Lens of Terrorist Operations and Acts of violence in Africa - May 2022

Maat: 720 victims of terrorism were reported in Africa during May 2022 and Nigeria records the highest number of victims
"Okeil": We urge international mechanisms to investigate Ethiopia’s deliberate killings of Sudanese civilians on the joint border between the two countries
Naser: We recommend the African Union to establish a mechanism that supports regional cooperation efforts to combat terrorism and strengthen communication channels

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, confirmed in her statement at the High-level International Conference on Human Rights, Civil Society and Counter-Terrorism that acts of terrorism continue to pose a real and ongoing threat to international peace and security, in addition to undermining the rule of law, democracy and sustainability. In light of this statement, Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights issued its monthly report, "Lens of Terrorist Operations and Acts of violence in Africa - May 2022."

The report emphasized that during the month of May, terrorist operations carried out by ideological and extremist militants continued, claiming nearly 720 deaths. The West African region had the largest share of the number of victims in the attacks, as 429 people were killed as a result of the terrorist operations that occurred in it. The proportion of the number of victims in the West African region was 59.5 % of the total number of victims of the continent for the month of May, and Nigeria came first in terms of The numerical distribution of victims on the continent, where they numbered 155 dead.

According to the report, terrorist operations carried out by extremist militants continued in May, claiming the lives of nearly 720 people. With 429 deaths, or 59.5% of the total number of victims reported in Africa during May, West Africa had the largest share of victims of terrorism. Nigeria came first in terms of the numerical distribution of victims in the continent, with 155 deaths.

Central Africa came in second place, for the first time in several months, due to the several operations carried out in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which claimed the lives of 150 victims of murder and violence. East Africa came in third place with 122 victims, followed by North Africa with 16 deaths killed by ISIS-affiliated armed groups positioned in North Africa. Finally, South Africa came in fifth place with 3 deaths fell during a terrorist operation in Mozambique. In this context, Ayman Okeil, the human rights expert and president of Maat, confirmed that while the international community continues to denounce terrorist crimes and operations, we monitor increasing numbers of victims of terrorist organizations, which continue to step up their brutality using the most advanced weapons that are not even possessed by the armies of targeted countries. In West and Central Africa, terrorist groups focus on attacking specific targets that would create a local and international echo, in order to demonstrate their strength and spread fear among civilians.

Okeil recommended the international mechanisms concerned with countering terrorism to provide international support through training military soldiers in the Central and West Africa regions, especially the countries most affected by ISIS strikes in Central Africa.

On a related level, Okeil touched upon the majority of violations committed by the Ethiopian government on the joint border with Sudan. The international human rights expert also condemned the grave crimes committed by Ethiopia against Sudanese civilians and called on the United Nations High Commissioner to step up the efforts of the international mechanisms to investigate the deliberate killings committed by Ethiopia on the joint border with Sudan, especially since Ethiopia didn’t conduct a local investigation into these crimes.

For her part, Asmaa Abdel Nasser, a researcher in the Sustainable Development Unit at Maat, added that any solutions to stop the spread of ISIS in Africa will depend on the national authorities of the same region and their ongoing cooperation and exchange of information related to combating terrorism and the movements of foreign terrorist fighters.

The researcher recommended the African Union to establish a regional mechanism that organizes expanded regional activities, to support international cooperation efforts necessary to combating terrorism and promoting channels of communication and exchanging of experiences between the member states of the Union.




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