Last week in Africa, more than a hundred students were abducted and dozens of people were killed by armed militias in Nigeria; the state of siege operation was extended again in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; interethnic clashes escalated in Sudan and Kenya; and mass demonstrations broke out in Burkina Faso and South Africa.
In Burkina Faso, widespread demonstrations took place against insecurity, following calls by the opposition. Meanwhile, presumed Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) militants continued their attacks against civilians, leading to clashes with Burkinabe military forces and Volunteer for Defense of Homeland (VDP) fighters. The Burkinabe air forces also conducted a series of airstrikes against JNIM positions in northern regions.
In Mali, presumed JNIM fighters targeted the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and Malian G5 Sahel force bases with mortars and rockets in the Mopti and Kidal regions. Moreover, suspected JNIM-affiliated Katiba Macina militants carried out several attacks targeting civilians in the regions of Mopti and Segou. They also clashed with Dan Na Ambassagou militia in the Bandiagara and Douentza cercles in Mopti, leaving several militiamen dead. Elsewhere, French Barkhane forces killed a local commander of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) Greater Sahara faction in the village of Leleho in the Gao region.
In Nigeria, deadly clashes were reported between ISWAP Lake Chad faction militants and local militia and Nigerian military forces in Borno and Adamawa states. More than a dozen civilians were also killed when Boko Haram fighters attacked the village of Dabna in Adamawa state. Elsewhere, attacks targeting civilians continued by communal militia, most notably in Zamfara, Katsina, and Kaduna states, resulting in dozens of fatalities. More than a hundred students at a Baptist school were also kidnapped by militiamen in Maraban Rido near Kaduna city.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the government extended the state of siege operation, which initially went into effect on 6 May, for another fifteen days. The president also signed a decree to establish the Disarmament, Demobilization, Community Recovery and Stabilization program (PDDRC-S). Meanwhile, the Congolese military forces (FARDC) conducted multi-day airstrikes that reportedly destroyed several strongholds of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the Irumu region of Ituri while deadly attacks against civilians by the ADF and the Union of Revolutionaries for the Defense of the Congolese People faction of the Cooperative for Development of Congo (CODECO-URDPC) rebels continued in Ituri and North Kivu provinces.
In Sudan, deadly interethnic clashes broke out in several regions, including in West Darfur and Red Sea states. Renewed attacks and clashes were also reported in the disputed border area with Ethiopia in eastern Gedaref state. Elsewhere, at least 13 people were killed and an unknown number wounded in clashes between the Dar Ali section of the Hawazmah clan of the Baggara and the Kawahala ethnic group in Kologi town of South Kordofan state.
Inter-ethnic violence also erupted in Kenya. Clashes between Borana and Garba ethnic militia in the Saku constituency of Marsabit county left several people dead. Meanwhile, Pokot ethnic militia killed several civilians from the Marakwet ethnic group in multi-day attacks in Keiyo Valley village in Elgeyo Marakwet county, triggering the displacement of more than 300 families from the area.
In Somalia, Al Shabaab militants carried out multiple attacks against Somali forces and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops. Meanwhile, Somali military forces increased operations against Al Shabaab fighters, killing more than a dozen militants in Tuulo-xaayoow village in the Galgaduud region. Elsewhere, government security forces were able to retake control of several villages in the Gaalkacyo district of the Mudug region following deadly clashes with the militants.
Lastly, mass demonstrations were reported in South Africa where supporters of ex-president Jacob Zuma gathered across the KwaZulu Natal province in the context of #FreeJacobZuma and #KZNShutdown campaigns. The demonstrations erupted after the former president turned himself in to police to serve a 15-month jail term for contempt of court following his refusal to appear before a commission investigating corruption accusations against him (The New York Times, 7 July 2021). Demonstrations were mostly peaceful but turned violent in some areas, with demonstrators barricading roads and setting vehicles alight.
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