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Militant Islamist violence in Africa surges – deaths up nearly 50%, events up 22% in a year

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Published in The Conversation

Militant Islamist violence in Africa set new records for violent events and fatalities this past year. This continues a relentless decade-long upward trend.

In a recent Africa Center for Strategic Studies analysis, we found that there were 6,859 episodes of violence involving militant Islamist groups in Africa in 2022. This is a 22% increase from 2021. Fatalities linked to these events shot up 48% to 19,109 deaths. This reflects a sharp rise in deaths per event.

Notably, the spike in violence was marked by a 68% increase in fatalities involving civilians – from 4,307 in 2021 to 7,220 in 2022. This figure is significant: these militant groups are not focused on winning hearts and minds so much as intimidating local populations into compliance.

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