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Security Brief: AFRICOM Week of December 6, 2021

Week of Monday, December 6, 2021 | Issue 50

Leslie Acebo and Ashliyn Burgos, AFRICOM Team


Burundian Troops Working in Somalia[1]


Date: December 6, 2021

Location: Logone-et-Chari, Cameroon

Parties involved: Mousgoum fishers; Arabchoas cattle ranchers

The event: On December 6, 2021, at least 10 people were killed, and others were injured in a fight between ranchers and fishers, driving hundreds of people to escape into neighboring Chad. Water scarcity, a problem that authorities have tried to address, sparked the violence in Cameroon's north.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The conflict between Mousgoum fishers and Arabchoas herders is almost certainly a result of climate change's adverse effects in the region. Climate change will almost certainly continue to fuel this conflict, exacerbating the region's already-existing humanitarian and refugee crisis. As a result of the influx of refugees, neighboring nations will likely be put under strain and almost certainly need to mobilize additional resources to accommodate the influx of people.

  • If the Cameroonian government does not address the effects of climate change in this region, its efforts to minimize ethnic conflicts, displacement of people, and poverty will likely be jeopardized. Government involvement in projects to alleviate water scarcity will almost certainly be necessary to de-escalate the violence between the two groups and find a strategy to share resources. This side effect of climate change will likely not be confined to these two groups. It is likely that similar conflicts will occur across the country as climate change increases competition for scarce resources.

Date: December 7, 2021

Location: Zimbabwe

Parties involved: Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC); Zimbabwean banks; ZACC Chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo

The event: The ZACC accused Zimbabwean banks of engaging in money laundering for corrupt individuals and serving as a safe haven to hide dirty money. The ZACC chairperson highlighted the lack of laws to prevent this type of laundering from taking place. Zimbabweans are already dealing with negative impacts on the economy that are causing prices to rise and savings to dwindle.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Zimbabweans will likely lose faith in the banking system due to the lack of money laundering regulation. Discontent and a lack of policy change could likely lead to protests and citizens choosing alternative banking options. This will likely worsen Zimbabwe's economic situation.

  • Zimbabweans seeking alternative ways to store and withdraw their money from the banks could likely lead to an exhaustion of cash reserves. This is very likely to cause significant economic repercussions as it would likely lead to banks closing until the reserves can be restored. Banks closing would likely disincentivize investment and lead to a shortage in capital, almost certainly worsening Zimbabwean economic conditions.

Date: December 8, 2021

Location: Mambassa area, Lubero territory, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo

Parties involved: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees personnel (UNHCR); United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres; Mai-Mai militia

The event: The Mai-Mai militia reportedly opened fire on a convoy that was being escorted by personnel from the UNHCR. The area in which the attack took place has numerous armed groups that operate freely. Three of the personnel were injured but given medical care on the scene. The vehicle was clearly marked as a UNHCR vehicle. The UN Secretary-General has called for an investigation on the attack.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • This attack was likely premeditated by the Mai-Mai militia, who were likely trying to attack the UNHCR personnel to slow the aid that is given to people displaced by violence in the area. By attacking the aid workers, the Mai-Mai militia is likely to continue disenfranchising and increasing the vulnerability of the local community. Such vulnerability will likely make it easier for the militia or other armed groups to manipulate the locals, gaining support, money, or recruits.

  • The presence of high-profile organizations such as the UN in areas with high numbers of armed groups is likely to lead to more attacks. Attacks against well-known entities are likely to get news coverage that can provide groups publicity or notoriety. This can likely serve as a recruitment tool for groups that aim to spread their name and message globally. Groups will likely continue attacking personnel in the area to achieve this goal.

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________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1] “Burundian Troops Working in Somalia” by AMISOM Public Information licensed under Public Domain

[2] Cameroon Says New Clashes Kill at Least 10, Displace Hundreds, VOA News, December 2021, https://www.voanews.com/a/cameroon-says-new-clashes-kill-at-least-10-displace-hundreds-/6342586.html

[3] Banks Aiding Corruption in Zimbabwe - Report, All Africa, December 2021, https://allafrica.com/view/group/main/main/id/00080447.html

[4] UNHCR staff members wounded in DR Congo, UN chief calls for full investigation, UN News, December 2021, https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/12/1107512


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