Deaths from violence by militant Islamists in Africa rise by almost 50%

Points forts

Violence linked to militant Islamist groups in Africa has risen sharply by 22% over the last twelve months, with 6,859 events. This represents a new record of extremist violence and a doubling of such occurrences since 2019.

Militant Islamist violence in Africa continues to focus on five theaters, namely the Sahel, Somalia, the Lake Chad Basin, Mozambique and North Africa. Each of these theaters is defined by local actors and challenges specific to its context.

Violence by militant Islamists in the Sahel and Somalia accounts for 77% of violent events recorded in Africa in 2022.

Worryingly, deaths attributed to militant Islamist groups have increased by 48% this year.

The estimated 19,109 deaths attributable to militant Islamists surpass the last peak of 18,850 deaths reached in 2015 when Boko Haram was at its peak. It also represents a sharp turnaround from 2021 when a slight decrease in deaths, reaching 12,920, was recorded.

The escalation in deaths is entirely the result of increased violence in the Sahel and Somalia, where 74% of deaths have occurred. Indeed, deaths attributable to extremists have either plateaued or declined in the Lake Chad Basin, Mozambique and North Africa.

This spike in deaths linked to Islamist militants was characterized by a 68% increase in civilian deaths and violence from afar (the latter often targeting civilians). This highlights the heavy price paid by non-combatants.

Source: Africa Center for Strategic Studies