Last week in Africa, Puntland forces launched operations against Islamic State forces in Somalia, the Islamic State staged significant attacks in Egypt’s North Sinai, and heavy intercommunal violence erupted in Ethiopia, Sudan, and South Sudan.
In Egypt, Islamic State launched a complex attack on military forces in the Bir Al-Abd area of North Sinai, centred on the Raba’a military camp. The Egyptian military countered the attack with ground operations and airstrikes. Despite apparent heavy losses, Islamic State militants continued to operate in the area throughout the week, kidnapping civilians, killing a police chief and a military officer, and burning down a youth center. Militants also established checkpoints in the area. Elsewhere, Sinai Tribal Union forces clashed with Islamic State fighters during targeted operations in Rafah division.
In Sudan, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok announced the appointment of new civilian governors to replace military governors as part of the ongoing transition to civilian rule (Dabanga, 23 July 2020). Despite substantial support, the announcement was also met with disapproval from some sections within the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) alliance for a perceived failure to represent community aspirations (Dabanga, 24 July 2020). Demonstrations against the appointments were reported in Ed Daein, Khartoum, El Obeid and Kassala. Meanwhile, heavy fighting between Masalit and Rizeigat communities erupted in West Darfur. Dozens of people were killed during fighting centered on the towns of El Geneina and Misterei.
In South Sudan, ongoing intercommunal tensions triggered another outbreak of violence in Jonglei. Thousands of people were displaced in the violence centered on an area north of Pibor town. The region has been the site of ongoing outbreaks of communal violence involving armed members of the Nuer, Murle, and Dinka ethnic communities.
Intercommunal clashes erupted over a land dispute between neighboring Oromo and Konso communities in Ethiopia. Tens of thousands of people were displaced by the violence involving residents of Ale Special Woreda in Oromia and Konso Special Woreda in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region. The clashes came on the back of a normalization of the situation in Oromia after weeks of rioting following the murder of prominent Oromo musician Hachalu Hundessa.
In Somalia, Puntland forces launched operations targeting Islamic State fighters in the Bari region. United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) supported operations with airstrikes in the area; the first AFRICOM airstrikes to target Islamic State in Somalia since October last year.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, fighting between rival factions of the Nduma Defence of Congo-Renewal (NDC-R) in North Kivu continued into a third week, following the attempted dismissal of Guidon Shimiray as head of the armed group. Guidon Shimiray loyalists launched heavy assaults on forces headed by alternate leader Gilbert Bwira in the Pinga area of Walikale territory. Significant civilian and combatant fatalities were reported during the clashes, which resulted in the dislodgement of Bwira’s forces. Several days later, more than a hundred Bwira faction fighters surrendered to United Nations peacekeepers and Congolese forces (FARDC). Elsewhere, Cooperative for Development of Congo (CODECO) fighters staged a series of attacks on civilian populations in Ituri’s Djugu territory.
In Guinea, the opposition National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) restarted a campaign of anti-government demonstrations that had been frozen since coronavirus restrictions began in late March. Several fatalities were reported as demonstrators clashed with security forces over two days of violent demonstrations in the capital Conakry. Further demonstrations were reported in Kindia and Mamou administrative regions. The FNDC has spearheaded multiple waves of demonstrations since October 2019, over constitutional changes that allow President Alpha Condé to seek a third term in office.
A separate, weekly discussion of the ongoing conflict in Mozambique can be found in the Cabo Ligado project.
© 2020 Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). All rights reserved.