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Sharp rise in number of Islamist militant attacks in Africa

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Sub-Saharan Africa suffers under a sharp rise in the number of Islamist militant attacks. In its report Changing Patterns in Terrorism and the Threat to Business, Control Risks , the specialist global risk consultancy, finds that the number of incidents rose from 317 in 2013 to 1,549 for the period April 2017 to April 2018.

While some of the attacks are inspired by the so-called Islamic State (IS) that loses its grip in its Middle Eastern heartland, the drivers behind this rise in sub-Saharan Africa are more complex.

Jean Devlin, Partner and Head of African Analysis at Control Risks, explains: “Many factors lie behind this, including the local dynamics of long-standing conflicts and insurgencies. In East and West Africa, the increase in attacks has several drivers: Although security forces in affected countries have for the most part been able to reduce the capability of militant groups to hold onto and control territory, this has pushed them to engage in asymmetric warfare against civilian ‘soft targets’. Security forces are struggling to comprehensively degrade the capability of these groups, and as a result the threat is proving resilient despite gains made.”

Boko Haram suicide bombers kill 9 people in Niger

Somalia, which witnessed 879 incidents over the period, accounted for over half of the Islamist militant incidents recorded across sub-Saharan Africa; the only other East African country affected during the period was Kenya, with 79 incidents. In West Africa, where 36% of the incidents were reported, Nigeria suffered most (220 incidents), followed by Mali (194) and Cameroon (96). Although the total number of Islamist militant attacks in Southern Africa was relatively low – 56 incidents in total; 43 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 12 in Mozambique, 1 in South Africa – the rise in attacks particularly in Mozambique, where the first attack was recorded on 5 October 2017, is concerning.

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Looking at all types of terrorist activity, government, military and security forces, and their installations typically top target lists across the world. Retail and road top the list of civilian sectors affected by Islamist militancy globally – something that is mirrored in sub-Saharan Africa where vehicles and road infrastructure such as bridges are most targeted, particularly in Nigeria, Mali, Kenya and Somalia. The hospitality sector comes in second (with most incidents in Somalia and Mali), followed by retail. Targeting these areas allows Islamist militants to hit civilians and government/ security forces alike, as the latter congregate in the respective facilities or use the infrastructure for movements.

Boko Haram suicide bombers kill 9 people in Niger

The many shades of political and ideological violence and militancy in play across the globe are part of a complex picture of risk and opportunity facing businesses and organisations. Combined with other threats such as cyber security, kidnap and general criminality, these create a complex security environment for international business.

“Consistent monitoring of which sectors, asset types and locations are vulnerable, and of emerging trends, is critical”, says Devlin.

“Based on the qualitative analysis that helps understand drivers of terrorism, organisations can spend resources wisely and assess opportunities accurately. Resilience comes from having full visibility of the threat landscape and adopting an organisational posture that allows you to continue seeking opportunity.”

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Incidents clustered under ‘Road’ are: roadside bombs, car bombs; attacks against vehicles, including convoys, trucks and buses, road construction companies/sites and personnel, bridges, parking lots

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NIGERIA: Governors Arrive Abuja For NGF Meeting

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Governors from different parts of the country have arrived at the  Nigeria Governors’ Forum secretariat in Abuja for a meeting.

During the meeting, as reliably gathered,  the governors are expected to discuss the agenda for the next Federal Executive Council meeting and Local Government Funding, among other issues.

In attendance is the chairman of the forum and the Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, his deputy and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

Others are Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom; Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano; Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru;  Akwa Ibom Udom Emmanuel; Delta State Ifeanyi Okowa; Adamawa Umaru Fintiri

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Makinde lauds IUFMP initiative , promises to end flooding in Oyo

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Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state has expressed the readiness of his government to take proactive measures that would help put an end to flooding in the State.

Governor Makinde, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun, made the pledge at the closing ceremony of the workshop on Ibadan flood forecast, early warning and implementation support programme held in the state capital, on Wednesday.

The Governor assured that his government would readily support the implementation of the Ibadan Urban Flood Management and other ongoing intervention projects in the state.

Contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Governor, commended the IUFMP on the flood forecast initiative, which he said: “will furnish our people with prior alerts about impending flood disasters”.

He stressed  that it was that a scientific initiative that would alert the people of the possibility of a looming flood disaster was being launched.

Governor Makinde, also described the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (lUFMP) as a people-oriented project set up to change the narrative of incessant and ravaging flood disasters, adding that the project was in consonance with his campaign promises.

The statement added that the Governor had at earlier meetings with the IUFMP team given assurances that Government would take necessary steps to protect the people while charging that the stakeholders on the project to ensure that all hands were on deck to achieve the effective implementation of the initiative.

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“Beyond building bridges, culverts, drain lines, and access roads which are on their own crucial towards ensuring the good life, we as a government also have a duty to give full support to the implementation of the IUFMP initiative that will furnish our people with prior alerts about impending flood disasters.

“This will enable our people to take proactive steps for the preservation of lives and properties. This is a step in the right direction and it will continue to enjoy maximum support of the State Government.

“It is pertinent that we are able to x-ray the factors that can ultimately protect our people from vulnerability to flooding, through adequate knowledge building and information flow on impending flooding and looming dangers. Such information, readily disseminated well ahead of time will save lives.
“I have been told that this workshop, which started yesterday is a two-day programme aimed at sensitising State officials, key stakeholder-agencies and representatives of communities situated along with flood-prone areas, while also informing high-level office-holders about the project,” the Governor said.
Governor Makinde further stated that the State would be expecting value for its investment in the project, which he noted should be in terms of “immediate gains in the area of safety of lives and properties, as well as measurable capacity building for our homegrown technocrats and public servants who would be required to sustain the initiative, post-IUFMP.”

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Governor Makinde, however called on the operators of the project to ensure that the advantages of the project were transferred to other communities in the state through a form of knowledge transfer.

“As I have assured officials of the IUFMP before now, our government will continue to provide enabling environment for the success of other intervention works being carried out at different locations/communities within Ibadan. We expect that all such projects are delivered on schedule to enable our people reap the benefits,” the Governor submitted.

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Terrorists Kill Five Soldiers In Mali

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No fewer than five troops were killed in central Mali on Wednesday when their convoy was ambushed by jihadists, the armed forces confirmed.

The army on its Twitter feed said that the attack occurred on a road between the villages of Boni and Hombori.

“FAMA (the Malian armed forces) suffered five dead. Equipment was also destroyed,” it said.

A local official said gunfire was heard and another said “the jihadists… burned at least two military vehicles. At least two soldiers were also wounded.”

Northern Mali fell into the hands of jihadists in 2012 before the rebels were forced out by a French-led military intervention.

However, much of the region remains chronically unstable and since 2015 violence has spread to the centre of the country.

AFP

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