Terrorism in Africa: 21 active militant groups on the continent in 2018

Bridget Boakye April 18, 2018

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies, an organization dedicated to studying security issues on the African continent, just published its 2018 report on active militant Islamist groups on the continent.

According to the report, there are 21 active militant Islamist groups in 9 of the continent’s 54 countries. They are:

  1. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
  2. Ansaroul Islam
  3. Jamaat Nusrat Al-islam Wal Muslimeen
  4. The Movement for Monotheism and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO)
  5. Islamic State in the Greater Sahara
  6. Boko Haram
  7. Islamic State West Africa
  8. Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigade
  9. Shabab Al-tawhid
  10. Soldiers of the Caliphate
  11. Ansar Al-Sharia (Derna)
  12. Ansar Al-Sharia (Benghazi)
  13. Wilayat Barqa
  14. Wilayat Fezzan
  15. Wilayat Tarabulus
  16. Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis
  17. Al Shabaab
  18. Islamic State in Somalia
  19. Al Hijara
  20. Al Muhajiroun
  21. Jahba East Africa

Below is a map of the groups and countries:

Terrorism in Africa: 21 active militant groups on the continent in 2018

The organization also shared 2017 trends in its report, citing, a “continuing drop in reported fatalities linked to militant Islamist groups in Africa (10,376 compared to a peak of 18,728 in 2015)… primarily
[due to] the decline in fatality numbers linked to Boko Haram (3,329 from 3,484 in 2016) and ISIS (1,687 from 2,537 in 2016)”.

The organization says that the number of violent events linked to militant Islamist groups in Africa, however,
rose in 2017 (2,769 events from 2,317 in 2016). Al Shabaab is linked to the highest escalation of violence on the continent, while Boko Haram has proven especially resilient, despite repeated announcements of the group’s defeat.

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies is a U.S. initiative. Last year, the African Union Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat questioned the United States’ commitment to fighting terrorism in Africa after it blocked attempts by the Union to get United Nations funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: April 18, 2018


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