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Shooters Attack Church in Owo, Nigeria and US-South Korea Fire Missiles in Response to North Korea

June 2-8, 2022 | Issue 10 - Weapons and Tactics (W/T)

Annabelle Hueber, Megan Proudfoot (W/T) Team

Justin Maurina, Editor; Demetrios Giannakaris, Senior Editor


Town of Owo in Ondo State[1]


Date: June 6, 2022

Location: Owo, Ondo State, southwest Nigeria

Parties involved: Nigeria, Nigerian government, Owo government, Boko Haram, St. Francis Catholic Church, Ondo state Governor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, police spokesperson Funmilayo Ibukun Odunlami

The event: Unidentified shooters attacked St. Francis Catholic church in Owo, killing at least 50 people during a mass on Sunday. Funmilayo Ibukun Odunlami confirmed that the attack occurred inside and outside the church. Ondo State Governor Akeredolu called this attack a "great massacre" and should never happen again. Nigeria has fought Islamist insurgencies in the northeast for over a decade, but attacks rarely occur in Nigeria’s southwest region.[2] Corruption has been heavily influencing the effectiveness of Nigerian government officials in fighting potential terrorist attacks.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The Islamist insurgency Boko Haram likely committed the attack. Boko Haram could very likely be broadening terrorist activities and objectives to include wider regions of Nigeria. This expansion would almost certainly result in widespread panic and mass casualties, especially in southwest Nigeria and areas surrounding the country’s northeastern part. An expansion will very likely result in further insecurity in Nigeria, increased poverty, displaced locals, and a medical supply shortage in hospitals.

  • It is very likely that attacks on holy sites, especially non-Islamic religious places, will continue. Religious schools will very likely be targeted, especially all-woman schools, as terrorists could likely abduct these women to force them into terrorist activity or marry them to members. Predominantly Christian areas are very likely to be targeted with armed assaults or raids, specifically Nigeria’s southern and central regions.

Date: June 6, 2022

Location: Gangwon Province, South Korea

Parties involved: United States, US President Biden, South Korea, South Korean officials, Joint Chiefs of Staff, North Korea, U.N. Security Council, Japan, China, Russia

The event: The US and South Korea fired eight ground-to-ground Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles into the East Sea from South Korea’s eastern coastal region at 0445 local time for around ten minutes. The launch was responding to North Korea’s actions on June 5, when it fired eight short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) from four different locations into the East Sea for around 35 minutes for the 18th time in 2022. In a released statement, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said that the launch demonstrated the allies’ capability to initiate immediate and precise strikes when provoked. South Korean officials warned that the North’s military provocations would be met with corresponding actions.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • North Korea is very likely increasing the frequency of missile tests to assert its strength and negotiate economic and security concessions, such as sanctions relief, from the United States and South Korea. As North Korea continues conducting missile tests, South Korea will almost certainly conduct corresponding tests to deter North Korea. However, North Korea will likely soon attempt a nuclear test to cement its status as a nuclear power and force the allies into moderating their stance. Its aim is very likely to demonstrate that it would be more beneficial for the allies to negotiate than risk military confrontation.

  • If North Korea attempts a nuclear test, the allies will almost certainly push for additional international sanctions from the U.N. Security Council against North Korea. As this request is unlikely to pass due to push-back from China and Russia, a North Korean nuclear test would likely go unchecked by the international community. However, it would very likely result in a strengthened U.S.-South Korean alliance, with the U.S. likely deploying strategic assets such as nuclear-powered submarines, aircraft carriers, long-range bombers, and other military hardware to South Korea. It would also likely result in strengthened trilateral security cooperation between the U.S., South Korea, and Japan, including joint military exercises and weapons sharing.

 

The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)


[1] "Owo in Ondo State" by Google Maps

[2] At least 50 killed in massacre at Catholic church in southwest Nigeria, Reuters, June 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/gunmen-kill-worshippers-during-church-service-nigeria-media-2022-06-05/

[3] Courruption in Nigeria: Patterns and Trends, UNODC, December 2019, https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/statistics/corruption/nigeria/Corruption_in_Nigeria_2019_standard_res_11MB.pdf

[4] South Korea, U.S. fire 8 ballistic missiles after North's latest test launch, CBC, June 2022, https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/south-north-korea-us-missile-launch-1.6478556

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