Egypt/Sinai/Da’esh – ISIS claimed responsibility on the 25 Nov 16 for an attack on an Egyptian military checkpoint in northern Sinai Peninsula that killed at least 12 soldiers. An armed group of terrorist elements attacked a checkpoint in North Sinai on the night of the 24 Nov 16 using four-wheel-drives rigged with explosives, the military said in a statement that put the death toll at eight soldiers and three attackers. Medical sources said four more bodies were found bringing the toll to 12 out of the checkpoint’s 31 soldiers. Twelve soldiers were injured and one was missing. ISIS said it had killed 15 soldiers, destroyed two armoured vehicles and taken weapons from the checkpoint before blowing it up. Witnesses said security forces set up extra mobile and static checkpoints in and around Arish city, the capital of North Sinai province, and were searching for the attackers.
Libya – A Libyan medical official says that a car bombing in the heart of the eastern city of Benghazi has killed two people and injured 17 on the 21 Nov 16. Mohammed Zwai, the head of the first aid unit in Jalaa Hospital, said a car laden with explosives detonated in the hospital’s parking lot. It’s the third attack targeting the hospital this year. Zwai says the death toll is expected to rise as several of the injured are in critical condition. Last week, Hifter’s forces expelled Islamic militants from their key stronghold in the city but fighting continues in other areas.
Nigeria/Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) – A militant group in Nigeria says it has bombed three pipelines in the south of the country in the latest attack on the country's crucial oil industry. The claim by the Niger Delta Avengers has not been independently confirmed. The NDA, the latest militant group to emerge in Nigeria, is demanding that a greater share of oil wealth be spent on ending poverty in local communities. Attacks resumed earlier this year after funding for former militants was slashed. Nigeria is one of Africa's biggest oil exporters and it is the country's main export earner. Nigeria's government and the Dutch-British oil company Shell, which operates the pipelines, have not yet commented on the alleged attack. The NDA said it had blown up three trunk lines carrying 300,000 barrels of oil a day to Shell's Bonny export terminal in southern Bayelsa state. Destruction of oil installations by successive militant organisations have severely disrupted crude production. But an amnesty programme for former militants led to a period of relative peace until earlier this year. Talks to resolve the conflict have been taking place in recent months, resulting in a delicate ceasefire, but those talks stalled at the beginning of November. Since then there has been a sharp increase in attacks.
Niger Delta Avengers (NDA)
The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) is a militant group in Nigeria's Niger Delta. The group publicly announced their existence in March 2016. The NDA have attacked oil producing facilities in the delta, causing the shutdown of oil terminals and a fall in Nigeria's oil production to its lowest level in twenty years. The attacks caused Nigeria to fall behind Angola as Africa's largest oil producer. The reduced oil output has hampered the Nigerian economy and destroyed its budget, since Nigeria depends on the oil industry for nearly all its government revenues. The NDA's declared aims are to create a sovereign state in the Niger Delta and have threatened to disrupt Nigeria's economy if their aims are not met. The NDA claims its members are "young, educated, well travelled...and educated in east Europe". The group have criticised the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, for having never visited the delta and his detention of the Biafran independence activist Nnamdi Kanu.
Somalia/al-Shabaab – A suspected car bomb has killed at least 11 people and injured another 16 when it exploded at a police checkpoint next to a busy market in the Somali capital, police and witnesses said. Witnesses saw several bodies at the scene of the blast near the vegetable market in Mogadishu's Waberi district on the 26 Nov 16 where shops and stalls were wrecked and ambulances raced away with casualties. Medical sources said the death toll could be as high as 30. No group has yet claimed responsibility at the time for the attack, but immediate suspicion fell on the Al-Qaeda linked group al-Shabaab. Its most deadly recent attack was in Aug 16 when a car bomb outside a popular hotel close to the presidential palace left 15 dead.
South Sudan – The US has circulated to the UN Security Council a draft resolution to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan and further targeted sanctions amid warnings by a senior UN official of possible genocide it was reported on the 18 Nov 16. Political rivalry between South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and his former deputy Riek Machar, a Nuer, led to civil war in 2013 that has often followed ethnic lines. The pair signed a peace deal last year, but fighting has continued and Machar fled the country in Jul 16. Adama Dieng, UN special adviser on the prevention of genocide, last week visited South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011. "I saw all the signs that ethnic hatred and targeting of civilians could evolve into genocide if something is not done now to stop it. I urge the Security Council and member states of the region to be united and to take action," Dieng told the council. "There is a strong risk of violence escalating along ethnic lines with a potential for genocide. I do not say that lightly," he said, urging the council to impose an arms embargo. Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council that Dieng's warning should serve as a wake-up call. "None of us can say we did not see it coming," she said. The Security Council has long threatened to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan, but Russia and China, which have veto powers, are sceptical whether such a move would make a difference as the country is already awash with weapons. "We think that implementing such a recommendation would hardly be helpful in settling the conflict," Petr Iliichev, Russian deputy ambassador to the UN, said. "Introducing targeted sanctions against South Sudanese leaders would be the height of irresponsibility now." The Security Council set up a targeted sanctions regime for South Sudan in March 2015 and has blacklisted six generals - three from each side of the conflict - by subjecting them to an asset freeze and travel ban. Violence is spreading in South Sudan, hate speech is on the rise, and the humanitarian situation is going from bad to worse. Against this backdrop, the Security Council is starting to discuss this latest proposal for sanctions on South Sudan. The people of South Sudan are looking for some signs of hope from the international community.
Uganda – The death toll from a weekend of fighting in western Uganda has risen to 62 after clashes between police and a militia loyal to a tribal king, according to regional police. An initial 55 deaths had been reported on the 27 Nov 16. "So far we managed to kill 46 of the royal guards and we also arrested 139 (guards)," regional police spokesman Mansur Suwed said. He said the number of police killed had risen to 16 from 14 after two officers died from their wounds. Police detained King Charles Wesley Mumbere and accused his supporters of trying to create a new state in the area near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo. Mumbere has distanced himself from the cause. However, the authorities accuse his royal guards of training in the mountains alongside separatist militia forces to attack government installations. The king spoke to the president [Yoweri Museveni] and he gave him two hours to disband the royal guards, which is impossible. Now the army and police have raided the palace and attacked the royal guards. Earlier this year President Museveni ruled out any form of secession in the Rwenzori region. He told the Daily Monitor newspaper: "I want to state categorically that Uganda will not lose even a piece of her land to the creation of the so-called Yiira republic." The Rwenzururu kingdom is a traditional monarchy based near the Rwenzori mountains which straddle Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and its members are mainly the Bakonzo people - also found in both countries. The monarchy started out as a separatist movement of the same name when the Bakonzo declared their own kingdom in 1962. The move led to years of bloodshed until a settlement was reached in 1982 in which the movement laid down arms in return for a degree of local autonomy. Museveni officially recognised the kingdom in 2009. However, unrest has continued to simmer in the complex ethnic and political conflict, as many in the region still feel marginalised by authorities in distant Kampala. Some in Uganda, with the support of their fellow Bakonzo in the DRC, have taken up arms and are agitating for the creation of the Yiira Republic which would cover territory in Uganda and part of North Kivu in the DRC.