Last week in Africa, levels of violence remained high in the Sahel region as Islamist militants continued offensives in Burkina Faso and Mali; political tension arose between the Ivory Coast and Mali following the arrest of alleged Ivorian mercenaries by the Malian authorities; a clash among security forces during a landing clearance left many dead in Somalia; and communal violence broke out in Blue Nile state of Sudan.
In Burkina Faso, violence continued as al-Qaeda-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) attacked civilians and clashed with the military forces and the Volunteers for Defense of Homeland (VDP) self-defense militias. In a particularly deadly event, JNIM attacked the town of Barsalogho in the Center-North region, resulting in over a dozen fatalities and sparking a military counteroffensive involving airstrikes and ground operations. Elsewhere, the offensive of the Islamic State Sahel Province (IS Sahel) remained concentrated in the Sahel region, killing several farmers and VDP in the Oudalan and Seno provinces. Violent events were the highest in the Center-North and East regions, spilling into the north of neighboring Togo, where gunmen clashed with military forces and attacked civilians in the Savanes region.
In Mali, levels of violence remained highest in the Mopti region, as JNIM attacked several Dogon villages and detonated explosive devices against vehicles. The IS Sahel was the deadliest actor, with a fatal attack on the town of Talataye in the Gao region. Although repelled by a coalition of the Movement for Azawad Salvation – Dawsahak-dominant faction (MSA-D), JNIM, and the Coordination of Movements of the Azawad (CMA), fighting resulted in more than a dozen fatalities (Twitter, 15 July 2022). The pro-Haballa Ag Hamzatta faction of the Platform Movement accused MSA-D of killing seven people from the Arab community at a pastoralist camp in Tabarat, Menaka region (Platform Movement, 15 July 2022). The Ag Gamou and Ag Acharatoumane-faction of the Platform Movement later denied these allegations (MSA Azawad, 15 July 2022). In addition, Malian authorities suspended mission rotations of the UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) after the arrest of 49 Ivorian soldiers at Bamako Airport, accusing them of being mercenaries (Reuters, 14 July 2022).
In Nigeria, military forces carried out an airstrike under the Hadin Kai operation against Islamist positions in Abadan Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno state, claiming to have killed dozens of militants (Leadership, 14 July 2022). Militia-related violence in Zamfara, Katsina, and Kaduna states remained high as militias attacked civilians and confronted security forces. Amidst ongoing militia violence, ACLED’s Emerging Actor Tracker flagged an increase in emerging actors in Nigeria this month, presenting a possible increased risk to civilians. In Zamfara state, a militia killed over a dozen farmers in two simultaneous attacks in Maru LGA. In response to the militias’ continued activity, the military forces conducted an airstrike against a militia hideout in Zurmi LGA, resulting in numerous fatalities (Daily Post, 14 July 2022).
In Libya, a militia from Misrata, loyal to the Government of National Unity Prime Minister Abdul Hamid al-Dbeibeh, attacked the National Oil Corporation (NOC) headquarters and replaced the NOC’s board and oil minister (Twitter, 14 July 2022).
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, despite a decrease in clashes between military forces (FARDC) and the March 23 Movement (M23) in North Kivu, violence in the province remained high as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) killed scores of civilians in Beni territory (Radio Okapi, 15 July 2022). Elsewhere, leadership disputes broke out within Nyatura Abazungu and Cooperative for the Development of Congo – The Good Temple of God (CODECO-BT), respectively in Masisi territory of North Kivu and in Djugu territory of Ituri. In Irumu territory, ADF killed several people and kidnapped others. Meanwhile, FARDC foiled an attack by ADF on a displacement camp near Tshabi. These trends contribute to the 269% increase in violence in Ituri over the past week relative to the past month, as flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker. Finally, two factions of a Twirwaneho militia clashed in Uvira, South Kivu, with one side supported by the FARDC to fight against the other faction associated with a former FARDC Colonel, Michel Rukunda.
In Sudan, clashes among Hausa and Berta ethnic militias in Blue Nile state left scores killed, others injured, and many displaced. In response, authorities imposed a curfew and banned public gatherings for a month (Radio Dabanga, 18 July 2022). The political disorder in Blue Nile state has remained low since the uprising of December 2018. In South Sudan, insecurity increased in the Nimule area after an attack by gunmen killed several Madi and abducted another. Amidst increasing tension between the Murle and Anyuak (Radio Tamazuj, 6 April 2022), a Murle militia clashed with an Anuak militia in Otallo, Jonglei state, and attacked the Anyuak king. Furthermore, the US government withdrew support from the 2018 peace agreement, citing a lack of progress and continued diversion of oil revenues (Radio Tamazuj, 16 July 2022).
In Kenya, amidst continued political discord among different party supporters, five people, including an area chief, were injured during fighting following an unauthorized campaign meeting in Siaya county. Elsewhere in Samburu, a clash between Pokot and Samburu pastoralists left one person dead and two wounded. In Mandera, an improvised explosive device (IED) attack, suspectedly planted by Al Shabaab, injured three road construction workers. In Somalia, Macawiisley clan militia, supported by security forces, clashed with Al Shabaab militants at strongholds in Hiraan, resulting in at least a dozen militant fatalities. In Bari region, Puntland security forces clashed with police from Puntland Maritime in Bosaso town during a landing clearance dispute for an aircraft carrying the Deputy Speaker of the Lower House of the Federal Parliament, resulting in more than ten killed.
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