Last week in Africa, a group of military officers carried out a coup d’état and deposed the transitional military leader in Burkina Faso; offensives continued against Islamist militants in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger; and government forces made significant territorial gains against Al Shabaab in Somalia.
In Burkina Faso, mutinous soldiers deposed Interim President Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba in a coup following clashes and demonstrations in the capital, Ouagadougou, last week. The latest coup comes only nine months after Damiba similarly took power through a military coup. Elsewhere, Al Qaeda-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) attacked a large supply convoy escorted by the army and volunteer forces in Soum province of the Sahel region, leaving most of the provincial capital without food and other essentials (Netafrique, 28 September 2022). JNIM also launched an arson attack against the Boni town mayor’s office in the Hauts-Bassins region. While violence in Hauts-Bassins has not been common, it has become increasingly volatile, resulting in a shift from a place of ‘low risk’ to being considered an area of ‘growing risk’ by ACLED’s Volatility and Risk Predictability Index. The Burkinabe Air Force responded to the JNIM attacks with airstrikes, reportedly killing about a dozen fighters (AIB, 29 September 2022).
In Mali, violent events spiked in the Gao region last week as Islamic State Sahel Province militants attacked civilians, looted, and destroyed properties in the Ansongo and Gao circles. On 27 September, Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) clashed with Wagner Group mercenaries in the first reported armed confrontation between the two groups in the town of Ansongo, reportedly resulting in several casualties (Jeune Afrique, 29 September 2022). ACLED’s Subnational Threat Tracker warned of increased violence in Gao during the preceding four weeks. Despite this incident, FAMa and Wagner Group forces fought alongside one another against Imghad Tuareg and Allies Self-Defense Group (GATIA) on 28 September in Gao circle, reportedly leaving two GATIA militiamen injured. Violence also remained high in the central Mopti region due to ongoing FAMa military operations, JNIM attacks, and Dan Na Ambassagou militia activities, particularly cattle rustling (for more, see ACLED’s report on Dan Na Ambassagou).
In neighboring Niger, violent events increased in the Tahoua, Tillaberi, and Agadez regions as unidentified armed groups conducted a series of attacks and looting in and around Tchintabaraden and Abalak towns.
In Cameroon, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram (JAS) continued to attack civilians, loot property, and confront security forces in the Extreme-North region last week, resulting in the highest fatalities last week compared to other regions. Meanwhile, in the North-West region, rival factions of Ambazonian separatist militias clashed over leadership or territorial disputes.
In Nigeria, the Nigerian army conducted fewer airstrikes last week compared to the previous week, instead focusing on ground operations. These included the anti-Islamist Operation ‘Hadin Kai’ in the Jere and Damboa Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Borno state (Zagazola, 29 September 2022) and anti-militia Operation ‘Forest Sanity’ in the Chikun LGA of Kaduna state (Sun News, 29 September 2022). Borno state was home to the largest share of violent events last week compared to other states, driven by ongoing clashes between ISWAP, JAS, and military forces. In Zamfara state, two allied self-defense militias foiled an assault by local militiamen in the Maru LGA last week, resulting in dozens of reported fatalities (Nigeria Punch, 29 September 2022). Elsewhere, in Niger state, a militia attack on the Mohuro community in the Mariga LGA resulted in around a dozen civilian fatalities (Blueprint, 29 September 2022).
In Somalia, violent events remained high last week, driven by militant groups conducting attacks against civilians and clashing with security forces and government-backed local militias. These violent events reportedly resulted in over 200 deaths. The number of attacks by militants was highest in Banadir, Hiraan, and Lower Shabelle. In Banadir, a suicide bomber detonated explosives targeting civilians being recruited to join security forces at the General Dhega-badan training camp on 25 September, reportedly killing scores of people (VOA, 25 September 2022). In Hiraan, dozens of government forces, local militiamen, and Al Shabaab militants were reportedly killed in two Al Shabaab ambushes in Bulo Burto district (Radio Mogadishu, 29 September 2022). Despite the intensity of militant offensives, government forces and local militias regained control of Al Shabaab strongholds in Cabudwaaq and Ceel Dheer districts of Galgaduud. Security forces also took over dozens of villages in Bakool, Bay, Galgaduud, Hiraan, Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, and Mudug. This violence contributed to the 34% increase in weekly violent events in Somalia in the past month relative to the weekly average for the preceding year. ACLED’s Conflict Change Map also warned of increased violence in the country during the preceding four weeks.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, while levels of violence last week continued to be below the average weekly recorded events, high levels of violence were recorded in the Nord-Kivu province amid multiple ongoing insurgencies. In Beni territory, Allied Democratic Forces clashed with the military and attacked several farmers and workers, reportedly killing some civilians and abducting others. In Masisi territory, different factions of the Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo (APCLS) and the Guidon Splinter Faction of the Nduma Defence of Congo clashed for control of a mine in the Bashali territory. Also in Masisi territory, the March 23 Movement fought against APCLS in Osso sector, marking the first time the group has launched an offensive in this territory since the group re-emerged in late 2021.
Elsewhere, the ongoing Teke-Yaka conflict, which started in Mai-Ndombe province, spread to the neighboring Kwilu province last week, where Yaka militants reportedly killed the customary chief of Bukusu, Bagata territory (Actualite, 26 September 2022). Fighting between the two groups has been ongoing since late July.
Note: This dashboard automatically updates to cover the latest four weeks of data released by ACLED. Use the date filters to view data for the one-week period covered by this Regional Overview