In the last month in Africa, Islamist militants continued offensives in Burkina Faso and Mali, military operations against militias in Nigeria led to a movement of militants to Sokoto state; levels of violence increased in Somalia between Al Shabaab and state forces; and the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC-FLAC) fought with the military forces in Angola, marking the highest level of activity from FLEC-FLAC since 2017.
In Burkina Faso, violent events were the highest in the Sahel region following continued offensives by Islamist militants. Al Qaeda-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) remained the most active and deadliest actor across the country, concentrated in the East, Boucle du Mouhoun, and Centre-Nord regions. JNIM looted properties, attacked civilians, clashed with security forces, and conducted several IED attacks against military targets and civilians in the Gourma and Tapoa provinces of the East region. In response to the Islamist militants’ activities, the military forces carried out operations involving air and land raids in the areas of Helga and Soam, respectively, in the Yagha and Gourma provinces of Sahel and East regions and the Boucle du Mouhoun region, killing dozens of militants.
In Mali, levels of violence remained the highest in the Mopti and Gao regions primarily due to military operations, including intensive air raids and ground operations in the Douentza and Bandiagara circles of the Mopti region and Ansongo circle of the Gao region (FAMa, 18 August 2022). These trends contributed to the 112% increase in weekly violent events in Gao over the past month relative to the weekly average for the preceding year, as flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Threat Tracker. JNIM was the most active actor in the country following clashes against military forces, Wagner Group mercenaries, and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) positions. JNIM also engaged in armed confrontations with Islamic State (IS) Sahel militants in Menaka, resulting in over a dozen militant fatalities (Twitter, 26 August 2022). Elsewhere, militiamen affiliated with Dan Na Ambassagou killed a Wagner Group fighter near Somadougou village, Mopti region, the first documented confrontation between Wagner and Dan Na Ambassagou militiamen.
In Nigeria, Islamist militants and militias continued to confront military forces and attack civilians, especially in the Kaduna and Borno states. The military forces were the deadliest actor following airstrikes and ground operations against Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), Boko Haram (JAS), and other militia positions in Kaduna and Borno states, resulting in over a hundred fatalities. In addition, military operations pushed militias from Chikun to Birnin Gwari Local Government Areas (LGA) of Kaduna state and into at least three LGAs in Sokoto state (Sahara Reporters, 19 August 2022). As the military patrolled areas in Sokoto state, militia movements triggered new clashes between troops and militants around the Chikun and Birnin Gwari axis. Elsewhere, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) separatist armed group accused the military forces of killing over forty civilians and burning properties during a raid in Ohafia LGA of Abia state (Sahara Reporters, 20 August 2022).
In Cameroon, armed separatist groups and ISWAP continued activity in the Anglophone regions and the Extreme-North, respectively. ISWAP was the deadliest actor, following attacks on civilians and confrontations with state forces, resulting in tens of fatalities. In the Bui division of the North-West region, Ambazonian separatists shelled military patrols, which triggered a counterattack by military forces. Soldiers raided several communities in the Bui and Mezam division in search of separatist fighters, leading to the death of several civilians.
In Sierra Leone, police and military forces raided the Northern, Western, and Northwestern provinces in search of participants in the 10 August 2022 anti-regime demonstrations (Reuters, 11 August 2022). Security force raids left a prominent All People Congress (APC) opposition party blogger and social media commentator dead in Makeni (Sierra Leone Telegraph, 16 August 2022).
In South Sudan, the Aguelek faction of the Kitgweng Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) clashed with Kitgweng SPLM-IO forces loyal to General Simon Gatwech in Jonglei and Upper Nile states, leaving scores killed and hundreds displaced, contributing to the 210% increase in weekly violent events in the state over the past month relative to the weekly average for the preceding year as flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Threat Tracker. The conflict between the factions started after Gatwech announced the replacement of General Olony, who leads the Aguelek, with Henry Odwar, as the group’s deputy earlier in August (Radio Tamazuj, 23 August 2022).
In neighboring Sudan, political violence increased with ethnic clashes in Blue Nile state. Following tribal clashes in July, violence resumed in the El Roseires and Wad Al Mahi areas as displaced Hausa attempted to return to buildings they previously left (Al Jazeera, 02 Sep. 2022). Violence also increased in North Darfur, with an unidentified militia killing over 10 civilians in Kutum locality, surpassing the sum of fatalities in this area for 2022.
In Somalia, government forces and allies launched several offensives against Al Shabaab militants, killing over a hundred. In Hiraan and Lower Shabelle, Somali security forces, with support of the Macawiisley militia and African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) forces, increased operations against the group, taking back control of villages in Belet Welet, Marka, and Qoryooley districts. These trends contributed to the 193% increase in violence in the past month relative to the past year flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Threat Tracker. In turn, Al Shabaab militants increased attacks against state forces in Banadir and Bay and launched offensives, with a notable increase in nightly attacks, against African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) forces in Lower Juba and Lower Shabelle. Finally, in Galgaduud, clashes over a land dispute between Habar Gedir and Marehan subclans contributed to the highest number of recorded fatalities in a month in Galgaduud involving these groups.
In Kenya, electoral violence continued during deferred gubernatorial elections in Kakamega, and Mombasa. Amidst the Supreme Court confirming the election results, demonstrations continued in Kisumu, Machakos, Nairobi, and Siaya against William Ruto, who was declared the winner of the presidential elections (CNN, 5 September 2022).
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, government forces (FARDC) clashed with Cooperative for Development of Congo (CODECO) militants in several locations in the Djugu territory, Ituri province, as the group attacked several mining villages, leading to dozens of people killed. In Ituri and North Kivu, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels continued attacking civilians in Irumu, Mombasa, and Beni territories and clashing with the FARDC. Over the past month, over a hundred people were killed in ADF related-violence. In Rutshuru territory, March 23 Movement (M23) rebels continued to launch several offensives against FARDC, using mortar shells and heavy artillery to target bases. Notwithstanding continued clashes and attacks against civilians, levels of violence slightly decreased in eastern provinces following spikes of violence in both Ituri and Nord-Kivu in June and July. In Mai-Ndombe province, violence escalated following clashes between Teke and Yaka groups over customary fees since the end of July. The fighting resulted in population displacement to the neighboring Kinshasa province and left many killed, contributing to the highest level of violence in Mai-Ndombe since December 2018.
In Angola, President João Lourenço was elected for a second term, maintaining the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) leadership in the country since independence. During the elections, Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda-Armed Forces of Cabinda (FLEC-FLAC) gunmen clashed with the armed forces in Cabinda, killing scores of soldiers. FLEC-FLAC violence peaked in August with the highest number of offensives recorded since 2017.
Note: This dashboard automatically updates to cover the latest four weeks of data released by ACLED.