Mid-Year Africa Terrorism Trend Analysis – 2022


General Situation. The period between the 1st of January 2022 to 30th of June 2022 recorded 699 terrorist attacks that resulted in 5,412 deaths across Africa. In terms of monthly trend, the month of March recorded the highest number of attacks (21%), followed by June (19%).

Again, in terms of resultants deaths, March recorded 24% of the total deaths, while June recorded 20% of deaths for the reported period. In comparison to the first half of 2021, the first half of 2022 witnessed rather a marginal decline in the number of terrorist attacks, but a sharp rise in the total number of deaths. The first half of 2021 registered 950 attacks that resulted in 3,883 deaths, while the first half of 2022 recorded 699 attacks that resulted in a total death of 5,412. When comparing the preceding period (2021) to the current (2022), there was a marginal decline of 26% in terrorist attacks, but a sharp increase of 40% in the number of deaths, demonstrating the increasing brutal nature of attacks within the period.

Countries Most Affected. The five countries most affected by terrorist attacks during the period were: Nigeria, Mozambique, DRC, Burkina Faso, and Mali (in decreasing order).

Targets of Terrorist Attacks. While 433 out of the 699 terrorist attacks were launched against Civilians, 235 targeted Military/Security Forces, 19 attacks targeted International Organizations, and 10 attacks targeted Governmental Institutions/Officials. The attacks by Ansaroul Islam, Boko Haram, ADF/ISCAP, ASWJ, and ISGS were mainly against Civilians, whilst Al-Shabaab, JNIM, ISWAP and other IS Affiliates mostly targeted Military/Security Forces.

Weapons Used/Kidnapping. The terrorist groups used Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) in 538 out of the 699 attacks and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were used in 105 of the attacks. A total of 51 cases of Kidnappings were recorded, in which 541 people were taken hostage with 168 captives being released.

Deaths from Terrorists Attacks. Out of the 5,412 deaths that were recorded during the period, 3,517 were civilians, 952 were Military/Security personnel and 943 were terrorists.

Casualties Inflicted by Terrorist Groups. ADF/ISCAP killed the highest number of people. The group’s 34 attacks killed 480 persons (474 civilians, and 6 Military/Security Forces); ISGS carried out 24 attacks and killed 416 persons (359 civilians, and 57 Military/Security Forces); JNIM carried out 39 attacks and killed 372 persons (232 civilians and 140 Military/Security Forces); ISWAP conducted 50 attacks and killed 328 persons (189 civilians and 139 Military/Security Forces); Al-Shabaab came across as the group with the highest number of attacks. The group carried out 64 attacks that killed 315 persons (177 Civilians and 138 Military/Security Forces); Boko Haram carried out 38 attacks that killed 197 persons (177 civilians and 20 Military/Security Forces); ASWJ’s 46 attacks killed 122 persons (57 civilians and 12 Military/Security Forces); and other IS affiliates carried out 26 attacks and in total killed 107 persons (34 civilians and 73 Military/Security Forces); and Ansaroul Islam carried out one attack and killed four persons (All Civilians). Unknown/Unidentified groups’ attacks were 378 and resulted in 2,136 deaths (1,778 civilians and 361 Military/Security Forces).

Casualties Sustained by Terrorist Groups. Al-Shabaab, JNIM, Boko Haram, ISGS, ISWAP, and JNIM suffered the highest number of casualties during the period. Military/Security forces killed 594 of Al-Shabaab fighters, 407 members of JNIM, and 378 Boko Haram terrorist members. ISGS suffered 232 deaths, ISWAP recorded 202 casualties and 158 members of ADF/ISCAP were killed. The rest are other IS Affiliates (65), ASWJ (42), and Ansaroul Islam (39). 1,175 members of unknown/unidentified groups were also eliminated within the period.

Focus on Epicentres. Out of the 699 terrorist attacks, the Sahel region recorded 179 attacks that resulted in 1,909 deaths, the Lake Chad Basin recorded 153 attacks that caused 1,229 deaths, the Great Lakes region accounted for 96 attacks and 1,013 deaths, and Horn of Africa region accounted for 71 attacks that resulted in 504 deaths during the period.

High Profile Attacks.
– 02 February, Savo, Djugu, Ituri, DRC. Armed men believed to be militants of ADF/ISCAP attacked the community killing 58 civilians and injuring another 36.
– 02 May, El Baraf, Middle Shabelle, Somalia. Armed militants from Al-shabaab attacked the AMISOM/ATMIS military base. At least 33 people were killed including 30 soldiers of Burundian nationality. The Security forces, in reprisal attacks, also killed about 20 militants.
– 05 June, Owaluwa, Owo, Ondo, Nigeria. Gunmen attacked a St Francis Xavier Catholic Church during mass. At least 50 people including women and children were killed. The Federal government blamed ISWAP for the attack.
– 11 June, Seytenga, Seno, Burkina Faso. Armed individuals attacked a town, near the border with Niger, accusing its inhabitants of collaborating with the security forces. At least 100 civilians were killed in the attack which is believed to have been carried out by ISGS.
– 18 June, Diallassagou, Bankass, Mopti, Mali. Armed men on motorcycles raided several villages in the region and killed over 132 civilians. The Government blamed the attack on Katiba Macina militants – an affiliate of JNIM, although group has denied responsibility.

Counter-Terrorism Response. CT operations resulted in the neutralizing of 2,370 terrorists. Four Military/Security Forces died during those operations across the continent.

Conclusion/Recommendations. There has been resurgence of terrorist and violent extremists’ activities, resulting in continued devastating atrocities against civilians, security agencies, and critical infrastructure. The groups demonstrated cohesion and exhibited great capability of momentum along their mobility corridors and within the respective territories they control. Despite the numerous CT efforts by state authorities, terrorist structures seem to be resilient. Mobilising political will through sustainable financing and bolstering the morale of the deployed troops could help nip terrorism in the bud. In addition to enhancing CT operations across the continent, preventative approaches and mechanisms that seek to build the resilience of local communities by addressing their vulnerabilities could go a long way to deny terrorist and violent extremist groups their freedom of space and movement, thereby culminating into degrading the groups capabilities and cohesion to launch attacks.

Mid-Year Africa Terrorism Trand Analysis -2022. English Version