Weekly reports on the latest conflict developments in Mozambique and Ethiopia are made available by the Cabo Ligado and Ethiopia Peace Observatory projects, respectively.
Last week in Africa, deadly armed confrontations escalated between Al Qaeda-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) and the Islamic State Sahel Province (IS Sahel) in Mali, while JNIM continued their countrywide offensive in Burkina Faso. Election-related violence significantly abated in Nigeria, and the March 23 Movement (M23) continued to advance territorially in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In Burkina Faso, JNIM militants continued their countrywide offensive last week, with attacks on state forces and civilian targets. On 29 October, JNIM fighters ambushed a supply convoy escorted by military forces and Volunteer for Defense of Homeland (VDP) fighters near Kikideni village, reportedly killing more than a dozen soldiers and VDP fighters. In the Center-East region, militants reportedly killed four hostages in Djambende village for reportedly refusing to disclose the positions of security forces in the area. This violence contributed to the 200% increase in average weekly violent events in Center-East in the past month relative to the weekly average for the preceding year flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Threat Tracker.
In Mali, JNIM and IS Sahel militants engaged in deadly confrontations around Agazragane village in the Menaka region, leaving scores of fighters reportedly dead. The latest clash comes amid an escalation of violence between the two groups in Menaka region in recent weeks. Islamist militant-related violence also remained high in the Gao region and in the central regions of Mopti and Segou, amid ongoing anti-Islamist military operations. In the Gao region, dozens were reportedly killed when IS Sahel militants clashed with Imghad Tuareg Self-Defense Group and Allies (GATIA) militiamen in Ahina village. In the Mopti region, the Malian armed forces (FAMa) and their Wagner Group allies were accused of killing civilians in one of their self-dubbed anti-Islamist operations in Gueledie village (Le Monde, 1 November 2022). FAMa denied killing civilians, claiming to have killed 15 militants (Facebook @FAMa, 1 November 2022).
In Nigeria, military forces conducted ground operations against militias and Islamist militants in several locations across Kaduna and Borno states last week. Troops under Operation ‘Forest Sanity’ targeted militia hideouts in Kagi Hill, Sabon Birni, Ungwan Madaki, and Kusharki localities of Kaduna state. Meanwhile, a local self-defense militia in Zungeru village of Niger state, reportedly supported by military forces, repelled an attack by a communal militia, resulting in 14 reported fatalities.
Election-related violence continued to be reported in Nigeria last week, despite significantly abating compared to the previous week. In Benue state, an unidentified armed group kidnapped a Labour Party assembly candidate’s aide while targeting the candidate in an attack against his convoy between Akpachi and Otada villages (for more on election-related violence in the run-up to the 25 February 2023 elections, see ACLED’s Nigeria Election Violence Tracker).
In Somalia, Al Shabaab detonated two successive suicide vehicle-borne IEDs along the perimeter wall of the Ministry of Education in Mogadishu last week. The second blast targeted those trying to aid people injured by the first explosion. Over a hundred people were reportedly killed in the attack and more than 300 others were injured. This attack is the deadliest by Al Shabaab in Mogadishu since October 2017, when over 500 people were killed in a truck explosion.
Elsewhere, government forces, with the support of local clan militias, continued their operations last week to liberate areas under Al Shabaab control, reportedly killing hundreds of militants. During operations in the Middle Shabelle region, the government regained control of several localities in the Cadale district. In the Hiraan region, military forces attacked Al Shabaab hideouts in Bulo Burto district, backed up by a local militia and US military aerial support. Clashes were also recorded in the Jalalaqsi district of Hiraan region.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, M23 continued their advances along the RN2 (Goma-Rutshuru road) in the Nord-Kivu province, gaining control of several localities in the Rutshuru territory last week, including Rutshuru town. M23 fighters also took control of Rutshuru territory’s largest military base in Rumangabo town after military forces (FARDC) and peacekeepers retreated from their positions. Meanwhile, FARDC regained control of the Rugari groupement in the same region.
Locals in Goma continued to organize demonstrations in support of the armed forces in the fight against M23, and against Rwanda’s alleged support to the group. By the end of last week, Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi encouraged youths to organize themselves in vigilante groups to support the armed forces fighting the M23 (Politico, 6 November 2022). However, a government spokesperson backpedaled on President Tshisekedi’s call and claimed that it was not intended to encourage the creation of self-defense groups but rather foster further collaboration with FARDC.
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