Central African Republic (CAR) – Around 50 people have been killed in Bria, in the Central African Republic, when clashes broke out between rival armed factions despite the signing a day earlier of a truce deal, the mayor of the town has said. Bodies lay in the streets of Bria, around 580km northeast of the capital, Bangui, and dozens more people were treated for shotgun wounds after fighting erupted at dawn on the 20 Jun 17. "I can say there are around 50 dead. There are 42 bodies that were taken to the hospital. There are also bodies in the neighbourhoods that have not been picked up yet," Maurice Belikoussou, mayor of Bria, said. Witnesses said houses were looted and set on fire during the clashes. The medical charity Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials MSF, said it had already received 35 wounded by 0930 hrs local (0830 hrs GMT) at the hospital it runs in the town. Most had been shot. Tuesday's clashes broke out just a day after the CAR government and 13 of the 14 rebel groups agreed to an immediate ceasefire. The deal was brokered by the Catholic community Sant'Egidio in five days of negotiations in Italy's capital, Rome. Under the agreement, armed groups were granted political representation in exchange for an end to attacks and blockades. "We signed the agreement, but we have to defend ourselves, we can't allow an attack to happen without reacting," Djamil Babanani, spokesman for the Popular Front for the Rebirth of the Central African Republic (FPRC), an armed rebel group formerly belonging to the Muslim Seleka coalition said. The fighting erupted near a camp housing people who had been forced to flee previous bouts of violence, according to MINUSCA, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country. "We regret the presence of armed elements in IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps, which causes problems not just in Bria but also in other locations. It's a reality," said MINUSCA spokesman Vladimir Monteiro. Clashes last month in Bria, Alindao, Bangassou and Mobaye, east of the capital Bangui, resulted in a total of around 300 dead and 200 wounded, according to the UN's humanitarian coordination agency OCHA. The office of President Faustin-Archange Touadera, who was elected last year, applauded Monday's deal, calling it "an historic accord". However, other reactions in Bangui were less optimistic. "(This accord) simply follows the same scenario repeated over and over," said Joseph Bindoumi, president of the Central African League of Human Rights. "Those who signed are mocking the people." Lewis Mudge, a researcher in the Africa Division at Human Rights Watch, said the accord signed in Rome comes after several other similar initiatives over the past few recent years failed to bring about an end to the violence. "The real work begins now in getting these groups to cease attacks on civilians," he said. "The accord is signed at a time when violence is on the increase in the east of the country and the civilian population is desperate for the violence to stop."
Egypt – An Egyptian policeman was killed and four wounded by a roadside explosive near the Cairo suburb of Maadi on the 18 Jun 17 the Interior Ministry said in a statement. "At around 12:45 a.m. on June 18 as a vehicle belonging to the Central Security Forces transported a group of officers and conscripts an improvised explosive device planted on the roadside went off," the ministry said. "This led to the martyrdom of First Lieutenant Ali Abdelkhaliq and the injury of four others, an officer and three conscripts, who have been taken to hospital for treatment." A recently emerged Egyptian militant group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement published on its Telegram messaging account late on Sunday. The Hasm movement, which has claimed several attacks in Cairo in recent months, said today's attack is to "emphasize that the central security forces targeted today have received a part of the punishment for what they have committed." Hasm, the Arabic word for decisiveness, has accused security forces of killing "peaceful protesters" and "assaulting and oppressing" protesters who have demonstrated against the plan to cede two inhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, the statement added. The group said the executors of the attack have returned safely to their bases and promised to carry out more attacks in the coming days. Parliament voted on the 14 Jun 17 to back a treaty to handover the two uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanfir and Sisi is expected to ratify the decision soon. The plan triggered street protests over the past few days from a small groups of Egyptians, who say their country's sovereignty over the islands dates back to a treaty from 1906, before Saudi Arabia was founded. The bomb was detonated remotely, and an initial examination suggested it was detonated using a mobile phone SIM card, a senior Interior Ministry official told state news agency MENA. A joint task force made up of several police units is questioning tenants of flats overlooking the site of the attack to try to identify and arrest the culprits, the official said.
The Arms of Egypt Movement ( Ḥaraka Sā‘ad Maṣr), abbreviated as Hasm Movement, is an active Islamist militant group operating in Egypt. On 5 August 2016, The Hasm Movement claimed responsibility for an assassination attempt on the former Grand Mufti of Egypt Ali Gomaa. On the 29 Sep 16, The Hasm Movement attempted to kill Zakaria Abdel Aziz, a senior assistant to Egypt's top prosecutor, as he was returning home from his office in eastern Cairo. The bomb failed to kill or hurt Zakaria Abdel Aziz and his entourage, though one passerby was injured and taken to hospital. On the 4 Nov 16, The Hasm Movement claimed responsibility for an assassination attempt on local judge Ahmed Aboul Fotouh in Nasr City. Aboul Fotouh was one of three judges who sentenced former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi to twenty years in prison in 2015. The Hasm Movement claimed responsibility for an attack on a checkpoint on a main road near the Giza pyramid complex on the outskirts of Cairo, on the 9 Dec 16, which killed six police officers.
(For more information: https://jamestown.org/program/egypts-nationalist-hasm-movement-gain-greater-traction/)
Libya – East Libyan forces say they have gained control over one of two key remaining districts in Benghazi where they had faced armed resistance. The advance in the central Souq al-Hout neighbourhood on the 24 Jun 17 was the latest step in the slow progress of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar, which is aligned with the Tobruk-based House of Representatives and refuses to recognise the UN-backed government in Tripoli. In unusually heavy fighting in Benghazi over the past two days at least 13 men from the LNA were killed and 37 wounded, a medical official said. Many of those who died were killed by landmines, a military source said. Along with Sabri, Souq al-Hout was one of the final holdouts of the LNA's rivals. Since 2014, shifting alliances have been battling for power. The LNA and the eastern Libya-based government have rejected a UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) that has been in the capital, Tripoli, since last year. The 24 Jun 17 advance came after the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB), an anti-Haftar armed group that includes fighters who retreated from Benghazi and have since tried and failed to advance again towards the city, said it was prepared to disband and be integrated into national security forces. Earlier this month, the UN's Libya Sanctions Committee released a report revealing that the UAE has supplied attack helicopters and other military aircraft to Haftar's forces in violation of UN-backed international sanctions. "The United Arab Emirates have been providing both material support and direct support to LNA, which have significantly increased the air support available to LNA," said the report by a UN panel of experts. Haftar forces have taken significant ground in eastern and central Libya over the course of the past year, including military bases, cities and oil facilities. The UN's Libya Sanctions Committee report, released on the 23 Jun 17 reveals the UAE has supplied attack helicopters and other military aircraft to Haftar's forces. "The United Arab Emirates have been providing both material support and direct support to LNA, which have significantly increased the air support available to LNA," said the report by a UN panel of experts. The report provides rare insight into foreign funding of armed groups in Libya, which many say has exacerbated the conflict. It shows there has been an uptick in direct foreign support to armed groups in Libya, despite a UN embargo imposed on the country during the 2011 uprising and tightened in 2014.
Nigeria/Boko Haram – Authorities in north-eastern Nigeria have begun digging a 27km (17 mile) trench around the University of Maiduguri to prevent attacks by Boko Haram Islamist militants. On the 25 Jun 17 three suicide bombers attacked the university killing themselves and a security guard. There has been a dramatic upsurge in violence in Maiduguri in recent months. Nigerian police say that in the first attack on the 25 Jun 17 a suicide bomber blew himself up inside the grounds of Maiduguri's university, killing a female security guard. Minutes later, four female suicide bombers then attacked two villages just outside the city, killing 12 people. The trenches are designed to make it impossible for the militants to drive into the university as well as making it harder for them to access the campus on foot. Borno state governor Kashim Shettima is financing the trench and has asked the Nigerian government for money to fund a permanent barrier. Mr Shettima is also releasing money to pay allowances to guards drawn from local vigilante groups, who are working with the police to patrol the area. He said that while the university was a federal institution, it was the Borno state government's responsibility to stop the militants from achieving their aim of forcing the university's closure.
Somalia/al-Shabaab – At least 10 people were killed when Shabaab Islamists drove an explosives-laden minibus into local government offices in the Somali capital Mogadishu on the 19 Jun 17 according to the security ministry. The minibus was rammed through a security barrier outside offices in the southern district of Wadajir, injuring nine people including the district's top government official. "More than 10 people died in the blast which was carried out by the Shabaab group and nine others are wounded," said security ministry spokesman Ahmed Mohamud Mohamed. Most of the dead were civilians, he said. "Security guards tried to stop (the minibus) but it managed to get in and the vehicle blew up," a local security official called Omar Adan said. The attack was claimed by Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab militants in a statement carried by the SITE intelligence agency. On the 21 Jun 17 at least 18 people were killed when six Shabaab militants launched an assault on two neighbouring restaurants in Mogadishu.