THE QUARTERLY AFRICA TERRORISM BULLETIN. Period of 1st January – 31st March 2022

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General Situation. 1st January 2022 to 31st March 2022 recorded 379 terrorist attacks that resulted in over 2,824 deaths across Africa. In terms of monthly trend, March recorded the highest number of attacks and deaths compared to that of February and January, indicating progressive increments in terrorist attacks. March attacks of 147 are a 29% increase to January (114) and 25% increase to that of February (118). With respect to casualties, there was an increase in the number of deaths from terrorist attacks in March. While there were 654 deaths recorded in January and 878 deaths in February, 1,292 deaths were recorded in March, representing 98% and 47% increase to that of January and February respectively.

Countries Most Affected. The five countries most affected by terrorist attacks during the period were: Nigeria, DRC, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Somalia (in decreasing order).
Targets of Terrorist Attacks. While 238 out of the 379 terrorist attacks were launched against Civilians, 120 targeted Military/Security Forces. 10 attacks targeted International Organizations and six attacks targeted Governmental Institutions/Officials. The attacks by Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, ADF/ISCAP, were mainly against Civilians, whilst JNIM, ISWAP and ISGS mostly targeted Military/Security Forces.
Weapons Used. The terrorist groups used Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) in 281 out of the 379 attacks and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were used in 68 of the attacks.
Deaths from Terrorists Attacks.2,824 deaths were recorded during the period: 1,775 civilians, 491 Military/Security personnel and 558 terrorists.
Casualties Inflicted by Terrorist Groups. ISGS killed 232 persons (185 civilians, 46 Military/Security Forces); Al-Shabaab killed 204 persons (159 civilians, 45 Military/Security Forces); ADF/ISCAP killed 180 persons (179 civilians, 1 Military/Security Forces);Boko Haram killed 147 persons (132 civilians, 15 Military/Security Forces); ISWAP killed 102 persons (49 Civilians, 53 Military/Security Forces); JNIM killed 94 persons (9 civilians and 85 Military/Security Forces); ASWJ killed 69 persons (57 civilians and 12 Military/Security Forces); and other IS affiliates killed 59 persons (25 civilians, 34 Military/Security Forces).Unknown groups killed 1,183 persons (979 civilians, 182 Military/Security Forces).
Casualties Sustained by Terrorist Groups. Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, ISGS, ADF/ISCAP, and JNIM suffered highest number of casualties during the period.
Military/Security forces killed 452 of Al-Shabaab fighters, 234 members of Boko Haram and 117 ISGS terrorist members. Others ADF/ISCAP suffered 115 deaths, JNIM suffered 113 casualties and 103 members of ISWAP were killed. 803 members of other unknown groups were also killed.
Kidnapping. 24 cases of kidnappings were recorded. A total of 417 persons were taken hostage in Nigeria, Somalia, Mali and Cameroon, Egypt and DRC while 116 captives were released during the same period.
Focus on Epicentres. Out of the 379 terrorist attacks, the Sahel region recorded 97 attacks with 854 deaths, the Lake Chad Basin recorded 82 attacks with 794 deaths, the Great Lakes region accounted for 60 attacks and 552 deaths and Horn of Africa region accounted for 47 attacks with 310 deaths during the period.
High Profile Attacks.
– 02 February, Savo, Djugu, Ituri, DRC. Armed men attacked the community killing 58 civilians and injuring another 36.
– 19 February, Shiroro and Munya, Niger, Nigeria. Armed men suspected to be militants of Boko Haram attacked the villages. At least 52 people were killed, and 42 villagers kidnapped.
– 04 March, Mondoro, Mopti, Mali. Armed men attacked military base killing 27 soldiers and injuring 33 others. Security forces in reprisal attack killed 70 terrorists. JNIM claimed responsibility for the attack.
– 09 March, Tamalat and Insinane, Menaka, Mali. Armed men attacked the villages killing a total of 62 people, comprising 20 MSA members and 42 civilians. Security forces blamed the attack on ISGS.
– 23 March, Beledweyne, Hirshabelle, Somalia. A car bomb exploded outside Beledweyne’s main hospital where the injured in an earlier suicide bombing were being taken for treatment. At least 48 people were killed, and 108 others injured. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Counter-Terrorism Response. CT operations resulted in neutralizing 2,011 terrorists. Four Military/Security Forces died during those operations across the continent.
Conclusions/Recommendations. There has been resurgence of terrorists and violent extremists’ activities, resulting in continued devastating atrocities against civilians, security agencies, and critical infrastructures. The groups demonstrated cohesion and exhibited great capability of momentum along their mobility corridors and within the territory they control. Mobilising political will through sustainable financing and bolstering the morale of the deployed troops could help nib terrorism in the bud.