MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia saw a striking 157 percent increase in fatalities linked to the Al-Qaeda-aligned militant group Al-Shabaab over the past year after authorities declared an all-out offensive, The Africa Center said in a new report on Tuesday.
“This represents a record level of fatalities in Somalia over its 17-year existence, far surpassing the previous high point of 5,224 deaths in 2018,” the report says.
“Somalia accounted for 36 percent of all militant Islamist-related fatalities on the continent this past year, making it the second most active theater (after the Sahel). This percentage is roughly where Somalia has been for the last 4 years, which is a decline from the first part of the decade where it was, on average, linked to more than 50 percent of all militant Islamist activity in Africa,” it added.
The institute reports that the war-torn of Horn of Africa nation also saw a 235 percent increase in battle-related fatalities over the past year to 6,199 deaths.
It comes as Somalia’s government plans to move ahead with the second phase of the offensive against militants in the central regions of Galgadud and Mudug where a military buildup has been underway over the past weeks.