Nigeria has moved to 8th position in the Global Terrorism Index, GTI’s report, two steps from its place in 2022, an indication that the nation’s ranking has improved.
Gatekeepers News reports that the GTI report which is published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), provides a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism since 2000 and attempts to systematically rank countries according to terrorist activities.
The index for 2023 showed a continuous decline in the number of deaths from terrorism in Nigeria, moving down the country ladder of nations of most impacted by terrorists.
In 2022, Ethiopia was the most improved country in the Sub-Saharan region, with the country continuing to record zero terrorism-related deaths for the sixth consecutive year. Although Al-Shabaab were responsible for two attacks in Ethiopia in 2022, no deaths were recorded.
Meanwhile Nigeria recorded the largest decrease in the number deaths from terrorism in the region in 2022 as deaths fell by almost a quarter, from 497 in 2021 to 385 in 2022, and are now at their lowest level in Nigeria since 2011.
This fall in deaths was driven by a marked decrease in deaths attributed to ISWA,
with the group being responsible for 57 attacks in 2022, compared to 79 in 2021.
The GTI added that the spatial dynamics of terrorism have changed over the last two years in the Sahel.
The report read, “Previously, northeastern Nigeria along with Chad, Cameroon and Niger was the epicentre of terrorist activity, with ISWA and Boko Haram responsible for most of this.
“Since 2020, deaths from terrorism have declined in Nigeria’s Borno State and the neighbouring areas of Chad, Niger and Cameroon.”
However, there are indications that terrorism’s spatial dynamics in the Sahel are shifting from northeastern Nigeria to the tri-border area of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger and this marks the further trans-nationalisation of terrorism across
the Sahel, and beyond to coastal West Africa.
The report read further, “Groups like IS and JNIM are also seeking safe havens and new theatres of operations. Many of these new areas are demographically, economically and ecologically similar to regions in Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and elsewhere, from which jihadi groups initially emerged over a decade ago.
“This trend is not uniform but, as Niger and Nigeria both recorded improvements in their scores. Other Sahelian states such as Mauritania, Senegal and the Gambia continue to experience little-to-no terrorism”.