Maat: 1566 victims in December 2022...and Somalia ranks first in Africa for the second month in a row
Okeil: We call on the African Union to activate its powers and strengthen the work of fact-finding missions in troubled areas
Gharib: We recommend the inauguration of a binding African agreement to regulate the activity of private military and security companies (PMSC)
The phenomenon of terrorism plagues the African continent, pushing it away from its peaceful aims and development aspirations, and undermining its tendencies and endeavors for human rights. The phenomenon of terrorism has severe and heavy economic, political, security and humanitarian repercussions on all aspects, topped by human capital.
In its monthly publication entitled "Lens of Terrorist Operations and Acts of Violence in Africa", Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights indicated that terrorism took the lives of 1,566 victims in December 2022.
In December’s report, East Africa ranked first for the second month in a row, with 714 victims; Somalia ranked first in terms of the deadliest countries for the second month in a row, with 505 victims, followed by west Africa with 550 victims, jumping from 404 victims in November; Central Africa ranked third with 266 victims; south African ranked fourth, with 41 victims; and North Africa, the relatively stable region comes last with 7 victims in December.
Commenting on the report, Ayman Okeil, the international human rights expert and President of Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights, said that Maat has been monitoring the phenomenon of terrorism in Africa over the past two years, and it managed to reveal the exacerbation of terrorism and violence in Africa, particularly within East Africa, especially in light of the state of political tensions in the Ethiopian region of Tigray, in addition to the expansion of the Al-Shabaab extremist movements in Somalia and parts of East Africa.
Okeil referred to some of the international and regional efforts that were made during the past month to enhance African peace and security. The African Union Peace and Security Council and the African members of the United Nations Security Council convened the ninth annual high-level symposium on peace and security in Africa, adhering to the strategic objective of the "One Africa, One Goal" initiative.
For his part, the human rights expert called on the African Union to activate the powers of its security institutions by strengthening the work of fact-finding missions to fragile and troubled areas, in addition to the need to tighten the security grip on border areas and control weapons stores. He further stressed the need to finance disarmament programs and initiatives to stop illegal flows of small arms and light weapons.
Sayed Gharib, a researcher in the Sustainable Development Unit at Maat, explained that Maat draws the attention of African countries to the need to strengthen collective action to eradicate terrorism and violence in Africa and to limit the increasing spread of mercenary forces within the African continent and their role in escalating violence and armed conflicts.
On a similar level, Gharib demanded launching a binding African agreement concerned with regulating the activity of private security and military companies, their roles, the quality of services they provide and the extent of their respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law.