Maat: Terrorist operations escalated in Africa during the third quarter of this year... and the victims were more than 9 thousand people
Okeil: African Union must develop a joint legal structure to confront the growing threat of terrorism on the African continent
Atef Dabal: Conflict of influence between international powers undermines counter-terrorism operations and hinders development in Africa
Maat for Peace, Development, and Human Rights has released its quarterly report titled "Lens of Terrorist Operations and Acts of Violence in Africa" for the period from July to September 2023. The report sheds light on the changing nature of terrorism and violence in Africa during this period, while also monitoring the international and regional efforts made to combat this issue.
According to the report, there were over 9,602 recorded deaths during this period, with the East African region experiencing the highest number of casualties, totaling 8,082. This can be attributed in part to the escalating violence in Sudan, which ranks highest among African countries in terms of the number of victims. West Africa follows closely behind with 1,328 deaths, including Nigeria, which ranks second in terms of terrorist operations and acts of violence. The Central African region ranks third with 161 fatalities, while North and South Africa had the lowest numbers.
The report highlights the ongoing violence and terrorism on the African continent, posing a threat to the security and stability of African nations. Moreover, there is a concern that these crises, particularly terrorism, may extend beyond Africa, either crossing the Mediterranean into Europe or heading east. The report emphasizes that political conflicts in several African countries undermine counter-terrorism operations and efforts to eliminate acts of violence. These countries have been preoccupied with internal conflicts, diverting attention from the fight against terrorist groups, particularly in the African Sahel region, where there has been a noticeable increase in the number of these groups and their activities. The report further stresses that African countries, despite possessing resources, have failed to address development issues due to accumulated debts.
In light of these circumstances, Ayman Okeil, an international human rights expert and Chairman of Maat, calls for the establishment of essential legal frameworks by the African Union. Okeil proposes that the African Union, in collaboration with international partners, take the lead in forming an alliance to combat terrorism in African countries. This is crucial, especially considering the escalation of terrorism in Africa and its transformation into a global threat. Okeil asserts that the spread of terrorism throughout most African countries is not an isolated occurrence but rather stems from various factors that have contributed to its concentration, proliferation, and subsequent escalation. One of the primary factors is the harsh economic conditions experienced by these countries, which have had adverse effects on social and living conditions, resulting in increased unemployment and extreme poverty rates.
Atef Dabal, a researcher specializing in countering hate speech and violent extremism at Maat, explains that international conflicts within the context of establishing a new world order have turned the African continent into an arena for polarization and conflict among major powers. This situation negatively impacts the capabilities of African countries to confront the dangers of terrorism or develop sustainable development plans.