Good News: Muslim’s getting better fighting Blacks in Africa: Fatalities from militant Islamist violence in Africa soar by 50 per cent


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[I do get a kick out of watching the Muslims in Africa! Their military power is still small, but they're really hurting the Blacks. It makes me smile because the Blacks always complained about the Whites … now they have a growing Muslim threat and I enjoy watching it. Jan]

Over the last year, violence linked to Islamist groups in Africa increased by a quarter while deaths grew by almost 50% to over 19 000, representing a new record of extremist violence, according to a new report.

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) said the increase in violence continues a decade-long upward trend, and reflects a near doubling in the number of such events since 2019, with violence concentrated in the Sahel, Somalia, Lake Chad Basin, Mozambique, and North Africa.

The estimated 19 109 death toll passes the previous peak of 18 850 fatalities linked to militant Islamists set in 2015 when Boko Haram was at its height. It also marks a sharp reversal from 2021, which saw a slight drop in fatalities to 12 920.

Militant Islamist violence in the Sahel and Somalia accounted for the majority (77%) of the total reported violent events across Africa in 2022 as extremist-linked deaths in the Lake Chad Basin, Mozambique, and North Africa all plateaued or declined over the past year, the ACSS reported.

With 2 737 violent events, the western Sahel, comprising Burkina Faso, Mali, and western Niger, experienced the largest escalation in violent events linked to militant Islamists over the past year of any region in Africa, a 36% increase.

Fatalities in the Sahel involving militant Islamist groups rose even more rapidly (63%), resulting in 7 899 fatalities. To put this in perspective, the Sahel has experienced a near doubling (90% increase) in fatalities and more than a doubling (130% increase) in violent events involving militant Islamist groups since 2020, ACSS figures show.

“This timeframe is notable in that it coincides with the seizure of power by a military junta in Mali in August 2020, which justified its coup as needed to address the militant Islamist security threat. However, rather than diminish, the trendline of violence has only accelerated. Moreover, an increasing number of attacks are occurring within 150 km of Bamako. In 2022, the junta demanded the departure of French forces, weakened the mandate of the MINUSMA peacekeeping mission, and brought in the Russian paramilitary force the Wagner Group,” the Africa Center for Strategic Studies said.

A similar pattern is unfolding in Burkina Faso where the first of two military coups occurred in January 2022. The country subsequently experienced a 69% increase in militant Islamist-linked fatalities over the course of the year, totalling 3 600 deaths.

The Jama’at Nusrat al Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) coalition, particularly the Macina Liberation Front (FLM), Ansaroul Islam, and Ansar Dine, were linked to roughly 77% of militant Islamist violence and 67% of related fatalities in the Sahel. The Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) has been tied to the balance.

“The introduction of the Wagner Group into this theatre has further escalated violence against civilians in the Sahel. Wagner was linked to 726 reported civilian fatalities compared to the militant Islamists’ 1 984, a ratio of 1:2.7 civilian victims of militant violence,” the ACSS said.

While 90 percent of all violent events in the Sahel occurred in Burkina Faso and Mali, the past year was also notable for the significant increase in violent episodes in the littoral states. The number of events in Benin jumped from 5 to 37 and in Togo from 1 to 17. Niger, similarly, saw a 43% increase in violent events in the past year, rising to 214.

Militant Islamist violence in the Sahel is also responsible for the displacement of more than 2.6 million people. Burkina Faso accounts for the bulk of this displacement, with over 1.8 million displaced.

Somalia

The most striking trend in Somalia over the past year was the 133% increase in the level of fatalities linked to militant Islamist group violence, primarily al Shabaab. There were 6 225 reported deaths tied to al Shabaab in 2022, an increase from 2 606 the previous year. This is a record level of fatalities and exceeds the total of 2020 and 2021 combined, the ACSS said.

Somalia saw a 23% increase in violent activity involving al Shabaab over the previous year, totalling 2 553 events. This represents 37% of all extremist events in Africa, slightly less than in the Sahel. This marks the first time since 2007 that Somalia did not have the highest annual share of violent events on the continent.

Somalia was again distinguished by the relatively high percentage of battles, comprising 70% of all violence involving al Shabaab. This represents the collective efforts to confront al Shabaab by the Somali National Army, Federal Member State forces, clan militias, and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

The tempo of battles accelerated in 2022 after the election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in May and his call for an all-out offensive against al Shabaab. This offensive has driven al Shabaab from towns it once controlled, prompting retaliatory attacks. This is reflected in a near 25% increase in the number of battles in Somalia.

The Somalia theatre was also marked by a 34% increase in IED attacks in the past year and a doubling in the fatalities resulting from IEDs. The UN reported that 613 civilians were killed and 948 injured in 2022, the majority from IEDs laid by al Shabaab. Actions by state security forces, clan militias, and other unidentified actors have also been responsible for civilian casualties.

Lake Chad Basin

Militant Islamist group violence largely plateaued in the past year after a marked 32% decrease between 2020 and 2021. The 952 violent events observed in the Lake Chad Basin (straddling four countries: Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and southeastern Niger) represent a 4% increase in militant Islamist activity from 2021, the ACSS said.

“The 3 821 fatalities linked to these events, while a 5% decline from the previous year, also represent a slowing from the previous year’s 19% drop. The Lake Chad Basin remains the third most deadly on the continent, comprising 20 percent of all militant Islamist-linked fatalities.”

The past year, meanwhile, saw a 33% increase in violence against civilians, causing a doubling in related fatalities (from 299 to 598). This marked a sharp reversal of the almost 50% decline in attacks on civilians in 2021.

The Lake Chad Basin region also experienced the resurgence of Boko Haram in 2022. Since 2017, Boko Haram had been declining in its relative threat vis-à-vis the breakaway Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA). However, over the past year, Boko Haram was linked to a 57% increase in violent events and a 70% jump in fatalities. While ISWA continues to be associated with more violence in the region, the levels are now comparable.

Northern Mozambique

The number of reported violent incidents linked to militant Islamist groups in northern Mozambique increased by 29% in 2022 to 437 — a reversal of the 23% drop in 2021. Violence is now back to 2020 levels before the intervention of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Rwandan forces, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies said. Dislodged from the cities of Palma and Mocimboa da Praia along the coast, smaller groups of militants have scattered to the more rural districts west and south, preying on villages—committing killings, beheadings, abductions, looting, and the destruction of property.

The northern Mozambique theatre has always been distinguished by the high levels of violence against civilians, with attacks on civilians in the past year increasing 120 percent to 288 events, reversing a temporary decline in 2021. Similarly, fatalities linked to violence against civilians increased by 57 percent (to 430). Violence against civilians accounts for 66% of all violent events in northern Mozambique — more than any other region on the continent, the ACSS noted.

As a result of this increase and spread of violence against civilians, there are currently more than a million people internally displaced in the four provinces of Cabo Delgado, Niassa, Nampula and Zambézia.

North Africa

Violent events linked to militant Islamist groups in the North African region dropped by 32% over the past year. This continues a steady decline in extremist violence in the region.

The number of violent events linked to militant Islamist activity is now down to pre-ISIS 2013 levels, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies found. The 276 fatalities linked to these events amounts to a 14-fold decline from the over 4 000 fatalities experienced across the North African region in 2015 when ISIS was at its peak.

Nearly all the reported militant Islamist activity in this region is in Egypt (about 90%). The steady decline in violent events coincides with the formation of a union of Sinai tribes joining the fight against ISIS. Though the number of battles in 2022 remained constant, remote violence and violence against civilians dropped (60 percent and 21 percent, respectively).

Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/fatalities-from-militant-islamist-violence-in-africa-soar-by-50-per-cent/



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