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Security Brief: AFRICOM Week of December 20, 2021

Week of Monday, December 20, 2021 | Issue 52

Leslie Acebo, Faye Lax, AFRICOM Team


Women’s march in Kadugli, South Kordofan[1]


Date: December 21, 2021

Location: Khartoum, Sudan

Parties involved: United Nations Human Rights Office; Sudanese protestors; Combating Violence Against Women unit; Sudanese military

The event: On Sunday, December 19, 2021, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Khartoum to protest the military coup in Sudan. On Tuesday, December 21, 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Office said that it received 13 rape allegations by security forces and one person was shot and killed during the protest.[2] Internet service was limited in Khartoum on December 25, 2021, ahead of further demonstrations.[3]

Analysis & implications:

  • The rape allegations will very likely result in further protests. These protests are very likely to become increasingly violent. Continued demonstrations are likely to result in further injuries and growing dissent among the Sudanese population.

  • If internet services continue to be limited, it is likely the internet will be shut off completely. The public will likely view this as further hindrance to democratic rights, likely resulting in more protests.

Date: December 21, 2021

Location: Somalia

Parties involved: Al Shabaab; African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM); United Nations Security Council (UNSC); Federal Government of Somalia (FGS)

The event: On Tuesday, December 21, 2021, the UNSC voted on Resolution 2614/2021 to extend AMISOM’s presence in Somalia for another 3 months. The initial withdrawal date was December 31, 2021. AMISOM’s mission includes operating against Al Shabaab.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Al Shabaab will likely increase attacks against peacekeepers to undermine AMISOM counterterrorist operations. Civilians will almost certainly be caught in the crossfire, likely continuing a cycle of violence and insecurity in the region.

  • As Somalia’s government is likely focusing on internal domestic uncertainty by allocating resources to address its political gridlock, resources will likely be diverted away from countering Al Shabaab operations. With less government attention, there is a roughly even chance that an extended AMISOM presence will not significantly affect Al Shabaab.

Date: December 23, 2021

Location: Makalondi, Tillaberi region, Niger

Parties involved: Nigerien gendarmes; Nigerien police officers; Jihadis; Refugees; Local population

The event: On Thursday, December 23, 2021, alleged jihadis attacked a border checkpoint and a bridge near Niger's border with Burkina Faso, killing six individuals and injuring 10 others. The authorities have closed markets and refugee camps and declared a ban on movement by motorbike in sensitive areas.[5]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Refugee camps closing will likely cause further displacement and almost certainly increase the likelihood of jihadist refugee recruitment. It will likely not reduce the potential of attacks from jihadist groups.

  • The economy will likely suffer due to the Tillaberi region's business closures. The local population will likely grow increasingly vulnerable to poverty, escalating the instability and likely increasing grievances that extremist groups will likely exploit for recruitment.

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________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1] Woman’s march in Kadugli, South Kordofan, part of today’s protests denouncing violence against women, Twitter, December 2021, https://twitter.com/BSonblast/status/1473988148300423171

[2] Two deaths, 13 rape allegations reported after Sudan protests, Al Jazeera, December 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/12/21/deaths-rape-allegations-sudan-protests

[3] Sudan coup: Tear gas fired at pro-democracy protests, BBC News, December 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-59789491

[4] UN Extends African Union Mission in Somalia, Garowe, December 2021, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/un-extends-african-union-mission-in-somalia

[5] At Least 6 Killed, 10 Wounded in Twin Attacks in Niger, VOA News, December 2021, https://www.voanews.com/a/at-least-6-killed-10-wounded-in-twin-attacks-in-niger-/6369115.html

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