Last week in Africa, Islamist militants continued their expansion into coastal western African countries, with Al Qaeda-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) attacking military positions in Benin and Togo. In Somalia, security forces carried out large air and ground operations against Al Shabaab, reportedly killing over a hundred Al Shabaab militants. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the March 23 Movement (M23) rejected an internationally-brokered ceasefire agreement following their exclusion from peace talks in Angola. In Sudan, conflicting ethnic armed groups signed a peace agreement after two weeks of deadly violence in Central Darfur.
In Burkina Faso, fighting between rival Islamist militant groups continued last week amid ongoing attacks on civilian and military targets. In the Sahel region, the Islamic State Sahel Province (IS Sahel) and JNIM engaged in confrontations near Deou town, resulting in several reported fatalities on both sides. Meanwhile, the military repelled a JNIM ambush in Fouambouali village, East region, reportedly killing approximately 20 militants. In the Hauts-Bassins region, JNIM fighters carried out a series of attacks on military forces and civilians, while reports emerged of soldiers summarily executing three people. These trends contributed to the 400% increase in violent events in Hauts-Bassins last week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker. Increased JNIM operations in the Hauts-Bassins region come amid a broader strategy to weaken security forces, and encircle and isolate the capital of Ouagadougou.
In Mali, military forces and Dan Na Ambassagou militiamen launched a wave of attacks last week against civilians in Sokoura commune, Mopti region, reportedly killing dozens of civilians, predominantly from the Dafing and Fulani communities. Meanwhile, IS Sahel carried out a series of attacks in the Douentza circle of the Mopti region, following earlier clashes with JNIM in Mali. Militants reportedly killed several Fulani men in Eghaye village and destroyed properties in Hanfaso village.
Meanwhile, Islamist militants their expansion into coastal western African countries last week, with attacks on military targets in both Benin and Togo. In Benin, suspected Islamist militants conducted two attacks on army positions in the Atacora and Borgou departments on 25 November. The first attack in Kaobagou village, Atacora, was repelled by troops, resulting in the reported deaths of four assailants, while the second attack in Kalale town, Borgou, left one soldier injured. In neighboring Togo, JNIM militants targeted the military in Tiwoli town of the Kpendjal department, reportedly killing 17 soldiers. This is the second consecutive week that ACLED has recorded a fatal ambush and attack by JNIM on Togolese soldiers.
In Nigeria, Islamic State West Africa Province conducted two deadly attacks against Nigerian military bases in Malam Fatori town, Borno state, last week, reportedly killing at least 29 soldiers. Meanwhile, election-related violence continued across other states. In Kwara state, an armed group attacked the convoy of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate Alhaji Yaman Abdullahi in Shao town, wounding several people and destroying vehicles. The PDP accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of directing the attack, while the APC denied involvement (Nigeria Punch, 20 November 2022).
In Somalia, government forces carried out deadly offensives against Al Shabaab militants in Middle Shabelle and Lower Shabelle regions last week. Ground operations and airstrikes at some of the group’s hideouts reportedly killed over a hundred militants. Meanwhile, Al Shabaab concentrated attacks in Lower Shabelle, Banadir, and Lower Juba regions, targeting government and African Union Transition Mission in Somalia forces. In the Galgaduud region, the group detonated two under-vehicle IEDs, targeting security forces and a government-allied clan militia’s base in Qaayib village. This was the second attack on Qaayib in three weeks. Following the explosions, militants and security forces – supported by the clan militia – exchanged gun and RPG fire, resulting in scores of reported fatalities from both sides. ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker warned of increased violence in Galgaduud during the preceding four weeks.
In Sudan, clashes between sub-factions of the Abdul Wahid al-Nur Faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army across several villages of the Shamal Jabal Marrah locality left many reportedly killed and thousands displaced in Central Darfur last week (Relief Web, 24 November 2022). Elsewhere in Central Darfur state, the Awlad Rashid and Misseriya groups signed a reconciliation agreement and cessation of violence under the auspices of the Rapid Support Forces following two weeks of clashes in the Bindisi locality. As part of the agreement, the groups committed to engaging in a more comprehensive reconciliation process (Radio Dabanga, 21 November 2022).
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), fighting continued between the M23 and armed forces (FARDC) in Rutshuru and Nyiragongo territories in Nord-Kivu province last week, despite regional efforts towards a ceasefire agreement. On 23 November, authorities from the DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Angola gathered in Luanda to discuss the insecurity caused by the M23. During the talks, the state representatives agreed on a ceasefire in eastern DRC and directed regional military forces to conduct coordinated offensives against the M23 if the group failed to withdraw from areas currently under their control (Reuters, 24 November 2022). However, the M23 rejected the outcome of the discussions and demanded direct dialogue with the DRC government (Reuters, 26 November 2022). Meanwhile, the Allied Democratic Forces increased their offensives targeting civilians around Mamove, a border area between Nord-Kivu and Ituri provinces, reportedly killing scores of people. Elsewhere, the Cooperative for Development of Congo perpetrated deadly attacks against civilians in Djugu territory, Ituri province. ACLED’s Conflict Change Map previously warned of increased violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the past month.
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