The index of terrorist operations launched by extremist organizations in Africa continued its gradual decline. The month of August 2023 recorded a relative decrease compared to July of the same year, at a rate of 5.9%.
The month of August witnessed 32 terrorist operations, and this decrease naturally led to a decrease in the number of victims during this month.
According to a study prepared by the Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism, terrorist operations resulted in 219 dead, 74 injured, and the kidnapping of 55 people, while the number of terrorist operations in July had reached 36, resulting in 254 dead, 126 people injured, and two others kidnapped.
It is noteworthy that the index of terrorist operations in Africa for the month of July 2023 decreased from the previous month by two terrorist operations, as the month of June recorded 36 operations, which in turn resulted in the killing of 259 people, the injury of 114, and the kidnapping of 70 others.
According to statistics, the Sahel and Sahara region came in first place in terms of the number of operations and the number of victims. The affected area witnessed 12 terrorist incidents, equivalent to 37.5% of the total number of terrorist operations carried out by extremist organizations in Africa during the month, leaving 93 dead and 47 injured.
Mali was in the lead with eight terrorist operations, resulting in 51 dead and 23 wounded, while Niger was also subjected to two terrorist incidents that killed 23 people and injured 24 others.
As for Burkina Faso, it was subjected to two terrorist attacks that killed 20 people without causing any injuries.
East and Horn of Africa
According to the study, the East and Horn of Africa region ranked second in terms of the number of operations, and fourth in terms of the number of deaths. The troubled region witnessed nine terrorist attacks, equivalent to 28.1% of the total number of terrorist operations, which led to the death and injury of 26 people.
Somalia alone was subjected to six terrorist operations launched by the Al-Shabaab movement, which resulted in 20 deaths and 14 injuries, while Kenya, which witnessed successive attacks, was subjected to three operations that resulted in six deaths and 12 injuries.
As for the West Africa region, which is known for the increasing activity of ISIS and Boko Haram as a result of the competition between them, came in third place, as it was subjected to seven terrorist operations, equivalent to 21.9% of the total number of terrorist operations, all of which were centered in Nigeria, resulting in 28 people killed, one person injured, and 55 others kidnapped.
The Al-Azhar Observatory confirmed that the security chaos taking place in Niger affected neighboring countries, including Nigeria, due to geographical proximity, which facilitated the movement of terrorist organizations and their ability to surprise security forces and launch bloody attacks, which requires close cooperation from the affected countries to confront the threat posed by terrorists.
As for the Central African region, it came in fourth place in terms of the number of terrorist operations, and in second place in terms of the number of resulting deaths. The region was subjected to four terrorist attacks, equivalent to 12.5% of the total number of terrorist operations, three of which occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is rich in natural resources, which play a pivotal role in attracting terrorism.
The three operations carried out by the ISIS-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces resulted in 59 casualties, while Cameroon was subjected to a single operation that led to 12 deaths.
The Al-Azhar Observatory study confirmed that the African Sahel region is currently witnessing rapid geopolitical transformations that may bring with it the possibility of escalating tensions and struggles over influence as a result of the tense political conditions, security chaos, and economic failure occurring in some countries in the region.
It also warned of the consequences of the deteriorating security situation in the Sahel countries, which may affect other countries that were previously immune to terrorist threats.
In terms of efforts to combat terrorist organizations in Africa, the death toll of terrorist elements reached 377 people and 18 detainees, in addition to the surrender of 11 others.
In the East African region, the Somali government killed 265 Al-Shabaab terrorists and arrested 18 others, while three terrorists voluntarily surrendered to army forces.
For its part, the Kenyan army was able to neutralize 60 members of the terrorist movement, while the Mozambican defense announced the killing of three rebels, including their leader.
In the Sahel region, the efforts of the security forces in Mali resulted in the elimination of 39 terrorist elements.
In the west of the continent, the efforts of the Nigerian army against the Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa movements led to the neutralization of 10 terrorist elements and the surrender of eight others.