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1,800 terrorist attacks, 4,600 deaths recorded in West Africa in six months: ECOWAS

According to Mr Touray, about 6.2 million people in West Africa are internally displaced.

• July 27, 2023
Displaced persons
Displaced persons [photo credit: IDMC]

More than 1,800 terrorist attacks resulting in over 4,600 deaths were recorded in the West African region for the first half of 2023, according to a report released to the United Nations (UN).

“The reversal of democratic gains runs parallel to insecurity that West Africa and the Sahel have been facing for some time now,” Omar Touray, president ECOWAS, a 15-nation regional economic bloc, told the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

According to Mr Touray, about 6.2 million people in West Africa are internally displaced. The region has suffered from increasingly falling democracy in recent years, with multiple democratically elected governments being toppled in some countries.

The most recent coup occurred in Niger on Wednesday after Nigerien soldiers detained Niger President Mohamed Bazoum for many hours before the military leaders in the country announced on national television that they had seized control of power.

Mr Touray emphasised that approximately 30 million people in the region currently need international assistance to quench the serious food crisis in the ECOWAS region – but could increase to 42 million by the end of August.

Of the 4,593 deaths from terrorist attacks between January and June 30, most deaths were recorded in Burkina Faso, where the death rate stood at 2,725, followed by 844 in Mali, 77 in Niger and 70 in Nigeria. Terrorist attacks were also recorded in Benin and Togo.

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