separate attacks by unidentified terrorists left 25 people in each of the villages dead. 30 May, Kompiembiga, Kompienga province, Burkina Faso. Unidentified gunmen attacked a livestock market killing 25 people. Many others were injured.

Counter-Terrorism Response. CT operations resulted in neutralizing 894 terrorists. 10 Military/Security Forces died during those operations.

Conclusions/Recommendations. The Sahel Belt of West Africa continues to experience a devastating surge due to the increasing threat of terrorism in the region. The evolving trend of the region being the leading terrorism epicentre in the Continent since beginning of the year continues, with Mali and the Burkina Faso being the most affected countries. Meanwhile Military campaigns against the Boko Haram in the LCB have recorded successes against the group. Boko Haram has suffered the highest number of casualties in the last two months among the terrorist groups in the Continent. However, it will be perilous to conclude that the group’s activities will be diminishing. Boko Haram remains a major security challenge in the LCB. During the period under review, CT operations, particularly in Mozambique and Egypt commendably eliminated high numbers of armed elements. In Southern Africa, the SADC meeting held in Zimbabwe on 19 May, to discuss the deteriorating security situation in Northern Mozambique is a step in the right direction. Although the meeting urged SADC Member States to support Mozambique in fighting terrorists, it did not specify what type of assistance should be offered. There is therefore the need for SADC MS to map out a strategy on how to assist Mozambique to contain the growing insecurity in its northern territories.

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