Last week in Africa, levels of violence remained high in the Sahel region as Islamist militants continued offensives in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger and attacked a prison in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria; scores of people were killed in South Sudan following a cattle raid; and insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo forced hundreds to flee.
In Burkina Faso, violent events were the highest in the East and Sahel regions as al-Qaeda-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) and the Islamic State Sahel Province (IS Sahel) continued to attack civilians, military forces, and Volunteer for Defense of Homeland (VDP) self-defense militias. JNIM remained the deadliest actor, with attacks killing dozens of civilians and VDP militants in Bourasso, Boucle du Mouhoun region, and Namissiguima, North region. In response, the military conducted two airstrikes against JNIM around Tanwalbougou, East region, killing dozens. President Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba held a meeting for former Burkinabe heads of state concerning national reconciliation, but only Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo and Blaise Compaore attended (Le Faso, 8 July 2022).
In Mali, violence remained high in the Mopti, Gao, and Menaka regions as JNIM and IS Sahel militants continued offensives. JNIM attacked Dogon villages and detonated IEDs against the military forces in the Bandiagara circle, killing several soldiers and destroying property. In the Gao region, presumed JNIM fighters detonated an IED on UN peacekeepers (MINUSMA) in the Tilemsi commune. In neighboring Niger, military forces repelled Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and presumed Boko Haram (JAS) militants’ attacks in the Diffa region, resulting in dozens of casualties. In the Tillaberi region, JNIM attacked a convoy of state officials in Gotheye department and destroyed telecommunications antennas in Tera department.
In Nigeria, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) continued their offensive in Borno and Niger states. Militants attacked high-profile targets, including the advance motorcade of President Muhammadu Buhari in Katsina state and the Kuje maximum-security prison located in the Federal Capital Territory, releasing hundreds of prisoners, including dozens of Boko Haram militants (Blueprint, 6 July 2022). Militia-related violence increased in Katsina state compared to last week, as militias attacked civilians in Dutsinma and Safana Local Government Areas (LGA) and left dozens of fatalities. Military forces conducted airstrikes against Islamist militia positions across Safana LGA, claiming scores killed and contributing to the 344% increase in violence in Katsina last week relative to the past month flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker. Militias in Zamfara remained active, establishing two camps in the Akawo and Tabargo forests of Bukkuyum and Gummi LGA, respectively (HumAngle, 7 July 2022). Elsewhere, armed groups kidnapped several Catholic priests for ransom across Edo, Kaduna, and Benue states.
In Egypt, the military and allied tribal militias continued clashes against the Islamic State, resulting in high levels of violence in the North Sinai governorate. Militants launched explosive attacks against Sinai tribal militias’ positions and engaged in firefights with soldiers in Rafah and Jabal al Magharah areas. This violence contributed to a 32% increase in violence in Egypt in the past month relative to the past year flagged by ACLED’s Conflict Change Map.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, fighting continued between military forces (FARDC) and the March 23 Movement (M23) in Rutshuru territory, North Kivu province, forcing populations to flee (The New Humanitarian, 7 July 2022). Also in North Kivu, Mayi Mayi Yira suspected of working on behalf of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), killed several civilians and set buildings ablaze in Lume, Beni territory (Radio Okapi, 7 July 2022). In Ituri province, ADF militants set hundreds of houses on fire in Irumu territory, killing several people and abducting scores of civilians. In Tanganyika province, government forces launched offensives and regained areas controlled by Twa ethnic militias in Kalemie territory. Finally, following escalating tension over the M23 insurgency, the Rwandan and Congolese heads of state met in Angola to discuss the hostilities within the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and reviving the Congo-Rwanda commission (Al Jazeera, 6 July 2022).
In Somalia, Al Shabaab attacks against government security forces (SNA) and African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) convoys left several fatalities among soldiers. In Hiraan, militants ambushed the military convoy of the Hiraan governor conducting operations along a supply route. In Lower Shabelle, the group targeted the commander of the Darawish Paramilitary forces at a bar in Afgooye with an IED, killing one senior soldier. Meanwhile, in Middle Shabelle, special forces killed scores of militants, including senior leaders, at hideouts in Cali Fool Dheere village and also took back control of Urkut village in Gedo.
In Kenya, the government extended the dusk-to-dawn curfew in Marsabit county and parts of the Kerio Valley region, West Pokot, Baringo, and Elgeyo Marakwet counties, amidst continued disruptions during political rallies. Hundreds of demonstrators also gathered against the high cost of living in Kisumu, Muranga, and Nairobi counties. Furthermore, Ethiopian and Sudanese authorities met in Nairobi to discuss clashes in the al-Fashqa region (Reuters, 6 July 2022).
In Sudan, disorder increased across North and South Darfur, as well as South Kordofan where disorder increased by 367% last week relative to the past month as flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Threat Tracker as looting by gunmen left many people killed in Rashad and Kadugli districts. In South Sudan, violence peaked in Eastern Equatoria state as Murle, Tenet, and Boya militias clashed with Toposa militia following a cattle raid in Kapoeta North county, killing scores of people and injuring dozens, contributing to a 220% increase in violence in Eastern Equatoria over the past week relative to the past month, as flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker.
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