Last week in Africa, an alliance was formed between Boko Haram and ISWAP militants in Nigeria; Islamist militants continued their attacks in Central Sahel and Somalia; and anti-government demonstrations erupted in Sudan and eSwatini.
In Nigeria, several Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) Lake Chad faction fighters reunited in a video and jointly pledged allegiance to Aba Ibrahim Al-Hashimiyil AlKhuraishi (Premium Times, 26 June 2021). Meanwhile, Nigerian military forces clashed with and conducted airstrikes against Boko Haram and ISWAP Lake Chad faction camps in Borno state with several fatalities reported at the Forward Operational Base in the Bama local government area. Security forces also launched strikes targeting areas suspected of housing top members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in the Illah area in Delta state. Elsewhere, violence against civilians perpetrated by communal militia continued, triggering deadly clashes with Nigerian military forces particularly in the state of Zamfara.
In Burkina Faso, suspected Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) militants continued widespread violence against civilians, including several instances of attacks and abductions, most notably in the East region. Meanwhile, the Burkinabe military forces conducted airstrikes and ground operations targeting presumed JNIM fighters in the Central North and Sahel regions. Suspected JNIM-affiliated Katiba Macina militants were particularly active in the Mopti region of Mali, carrying out a deadly attack against Dan Na Ambassagou militiamen and market goers escorted by the militia near Petaka.
In Niger, suspected ISWAP Greater Sahara faction fighters carried out several deadly attacks against civilians in the Tillaberi Region. Elsewhere, ISWAP Lake Chad faction militants attacked a convoy consisting of a communal transport bus and the motorcade of the President of the Supreme Court of Diffa near the village of Gagamari in the Diffa region, followed by deadly clashes with Nigerien military forces in the village of Boula Adam. ISWAP also claimed to have launched rockets targeting the airport in the town of Diffa. The attacks occurred in the midst of President Mohamed Bazoum’s visit to the Diffa Region (ActuNiger, 1 July 2021).
In Somalia, Al Shabaab militants continued their attacks against civilians, and Somali and international forces. In the Middle Juba and Bay regions, several people accused of spying for British and American intelligence agencies were killed by Al Shabaab firing squads. Further, a suicide bomb attack perpetrated by Al Shabaab in Shibis district of Mogadishu killed at least 11 people. Elsewhere, clashes erupted between Somali military forces and Al Shabaab fighters following a suicide vehicle-borne IED attack against a government security forces base in Wisil village in the Muduq region, leaving dozens of civilians and soldiers dead. Attacks against Ethiopian and African Union Mission in Somali (AMISOM) troops were also reported in different regions of the country.
In the Central African Republic, Wagner group mercenaries carried out further attacks against civilians, including abduction and sexual violence. Moreover, they kidnapped the regional commander of national military forces in Ndele in the Bamingui-Bangoran prefecture. Meanwhile, they continued their operations alongside military forces against Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC) militants under the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) alliance.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, deadly clashes between the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) continued in Ituri and North Kivu provinces, leaving dozens of fatalities and permitting the FARDC to regain control of several areas in the Irumu region of Ituri province.
In Burundi, an attack on civilians travelling in the Rutegama commune of Muramvya province by an unidentified armed group resulted in more than a dozen fatalities. Since the attack, several suspects affiliated to the National Congress for Liberation (CNL) and Union for National Progress (UPRONA), as well as former military forces and Rwandan nationals have been arrested.
Finally, mass anti-government demonstrations erupted in Sudan and eSwatini. In Sudan, demonstrators voiced opposition to austerity measures and in particular the removal of the fuel subsidy, with some demonstrators calling for the removal of the transitional government. In Khartoum, clashes between police and demonstrators wounded dozens, while a police officer was killed in Gedaref. In eSwatini, demonstrators called for democratic reforms in the country and denounced police brutality. During the week, a curfew was imposed and security forces were deployed across all four regions of the country (Africanews, 30 June 2021). Security forces’ intervention left more than a dozen of demonstrators dead.