NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb. 18 – The number of people killed in terrorist attacks fell from 122 in 2020 to 100 in 2021, a report released by the Center for Human Rights and Policy Studies (CHRIPS) reveals.
The index reduced to almost double digits, marking a transition from triple digit death counts reported in previous years.
CHRIPS is a leading international African research center based in Kenya that conducts policy-relevant research on human rights, security, terrorism and counter-terrorism, violence, crime and policing.
The report, which comes a few weeks after foreign embassies warned of an imminent terrorist attack in the country, indicates that 51 terrorist attacks were reported in 2021, down 74 percent from 69 attacks recorded in 2020.
“Twenty-six (26) of the 100 reported fatalities in 2021 occurred in May, while 24 of the reported injuries occurred in June. In April there were no dead or injured. No injuries were recorded in February, March, August and September either,” the report said.
The highest number of recorded fatalities were among security officers, with a total of 46 officers killed in Lamu, Mandera and Wajir counties. Within 12 months, 34 al-Shabaab fighters and 20 civilians were killed.
According to the report, attacks increased in January, decreased from February to April, and increased again in May and June. They later declined from July to November, with a slight increase in December.
January and May saw the most attacks.
“The highest death toll was recorded in May when 26 people were killed in terrorist attacks. This month, suspected al-Shabaab militants attacked security officers using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on a Kenyan National Intelligence Agency (NIS) land cruiser,” the report reads
“This attack resulted in the deaths of at least eight officers and several others were injured. The officials were on their way to the Kenya-Somalia border where construction of the wall is underway,” she added.
During the reporting period, Al Shabaab only claimed responsibility for the February 25 attack on the village of Sheikh Barrow in Mandera County, which killed a Kenyan border police force.
“No deaths were recorded in April. June recorded the highest number of injuries with 24 people injured from terrorist incidents. In an incident in June, between Olla and Sarman in Mandera County, two buses escorted by police were attacked. 11 people were injured, including two police officers and nine civilians,” the report said.
No injuries were recorded in February, March, April, August and September.
The report further revealed that most of the attacks in the north-eastern region of Kenya took place in areas close to the Kenya-Somali border.
Lamu County recorded the highest death toll at 53 attributed to 12 attacks reported during the period.
“In an attack reported in September, 15 al-Shabaab fighters burned beyond recognition after their vehicle drove over an IED device placed by another al-Shabaab group,” revealed the CHRIPS report.
As in previous years, according to CHRIPS, most of the attacks in 2021 were against security officers who were mainly in transit.
“In May, for example, six attacks targeted security officers, three of them using booby traps on streets. During the reporting period, several attacks on construction workers and security officials on the way to the Kenya-Somali border wall under construction were recorded,” the report said.
Regarding terror-related arrests, 39 people were arrested in 2021, down from 2020 and 2019, when 76 and 135 people were arrested, respectively.
“Mombasa and Mandera counties recorded the highest number of arrests during the period,” reported the CHRIPS publication.