21st August 2019
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For the period 16 – 31 January, 2019, there were a total number of 59 terrorist attacks with 555 terrorist related deaths according to the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT).  283 people died directly from these terrorist attacks while the remaining 272 deaths were recorded during counter terrorism operations by security forces. 307 people who died were members of terrorist groups while security forces and Civilian casualties were 25% (140) and 20% (108) respectively.

The countries most affected by terrorism are: Mali, Somalia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Niger in decreasing order. The Sahel region recorded the highest number of terrorist attacks with 37 incidents out of the total number of 59 incidents recorded. The Sahel region also suffered from the highest number of civilian deaths with 77% and the lowest percentage of terrorist deaths of 31%. In general, civilians and security forces received the most targets from terrorist groups with each category recording 22% each of the total attacks. International organisations were not left out suffering about 8% of the total number.

Terrorist groups in Africa continue to use mostly Small Arms and Light Weapons to carry out their attacks. They also employed improvised explosive devices (IED) in 18 out of the 59 attacks during the period with Al-Shabaab terrorist group making use of these weapons the most. The report further shows that terrorist attacks are escalating and becoming more sophisticated as they employ different means during their operations. Nevertheless, counter terrorism operations have gained momentum and continue to neutralise a significant number of terrorists in Somalia, Nigeria, Mali and the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt.

The report calls on Africa’s political elites to take cognizance of the vulnerability of local communities in the fight again terrorism. These communities need to be protected and empowered in order to acquire the resilience they need to live in dignity. This will offer a much needed balance between human rights and the fight against terrorism.

Read the full report here

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