Last week in Africa, Al Qaeda-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) continued offensives in Mali and Burkina Faso. An aerial strike hit a military and Wagner Group base in the Central African Republic. In Somalia, a two-day siege by Al Shabaab at a hotel near the Presidential Palace left civilians dead, while in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the March 23 Movement (M23) was accused of war crimes.
In Burkina Faso, JNIM attacked several security positions last week, mainly in the Boucle du Mouhoun and Center-North regions. The militants waged a complex attack against state forces in the town of Tougan in Sourou province, Boucle du Mouhoun region, simultaneously attacking the gendarmerie, police station, and prison. As a result, the gendarmerie was blown up, while the police station and civil jail were vandalized. Further, the gendarmerie, police and guards clashed against JNIM, resulting in five reported fatalities (Le Faso, 1 December 2022). These trends contributed to the 100% increase in violent events in Boucle du Mouhoun last week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker. Elsewhere, JNIM burned down a police station and vandalized the mayor’s office in the town of Mane in Sanmatenga province in the Center-North region. Meanwhile, the Islamic State Sahel Province engaged in a wave of killings, abductions, looting, and property destruction in the Oudalan and Seno provinces.
Last week, JNIM also conducted simultaneous attacks in Mali, targeting military and security positions. The militants attacked a military camp and a customs station in Yelimane town, Kayes region, near the border with Mauritania, resulting in two reported fatalities and property destruction (L’Essor, 1 December 2022).
In the Central African Republic, army troops and Wagner Group mercenaries were reportedly hit by an airstrike carried out by an unidentified plane in Bossangoa, Ouham prefecture (Twitter @fridolinngoulou, 28 November 2022). The aircraft exited the Central African airspace to the north, leading some to suggest the Coalition of Patriots for Change launched the airstrike from bases in Chad, while others point to the Wagner Group being responsible for the explosions (Corbeau News, 28 November 2022).
In Nigeria, military forces launched an offensive under Operation ‘Hadin Kai’ against Islamist militants after the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) carried out attacks on military bases in Malam Fatori town the week prior. Troops carried out air-supported attacks against ISWAP and Boko Haram operating near the Waijroko-Damboa road in Borno state, reportedly killing several militants and recovering equipment (Daily Post, 2 December 2022). Additionally, military forces repelled an attack on Waijroko town, reportedly inflicting several losses to the ISWAP’s ranks (Vanguard, 2 December 2022).
Meanwhile, levels of election-related violence remained high across Nigeria last week ahead of the general elections scheduled for 2023. Violence targeted politicians and Independent National Elections Commission (INEC) installations, including an attack by an unidentified group that resulted in the killing of a woman leader of the Labour Party in Kaura town of Kaduna state (Daily Trust, 29 November 2022). Meanwhile, INEC offices were stormed in Iboko town of Ebonyi and Orlu town of Imo state.
In Sudan, a two-day clash broke out between Hamar and Berti tribesmen in the El Taweisha locality in North Darfur, after Hamar pastoralists grazed cattle on the fields of Berti farmers. The clashes reportedly left several people killed and injured. Efforts to de-escalate the conflict resulted in both groups signing a peace agreement on 29 November, with stipulations for the return of seized cattle and financial compensation for the crops destroyed (Darfur 24, 29 November 2022). These trends contributed to the 115% increase in violent events in North Darfur last week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker. The Subnational Tracker also warned of increased violence in North Darfur during the preceding four weeks.
In Somalia, operations against Al Shabaab decreased last week, though still resulted in significant losses among the group’s ranks. In the Middle Shabelle region in the Cadale district, government forces and an allied clan militia carried out an offensive with air support, reportedly leaving around a hundred militants killed. Separately, a military operation targeting an Al Shabaab base in Jowhar district reportedly killed scores of militants. The Somali government announced its forces retook control of several villages in the area. Yet, Al Shabaab retained the capacity to launch deadly attacks in the Somali capital. On 27 November, the group stormed the popular Villa Rays Hotel near the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu, targeting government officials and lawmakers (Reuters, 28 November 2022). An estimated eight civilians were killed in the two-day siege, which ended after Somali security forces regained control of the building by the end of the second day.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, clashes involving the M23 increased in Nord-Kivu province. Nyatura groups and local Mayi Mayi militias, as well as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), clashed with the M23 in several locations in Rutshuru territory last week, resulting in numerous reported fatalities and the loss of control of villages to the M23. In Kishishi village, the M23 clashed with the FDLR, reportedly killing scores of civilians who had taken refuge inside a church (RFI, 1 December 2022). Later reports put the number of fatalities to over 250 by the beginning of this week (Reuters, 5 December 2022). Government and international authorities accused the M23 of war crimes, while the group denied the accusations (Reuters, 1 December 2022). Meanwhile, the Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo and the Coalition of Movements of Change of the Congo reportedly moved troops to villages within the Bwito commune in Nord-Kivu province to protect the area against the M23. Finally, a third Kenyan military contingent was deployed to Goma following two earlier deployments in recent weeks.
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