Last week in Africa, Islamist militants continued their offensives in Burkina Faso and Mali; violence events were highest in Nigeria including a deadly attack at a church by suspected Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) Lake Chad faction; a deadly land conflict erupted in Sudan; and Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwandan authorities traded accusations of firing shells into the opposing country.
In Burkina Faso, Al Qaeda-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) militants were most active in the Boucle du Mouhoun, East, and North regions. JNIM launched attacks against security forces and Volunteer for Defense of Homeland (VDP) positions, killing a dozen personnel. The Islamic State Sahel Province (IS Sahel) militants concentrated their offensive on the Oudalan and Seno provinces of the Sahel region, attacking troops in Seno province and resulting in around ten fatalities. In response to Islamist militants’ attacks, the military forces conducted a vast counter-offensive involving airstrikes and shelling on suspected JNIM positions in the Sahel, Center-North, and North regions.
In Mali, levels of violence remained high in the Mopti region due to continued armed confrontations between JNIM militants and Dan Na Ambassagou, as well as attacks against civilians. Military forces conducted a joint air-ground operation against presumed JNIM positions in the Bandiagara circle, with army reports citing over a dozen militant fatalities (FAMa, 11 June 2022). In the Menaka region, IS Sahel militants clashed with a coalition of the Malian army, Movement for Azawad Salvation (MSA-D), and Imghad Tuareg and Allies Self-Defense Group (GATIA) over control of Anderamboukane town. These trends contributed to the 125% increase in violence in Menaka over the past month relative to the past year, as flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Threat Tracker. In neighboring Niger, gunmen carried out a rare attack on a gendarmerie checkpoint in Bougoum within Niamey Capital District.
In Nigeria, armed groups kidnapped civilians, looted goods, and destroyed property in the Bukkuyum, Bungudu, and Tsafe Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Zamfara state, with further violence across five communities in Kaduna state leaving dozens of civilian fatalities. Gunmen, suspected to be ISWAP Lake Chad faction, launched the first attack recorded by ACLED data in Ondo state, using explosives and gunfire to kill numerous civilians at a Catholic church in Owo town (VOA, 9 June 2022). Election-related violence continued to decline compared to the previous three weeks in the runup to the upcoming presidential primary elections. However, members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ruling party protested in Abuja over disputes concerning the party’s presidential primary elections. People’s Democratic Party (PDP) supporters also disrupted the re-run primary election in Lagos state over disparities in the delegates list.
In Cameroon, the separatist conflict spilled over to the West region after militiamen attacked a gendarmerie station in Noun department. The event was the second-largest separatist attack reported by ACLED outside the North-West and South-West regions. Military counter-offensives continued to affect civilians in the North-West region, with the army releasing a rare statement admitting to killing civilians in the village of Missong (Reuters, 7 June 2022).
In Sudan, violence significantly increased in West Darfur with clashes between Rizeigat and Qamar group members over a land dispute within Kulbus locality, contributing to a 500% increase in violence according to ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker. Disorder across five days left scores of people killed, including intervening security forces, many villages burnt, and mass displacements. In South Kordofan, livestock theft led to clashes between Hawazma and Kenana in Abu Jubeiha, leaving dozens killed, scores injured, and many displaced. The conflicts between the two groups are the first recorded in 2022 and the deadliest of all recorded events in South Kordofan this year. Amidst ongoing country-wide demonstrations for civilian rule, Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) members and military authorities met in Khartoum to discuss a transition from military governance (Reuters, 9 June 2022).
In South Sudan, the tension between Nuer groups continued in Unity state as authorities in Mayendit county accused Leer militiamen of attacking Haak Nuer civilians and looting cattle in Rubnor village. Following the deployment of Ugandan troops (UPDF) into Eastern Equatoria state the previous week, government forces (SSPDF) clashed with UPDF in southern Magwi county. The fighting resulted in the killing of one SSPDF soldier and injuring others.
In Kenya, Al Shabaab targeted security forces in Garissa county for the second consecutive week with an IED, injuring police officers. Security forces also enforced a dusk-to-dawn curfew within Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot due to insecurity caused by ethnic militias. To the north in Somalia, government forces conducted operations against Al Shabaab in the southern and central regions. In Bakool, military forces (SNA) clashed with Al Shabaab, killing Al Shabaab’s regional military head and other militants. In Bay and Mogadishu, Al Shabaab attacked government leaders and administrators. Elsewhere in Somaliland, police fired live rounds during demonstrations for presidential elections in November by the Wadani opposition party.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed scores of civilians and destroyed houses in Irumu territory of Ituri province. Despite the Cooperative for Development of Congo (CODECO) signing a ceasefire agreement, militants killed civilians and clashed with government forces (FARDC) in Djugu territory (HumAngle, 6 June 2022). Disorder events were highest in North Kivu after March 23 Movement (M23) militants attempted to regain territory in Rutshuru from FARDC and allied UN peacekeepers (MONUSCO) following the M23’s withdrawal from the area the previous week. Although denied by the Rwandan government, DRC authorities accused Rwandan military forces (RDF) of crossing into Runyonyi and Tshanzu, as well as bombarding villages in Bwisha commune (Al Jazeera, 9 June 2022; Al Jazeera, 10 June 2022). In turn, authorities in Rwanda accused FARDC of shelling the Northern province for the second consecutive week.
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