Overview of Crisis Trends in July, Outlook for August 2017 across Africa

New round of talks between Burundi Government and opposition in Arusha, announced by the office of former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa early July, did not materialise. Boko Haram (BH) continued to intensify attacks in Far North of Cameroon against civilians and military. Violence involving armed groups in Central African Republic continued, including against humanitarian workers and facilities.

Chad Authorities arrested Laoukein Médard, 2016 presidential candidate and mayor of second largest city Moundou in south 2012-June 2017, for embezzlement 13 July; opposition denounced arrest as political. Electoral commission (CENI)  said elections will not take place in Dec 2017 as foreseen in 31 Dec 2016 agreement and Felix Tshisekedi, leader of opposition coalition Rassemblement said CENI had “declared war” on people of Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ethiopia government’s introduction of law raising taxes on small businesses triggered protests in several towns in Oromia region; business owners called for open-ended strikes. Eritrea said it would only recognise as mediator Qatar, which withdrew ceasefire monitoring mission from Doumeira early June.

Al-Shabaab continued to attack civilian and military targets in Somalia and Kenya.In run-up to 8 August Kenyan elections, Al-Shabaab intensified attacks in Lamu county on coast and political tensions rose amid election-related violence. Somaliland rejected Somalia President Farmajo’s call previous day to unify Somalia and Somaliland.

U.S. President Trump pushed back by three months 12 July deadline for U.S. to assess whether Sudan has made sufficient progress on five tracks to warrant lifting sanctions, President Bashir responded by suspending monthly meetings with U.S. on sanctions.

Sudan supported South Sudanese rebels, Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO), to launch attacks from Sudan against govt forces in northern Unity oil field.

Police arrested at least 60 opposition supporters protesting reported bid by ruling party National Resistance Movement to amend constitution, lift age limit for presidential candidates and allow President Museveni of Uganda to run for sixth term in 2021.

Following multiple suspected arson attacks, including on main market in capital Lusaka, President Lungu of Zambia imposed emergency rule, increasing authorities’ powers of detention, to counter “acts of sabotage” he blamed on opposition.

First Lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe told Mugabe to name preferred successor to end factionalism within ruling ZANU-PF party.

Persistent tensions between former rebels and Côte d’Ivoire Government, and among security forces led to renewed violence. Demobilised former rebels 9 July blocked entrance to Bouaké in centre demanding FCFA18mn (about $32,000) each; police dispersed them with tear gas.

Opposition led by Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) demonstrated in Conakry against repeated postponement of local elections, denounced alleged plan by President Condé’s inner circle to amend constitution to allow him to run for third term.

Serious fighting between signatory parties of June 2015 peace agreement resumed in Kidal region in north of Mali.  Boko Haram (BH) attacks rose again in Diffa region in south east Niger, alleged BH militants killed nine civilians and abducted dozens in Ngalewa village, looting food and cattle.

Boko Haram (BH) continued attacks in Borno state in North E Nigeria killing over 100 during the month. BH ambushed oil exploration team from federal government-owned Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and University of Maiduguri, killing some 50 people and abducting unknown number. BH issued video of abducted university staff, who said they were held by Al-Barnawi faction.

Burundi

For first time since May 2015 coup attempt, representatives of regime and opposition coalition CNARED (National Council for the Respect of the Arusha Agreement, Restoration of the Rule of Law) met 31 July in Helsinki.

Members of ruling party CNDD-FDD and its Imbonerakure youth militia demonstrated 15 July in Muramvya province in centre in support of fourth term for President Nkurunziza after 2020 elections. Grenade attack reportedly targeting coffee processing company chief at Gatara in Kayanza province in north 9 July killed at least five people, alleged target unhurt.

Grenade attack by unidentified assailants targeting policemen 11 July in Bujumbura wounded four, another grenade attack 16 July in same area caused no harm. European Parliament 5 July voted to continue to suspend aid to govt. In first visit abroad since May 2015 coup attempt, Nkurunziza 20 July met Tanzanian President Magufuli in western Tanzania; both urged over 240,000 Burundian refugees living there to return home as, according to Magufuli, “country is in peace”. Interior minister 26-27 July went to DRC capital Kinshasa for govt’s

European Parliament 5 July voted to continue to suspend aid to govt. In first visit abroad since May 2015 coup attempt, Nkurunziza 20 July met Tanzanian President Magufuli in western Tanzania; both urged over 240,000 Burundian refugees living there to return home as, according to Magufuli, “country is in peace”.

Interior minister 26-27 July went to DRC capital Kinshasa for govt’s authorisation to step up actions against armed opposition groups in South Kivu, eastern DRC.

Cameroon

Boko Haram likely responsible for nine suicide bombings during month close to Nigerian border, notably two women detonated explosives 12 July in Waza, Logone et Chari department killing seventeen civilians.

BH militants 5 July kidnapped several people in Karena, Logone et Chari department, 18 July killed civilian in Zeneme, Mayo Tsanaga department, 26 July killed two gendarmes in Sagme, Logone et Chari department. Amnesty International 20 July reported human rights violations including torture by security forces fighting BH.

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Gendarme killed four fellow gendarmes in Kousseri, Logone et Chari department capital 14 July to protest his alleged mistreatment by squadron commander. Anglophone minority in North West and South West regions kept up general strike in protest against marginalisation by govt. Trial of strike leaders postponed again 27 July, now scheduled for 31 Aug.

Central African Republic

Violence involving armed groups continued, including against humanitarian workers and facilities. Ex-Seleka faction Central African Patriotic Movement (MPC) 1 July clashed with anti-balaka in Kaga Bandoro, Nana-Gribizi province in north, at least ten people killed; unidentified gunmen same day looted UN Refugee Agency office there, threatening staff.

MPC and Revolution and Justice (RJ) militants 9 July took control of Ngaoundaye, Ouaham Pende province in far north west. Two gunmen 11 July entered Médecins Sans Frontières-run hospital in Zemio in south east and opened fire at family, killing baby.

Christian and Muslim communities clashed again in Bangassou in south east 22-23 July; anti-balaka local defence forces shot dead one Moroccan peacekeeper 22 July and two Moroccan peacekeepers 25 July when they delivered water to displaced Muslims.

Following signing of ceasefire and political agreement 19 June, Catholic community Sant’Egidio mid-July visited country in effort to form follow-up committee comprising govt, armed groups, parliament and UN mission (MINUSCA).

African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR notably comprising African Union, central African regional bloc ECCAS and regional governments 17 July adopted roadmap for peace; African Union said roadmap only reference for peace process.

Chad

Authorities arrested Laoukein Médard, 2016 presidential candidate and mayor of second largest city Moundou in south 2012-June 2017, for embezzlement 13 July; opposition denounced arrest as political.

President Déby attended summit of Sahel G5 (Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania) 2 July in Bamako at which member states each pledged €10mn to finance joint military force to counter jihadism,

EU repeated pledge of €50mn and France pledged €8mn and operational and technical assistance; pledges still fall short of estimated €385mn required.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Electoral commission (CENI) 7 July said elections will not take place in Dec 2017 as foreseen in 31 Dec 2016 agreement; Catholic Church (CENCO) 10 July said decision to postpone elections required consultation between govt, CENI and committee overseeing implementation of 31 Dec agreement (CNSA), while Felix Tshisekedi, leader of opposition coalition Rassemblement, 11 July said CENI had “declared war” on people.

Government 22 July appointed CNSA members and named Rassemblement dissident Joseph Olenghankoy as chair; opposition criticised Olenghankoy’s appointment. Rassemblement 22 July released six-month plan for mass mobilisation against Kabila and suggested short transitional period without him if elections do not take place by end-2017.

Prime minister 7 July called on donors for financial assistance to ease “economic difficulties”, but IMF 12 July said release of funds conditional upon political environment improving. U.S. 11 July said it would place sanctions on whoever hinders organisation of elections.

Government 13 July sentenced Angolan President Dos Santos’ Congolese son-in-law and Kabila’s fierce critic Sindika Dokolo to one year prison for real estate fraud. UN mission (MONUSCO) 7 July said it would close five bases in N Kivu in east by 31 July. In N Kivu, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia 5 July kidnapped eighteen people in Beni, releasing them five days later; at least nine Mai Mai militiamen, two members of security forces and one civilian killed in clashes 5 and 11 July.

Militias 8-11 July launched multiple attacks on army positions in Masisi, Rutshuru, Beni and Lubero territories in N Kivu. In S Kivu, army regained control of Fizi and Ishasa 5 July after five days of combat that killed at least two soldiers, nine Mai Mai and one civilian; in country’s fifth jailbreak in three months, some twenty prisoners escaped in attack on Bukavu’s central prison. In Kasai provinces, UN 4-7 July identified 38 more mass graves, bringing total to 80 in centre; suspected Kamuina Nsapu militiamen 9 July kidnapped 26, mostly civilians, in Lomami province. In south, intercommunity fighting continued.

Djibouti

After Eritrea deployed troops into disputed Doumeira territory on Djibouti-Eritrea border in June, government asked African Union to send in observers. Eritrea 4 July said it would only recognise as mediator Qatar, which withdrew ceasefire monitoring mission from Doumeira early June. Eritrea 9 July postponed visit of African Union’s peace and security commissioner to capital Asmara citing “conflicting calendars”. China 23 July said it would consider mediating dispute and sending in peacekeepers if requested; 11 July indicated it had sent warships to Djibouti to set up overseas military base, reportedly to fulfil humanitarian commitments in Gulf. Govt 21 July agreed to bolster security and defence cooperation with Ethiopia.

Eritrea

After govt deployed troops into disputed Doumeira territory on Eritrea-Djibouti border in June, Djibouti 3 July asked the African Union to send in observers. Govt 4 July said it would only recognise as mediator Qatar, which withdrew ceasefire monitoring mission from Doumeira early June. Govt 9 July postponed visit of African Union’s peace and security commissioner to capital Asmara citing “conflicting calendars”. China 23 July said it would consider mediating dispute and sending in peacekeepers if requested.

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Kenya

Some 200 Al-Shabaab militants attacked Pandanguo police station 5 July killing at least three officers; suspected militants beheaded nine civilians in Jima area 8 July; militants ambushed govt convoy in Milihoi on Lamu-Mpeketoni road 13 July killing at least four security officers and one civilian and briefly abducting senior official. Govt 8 July imposed three-month curfew in Lamu, Garissa and Tana River counties.

Security forces 10 July said they had launched airstrikes on Al-Shabaab stronghold Boni forest in Lamu county. Some 30 Al-Shabaab militants 18 July made abortive attempt to attack police station in Mokowe, Lamu county; no casualties reported. Court of Appeal 20 July overturned 7 July decision by High Court to cancel award of tender to print ballot papers to Dubai-based firm which opposition said had links to ruling Jubilee party. Police shot dead gunman 30 July eighteen hours after he broke into Deputy President Ruto’s home compound near Eldoret in

Police shot dead gunman 30 July eighteen hours after he broke into Deputy President Ruto’s home compound near Eldoret in west, killing one guard and wounding another. Electoral commission’s head of IT, missing since 28 July, found dead 31 July, commission said he had been tortured and murdered.

Somalia

 In Mogadishu area, Al-Shabaab claimed IED explosions that killed two civilians in Elasha district 20km north east of capital 1 July and targeted African Union mission (AMISOM) convoy in Middle Shabelle 18 July; Al-Shabaab claimed car bombing 18 July at checkpoint on Mogadishu-Afgoye highway that left three dead; suspected Al-Shabaab suicide car bomb killed ten, mostly civilians, in Mogadishu 30 July.

In south west, militants 23 July killed at least four soldiers in IED explosion near Baidoa 250km south west of capital; 24 July ambushed AMISOM convoy in Bardhere, Gedo region but caused no casualties. Al-Shabaab 24 July released seven aid workers it abducted near Baidoa in south west 16 July, reportedly after receiving weapons as ransom. Security forces continued operations against Al-Shabaab, reportedly killing eighteen militants early July in Puntland’s Galgala hills in north; group denied any casualties.

Kenyan AMISOM forces 16 July reportedly killed 40 militants in airstrikes near Garbaharey in Gedo in south west and killed senior Al-Shabaab commander Hassan Isaack Ibrahim in joint operation with Jubbaland security force in southern Gelef 19 July. U.S. airstrikes on Al-Shabaab training camp near Sakow in Middle Juba in south 2 July, on Al-Shabaab-held territory 4 July and near Tortoroow in Lower Shabelle in south 29 July killed undisclosed number of militants. U.S. and Somali forces 13 July attacked Al-Shabaab in two locations in Lower Shabelle in south, including Kunya-Barrow where they freed detainees and killed several militants; Al-Shabaab said its fighters foiled attempted attack.

Nigeria

President Buhari remained in UK on ‘‘medical vacation’’ that began 7 May; Acting President Osinbajo and other ruling party leaders who visited him said he was recovering and would return soon. Boko Haram (BH) continued attacks in Borno state in NE killing over 100 during month.

BH 25 July ambushed oil exploration team from federal govt-owned Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and University of Maiduguri, killing some 50 people and abducting unknown number. BH 28 July issued video of abducted university staff, who said they were held by Al-Barnawi faction. BH 3 July attacked military bases in Gulumba Gana, Bama and Dikwa Local Govt Areas (LGA), unknown number of soldiers and insurgents killed.

BH 3 July raided Agari and Azir villages, Damboa LGA, killing three. Two male suicide bombers tried to attack university in state capital Maiduguri 6 July, security forces shot dead one, second blew himself up. Multiple suicide attacks (at least one bomber female) 11 July killed at least nineteen in Maiduguri targeting vigilantes working with army. Security forces 16 July killed two female suicide bombers trying to cross security trench in Mammanti on outskirts of Maiduguri.

Female suicide bomber 17 July attacked mosque in Maiduguri, killing eight. BH 24 July attacked Kaleri and Alau, Konduga LGA, killing over fifteen people. Two female suicide bombers 28 July struck displaced persons’ camp in Dikwa LGA, killing at least eight people. Suicide bomber 30 July detonated IED in Kosahari village, Gwoza LGA, killing three. Niger Delta leaders and elders under Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) 11 July urged federal govt to step up implementation of sixteen demands submitted Nov 2016 to President Buhari.

Militant group Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders 30 July said it would start attacks 30 Sept as dialogue between govt and PANDEF had yielded no results. Farmer-herder violence continued: Fulani group Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) 15 July reported youths from Kajuru LGA, Kaduna state in centre killed four Fulani herders; 37 more people killed 16-17 July in clashes between Fulani herders and farming communities in same LGA.

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