Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights announced in its monthly report on terrorist operations in Africa that more than 559 people died throughout October 2021. East Africa ranked first due to the increased activity of Al-Shabaab in Somalia, and the continuation of the internal fighting in Ethiopia. In East Africa alone, 261 people were killed, while West Africa came in second place due to the successive attacks of ISIS and Boko Haram. In West Africa, 183 people were killed, as for the Central African region, 111 people were killed as a result of terrorist incidents, and 4 people were killed in South Africa as a result of terrorist operations, while North Africa was calmer, with no casualties due to terrorist operations. Somalia ranked first in terms of the number of terrorist operations, as it was subjected to seven operations, in which 156 people were killed.
Commenting on the report, Ayman Okeil, the international human rights expert and president of Maat, said that despite the efforts made by African countries, they have not yet been able to dry up the sources of terrorism. Indeed, in some places the pace of terrorism has increased, which foretells a looming catastrophe in West African countries, as ethnic fighting and terrorism have become a form of terrorism ravaging West African countries.
The international human rights expert added that more than a year after the outbreak of the war on Tigray in Ethiopia, and with the increasing number of civilians killed, fair and prompt investigations must be opened to hold those responsible for these massacres against civilians accountable, stressing the need to promote the national dialogue that would end the state of internal fighting, and preserves the rights of the different ethnicities within the state.
On his part, Abdul-Latif Gouda, a researcher at the African Affairs and Sustainable Development Unit at Maat, indicated that despite the elimination of most of the leaders of terrorist organizations in West Africa, the organizations are still very active, and they still pose an existential threat to these countries, especially in light of the activities of ISIS and Boko Haram and their fight to impose control over the region, causing the deaths of hundreds of civilians.
Notably, Africa is among the issues of concern to Maat for Peace, Development and Human rights, being a member of the General Assembly for the Economic, Social & Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the Africa Union (AU). Moreover, Maat serves as an Observer in The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) and as a Northern African Coordinator in the major Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Africa of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).