Last week in Africa, Al Qaeda-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) conducted an unprecedented attack on a regiment-size military base in Burkina Faso, with further attacks recorded in Mali and Niger. Election-related violence continued in Nigeria, while the March 23 Movement (M23) intensified activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In Burkina Faso, JNIM attacked and overran a military base in Djibo town in Soum province last week, resulting in at least 28 reported fatalities. JNIM fighters released scores of prisoners and looted weapons and ammunition. This unprecedented incident marks the first JNIM attack on a regiment-sized base since the beginning of the insurgency in Burkina Faso. JNIM also continued its country-wide offensive by destroying security facilities, government buildings, telecommunications installations, and schools in Boucle du Mouhoun, Cascades, Center-East, Center-North, East, Hauts-Bassins, North, and South-West regions. Military forces responded to JNIM activities with a series of airstrikes in Soum province and in Tapoa province in the East region, as well as a joint ground operation alongside volunteer forces in Bam province in the Center-North region (Facebook @Wendpouire Charles Sawadogo, 26 October 2022).
In Mali, JNIM fighters launched a wave of IED attacks, mainly targeting civilians in the Segou and Mopti regions last week. Explosives planted by JNIM militants reportedly killed five people in Mougue village of the Mopti region and one person in Timissa village of Segou region. Elsewhere in the Mopti region, military and Wagner Group forces conducted ground operations in Douma, Segue, Diallo, and Werekala villages, reportedly killing nine civilians – mainly of Dogon ethnicity – and arresting several others.
In Niger, JNIM fighters launched a three-day offensive last week, attacking security forces positions in Gotheye and Say departments of the Tillaberi region. In response to the increasing attacks by Islamist militants, military forces conducted an air-ground operation against an artisanal mining area in Tamou village suspected to be a base for militants. The Nigerien army claimed that only militants were killed, but reports suggested that at least seven civilians died (Deutsche Welle, 27 October 2022).
In Nigeria, clashes erupted last week between the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram in Bole and Yale villages of Borno state. Boko Haram militants engaged in a series of attacks against ISWAP hideouts, reportedly killing scores of ISWAP fighters. Meanwhile, the military conducted a series of airstrikes targeting ISWAP hideouts in Chiralia and Domboa towns, as well as the Sambisa Forest Reserve of Borno state, reportedly killing scores of militants.
Elsewhere, election-related violence continued last week ahead of elections scheduled for February 2023. An unidentified armed group attacked the convoy of the People’s Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate for Lagos state in Ikoga town, resulting in injuring party members and journalists. In Abia and Ogun states, party supporters attacked opposing candidates for hanging up campaign posters. These trends contributed to the 140% increase in violent events in Ogun last week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker (for more on election-related violence in the run-up to the 25 February 2023 elections, see ACLED’s Nigeria Election Violence Tracker.)
In Sudan, the conflict between Ingessana and Hausa ethnic militias continued in the Blue Nile state last week. The conflict spilled over to Ed Damazine, where the groups clashed in the Al Rabiea and Al Nahda neighborhoods and in the Ed Damazi city market, displacing thousands of people (Dabanga, 24 October 2022). Meanwhile, Resistance Committees staged nationwide demonstrations marking the anniversaries of the 21 October 1994 revolution and the military coup on 25 October 2021. Security forces violently intervened, reportedly leaving at least two people dead and scores injured.
In Somalia, Al Shabaab militants targeted government forces, government-allied local clan militias, and civilians last week, with activity concentrated in Lower Shabelle, Lower Juba, and Banadir regions. Elsewhere, government forces continued large-scale offensives to regain areas under Al Shabaab control, receiving support from local clan militias, as well as US and Turkish air support. In Middle Shabelle region, government forces took control of Cali Gaudud village in Cadale district. ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker warned of increased violence in Middle Shabelle during the preceding four weeks.
In neighboring Kenya, Al Shabaab launched explosive attacks on a service unit camp in Mandera South and a primary school in Fino last week. On both occasions, security forces responded and repelled the group.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, M23 rebels intensified offensives against government forces (FARDC) in Nord-Kivu province last week after resuming activities the week prior. M23 clashed with FARDC in several locations within Bwisha, Bwito, and Rutshuru communes in Rutshuru territory and gained control of three villages. Increased M23 activity coincides with accusations of Rwandan troops crossing into the country to provide reinforcements for the M23 (Mediacongo, 28 October 2022). In response, Congolese government authorities ordered the Rwandese ambassador to leave the country (Al Jazeera, 30 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