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SA Army Deployed to Flood Zone, FARDC/MONUSCO to Attack Armed Groups, Mortar in Somali Parliament

April 14 - 20, 2022 | Issue 4 - AFRICOM

Isaac Clemons, Natalie Weidenbach, Matthias Conti, Ashliyn Burgos, AFRICOM Team

Hannah Norton, Editor



Senate Building of the DRC[1]



Date: April 18, 2022

Location: South Africa’s East Coast

Parties involved: South African National Defense Force; South African Army; South African citizens

The event: Last week, the South African Army deployed 10,000 troops to areas affected by severe flooding. The deployment includes plumbers and electricians responsible for repairing infrastructure and setting up water purification stations for the population. The flooding killed 443 people, destroyed 550 schools and 60 healthcare facilities, and left 40,000 homeless.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The loss of infrastructure in eastern South Africa will likely increase migration toward major cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg. This will likely strain existing health, housing, and labor infrastructures.

  • The South African Army will likely gain logistical experience from operating in flood-affected areas. This experience will likely increase the possibility that South Africa will be asked to assist in future natural disasters or humanitarian operations by the international community. The South African Army will likely need to expand its recruitment as a result of requests for aid, almost certainly increasing the number of resources needed to train recruits. An increase in the training resources is likely to decrease the operational effectiveness of the South African Army in the short term.


Date: April 18, 2022

Location: North Kivu and Ituri Provinces, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Parties involved: DRC senators; Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC); Non-State armed groups; Deputies of North Kivu and Ituri provinces; Defense and Security Committee of the National Assembly; United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO)

The event: On Monday, the DRC Senate approved a bill extending a state of siege in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, with 81 senators voting in favor, six abstaining, and two voting against. The extension will allow the FARDC and MONUSCO to carry out joint military operations against non-state armed groups operating in the territory.[3] The deputies of North Kivu and Ituri provinces boycotted Monday’s plenary and announced they would not attend the upcoming plenaries until the state of siege was lifted.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Renewed offensives by FARDC and MONUSCO forces will very likely increase the risk of violence against local communities, likely forcing relocation to other areas within the two provinces and neighboring countries, Uganda and Rwanda. Large numbers of displaced individuals will very likely strain humanitarian resources, likely affecting aid delivery to communities.

  • There is a roughly even chance that North Kivu and Ituri deputies will impede government programs to pressure the central government into lifting the siege. Collaboration between the Defense and Security Committee of the National Assembly and the administrations of the two provinces will likely be affected, likely hampering efforts to curb activities by non-state armed groups. The deputies’ decision to boycott the plenary has a roughly even chance of lengthening the insurgencies in North Kivu and Ituri, very likely impeding the two provinces’ socioeconomic development and affecting the humanitarian situation.


Date: April 18, 2022

Location: Mogadishu, Somalia

Parties involved: Al-Shabaab; Somali senators; Somali Members of Parliament (MPs); United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNSOM); Somali security forces; Somali citizens

The event: On Monday, a single mortar shell landed at the entrance of the Parliament building while it was in session, injuring several people, including security guards and civilians. Somali MPs and senators were advised to remain inside, and none were injured. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.[5] The explosion occurred a few days after the confirmation of new members of the lower house and the Senate, a significant event due to the year-long delayed electoral process.[6] A few parliamentary seats remain to be filled, but the most recent seat confirmation allows the election process to move towards a joint session to elect a federal president. UNSOM released a statement condemning the attack and reconfirming support for Somalia’s efforts to complete the election process.

Analysis & Implications:

  • Al-Shabaab likely conducted this attack to prevent the completion of the election process. The Somali Parliament will likely try to fill the remaining seats as fast as possible, which will complete the election process and likely deter al-Shabaab. Prolonged elections likely impacted government operations like social services, indicating a roughly even chance al-Shabaab strategized the effect of delayed elections on citizens. Including impact on citizens as part of their strategy likely demonstrates a sophisticated grand plan, and it is unlikely the next attack will use traditional al-Shabaab tactics.

  • The survival of Somali MPs and senators will likely prompt another attack from al-Shabaab, almost certainly threatening the safety of the following joint session to elect a federal president. UNSOM will likely provide protection and security for the next joint session, very likely heightening security protocols around the Somali Parliament. There is a roughly even chance this will set a precedent for increased security in future elections, likely setting expectations for future UNSOM forces’ presence and increasing costs dedicated to the military.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1]Palais du Peupleby Radio Okapi licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

[2] 10,000 soldiers in South Africa flood relief effort, Yahoo News, April 2022, https://news.yahoo.com/10-000-soldiers-south-africa-092310464.html

[3] RDC: à son tour, le Sénat adopte le projet de loi portant prorogation de l'état de siège en Ituri et au Nord-Kivu, Actualite.CD, April 2022, (translated by Matthias Conti) https://actualite.cd/index.php/2022/04/18/rdc-son-tour-le-senat-adopte-le-projet-de-loi-portant-prorogation-de-letat-de-siege-en

[4] RDC – État de siège à l’Est : les députés du Nord-Kivu et de l’Ituri boycottent la énième prorogation suite à la persistance de l’insécurité, L’interview.CD, April 2022, (translated by Matthias Conti) https://linterview.cd/rdc-etat-de-siege-a-lest-les-deputes-du-nord-kivu-et-de-lituri-boycottent-la-enieme-prorogation-suite-a-la-persistance-de-linsecurite/

[5] Shabaab claims responsibility of Somali Parliament bomb attack, The East African, April 2022, https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/tea/news/east-africa/shabaab-attacks-somalia-parliament-3786990

[6] Somalia: Still no date for parliamentary elections, Africa News, March 2022 https://www.africanews.com/2022/03/15/somalia-still-no-date-for-parliamentary-elections//

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