Last week in Africa, countrywide demonstrations in Burkina Faso were held against the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and French involvement, and in support of the new military regime; election-related violence occurred across Nigeria; several people were reportedly killed in three bombing attacks in Somalia; and violence surged in Sud-Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In Burkina Faso, demonstrations against French presence and in support of the recent coup d’état of Captain Ibrahim Traore took place last week in several major cities and towns, including the capital, Ouagadougou, as well as Bobo-Dioulasso, Ouahigouya, Kaya, and Kongoussi. Demonstrators gathered near the French military base in Kamboinsin and also barricaded roads in Ouagadougou during the arrival of an ECOWAS delegation (Le Monde, 4 October 2022). Niger’s former president, Mahamadou Issoufou, headed the delegation that met with the new junta leader, to reinforce the country’s return to democracy (VOA, 5 October 2022).
Islamist militants took control of Bouroum town in the Namentenga province of Center-Nord region, reportedly resulting in several fatalities among volunteer fighters, civilians, and a security guard, as well as some police officers wounded or missing (Facebook @Libra.Penseur.3, 6 October 2022). These trends contributed to the 100% increase in violent events in Center-Nord over the past week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month, as flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker.
Meanwhile, the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) was active in 10 regions, clashing with security forces, Dozo militias, and the Volunteers for the Defense of the Homeland fighters. JNIM fighters have re-established their presence in the Center-Sud and Center-Ouest regions. JNIM also detonated an explosive device at the residence of the police chief of Boura in the Sissili province of Center-West. Elsewhere, the armed forces of Togo conducted drone strikes against JNIM positions in the Kompienga province of Burkina Faso, an area bordering Togo (Facebook @Libra.Penseur.3, 8 October 2022).
In Mali, military operations by the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) and the Wagner Group, as well as offensives by Islamist militants, continued in the Segou, Mopti, and Gao regions. In the Segou region, FAMa claimed to have killed 31 suspected JNIM fighters in a combined air and ground operation in areas of Tiemaba and Bamada localities (FAMa, 7 October 2022). FAMa and Wagner Group forces also conducted operations involving airstrikes against JNIM militants in Bandiagara, Djenne, and Mopti circles of the Mopti region (FAMa, 7 October 2022).
In Nigeria, election-related violence took place across the country last week after the 2023 general election campaigns began. Both internal party divisions and tensions between competing parties triggered clashes, particularly in Imo, Oyo, Gombe, Jigawa, and Enugu states. Internal fighting between ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party supporters in Jigawa state reportedly left at least four people injured and property damaged (The Guardian, 6 October 2022). In addition, APC supporters allegedly assaulted a political opponent in Oshodi town, Lagos state, for carrying a Labour Party flag (Daily Post, 3 October 2022).
Across Borno state, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) militants attacked civilians and confronted the Civilian Joint Task Force. A deadly IED attack by ISWAP reportedly killed scores of commuters along the Maiduguri-Damboa-Chibok road (Sahara Reporters, 4 October 2022). Elsewhere, in Zamfara state, a militia invaded Birnin Waje village in the Bukkuyum Local Government Area, reportedly resulting in dozens of civilians drowning to death as they tried to escape (Daily Trust, 6 October 2022).
In Chad, violent confrontations between militias made up of farmers and pastoralists in the Mangalme department of the Guera region continued last week after they broke out the week prior. The violence began in Kouka Margne village and rapidly spilled over to Wagga and Barde Am-Harba, the week prior, reaching Araka villages on 1 October. Two days of clashes resulted in over 20 reported fatalities (Alwihda Info, 1 October 2022). The last clash between these two actors was recorded by ACLED on 9 August.
In Somalia, organized political violence declined for a second consecutive week, after reaching the highest number of weekly events ever recorded in the country in September. Notwithstanding the decrease, government forces regained control of Al Shabaab strongholds in the Bulo Burto and Belet Weyne districts of Hiraan. Meanwhile, Al Shabaab militants concentrated attacks in Lower Shabelle, Lower Juba, Hiraan, and Banadir, targeting government forces, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), and local militias. In Hiraan, an Al Shabaab suicide bomber attacked government security forces and ATMIS forces in the Lamagalay administration area in Belet Weyne town. This attack was followed by two vehicle-borne IEDs detonations inside the administration center and the Daljirka Daahson neighborhood, which reportedly killed scores of people, including Hirshabelle dignitaries, the Deputy Finance Governor of Hiraan, and the Minister of Health of Hirshabelle (VOA, 3 October 2022). In Bakool, Al Shabaab militants targeted Ethiopian Liyu police forces in the Rab Dhuure district, with one attack resulting in over a hundred reported fatalities from both sides.
Last week in the Democratic Republic of Congo, levels of political disorder in Sud-Kivu were the highest recorded since July. In the Lulenge territory, a Twirwaneho-Makanika coalition militia clashed with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo troops. In Walungu territory, rioters lynched an Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) soldier and blocked roads for two days between the Kamanyola village and the Rwanda border after presumed soldiers shot and injured a civilian, calling for a new security forces unit to be deployed (Actualite, 3 October 2022). These trends contributed to the 135% increase in violent events in Sud-Kivu over the past week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month, as flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker.
Elsewhere, in Djugu territory of Ituri province, Cooperative for Development of Congo – Union of Revolutionaries for the Defense of the Congolese People rebels killed seven gold miners who were abducted in September, allegedly after the victims refused to join the group and pay a ransom (Radio Okapi, 5 October 2022). In Irumu territory, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels killed 14 people and burnt dozens of houses in Kyamata village (BBC News, 3 October 2022). In Nord-Kivu, the ADF clashed with FARDC and Ugandan military forces in villages of Beni territory, reportedly leading to numerous fatalities among civilians and FARDC (Politico, 5 October 2022).
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