Conflicts & War

Regime change in Afghanistan reduces global terrorism figures

London, Mar 14 (EFE).- The official number of deaths from terror related incidents across the world reduced by nine percent in 2022 after the return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan, which resulted in it being removed from the list of terrorist groups, according to the latest Global Terrorism Index (GTI) released Tuesday.

In 2022, 6,701 people died from terror attacks, 38 per cent lower than at its peak in 2015, according to a report by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP).

Moreover, 3,955 terrorist attacks were recorded across the world last year, 28 percent less than in 2021, the IEP report added.

However, the document underlined that if the figures for Afghanistan are omitted, the situation has worsened across the world, with the Sahel as the most affected region.

“If Afghanistan was removed from the index, terrorism deaths would have increased by four per cent,” said the report.

The regime change in Kabul has resulted in the GTI excluding acts committed by the Taliban from the scope of its report, given that it is now considered as a state actor.

As a result, terrorism related attacks and deaths have fallen by 75 percent and 58 percent, respectively, in the Asian country.

Nevertheless, Afghanistan remained the country most impacted by terrorism for the fourth consecutive year, with 633 deaths and 225 attacks.

Across the world, the Islamic State (IS) has been responsible for the most terror attacks (410) and deaths (1,045), followed by the jihadist militia Al-Shabaab, which operates in East Africa, that caused 784 deaths from 315 attacks.

By region, Sahel was again the hardest hit by violence, with a nine percent increase in deaths, which now account for 43 percent of the world’s victims of terrorism.

Burkina Faso and Mali account account for 73 percent of all terrorism deaths in this sub-Saharan region in Africa.

“We are seeing an interconnection between ecological degradation, difficulties in governance and political instability. All these factors coincide in countries like Burkina Faso and Mali, and create the perfect environment for terrorist organizations,” Serge Stroobants, IEP’s director for Europe and the Middle East and Africa, told EFE.

GTI stressed that the increase in terrorism in the Sahel has been dramatic, rising by over 2,000 percent in the last 15 years.

Since 2021, there have been six coup attempts in the region, of which four were successful, according to the IEP.

“The underlying drivers are complex and systemic including poor water utilization, lack of food, ethnic polarization, strong population growth, external interventions, geopolitical competition, pastoral conflict, the growth of transnational Salafi-Islam ideology and weak governments,” the report said.

In contrast, the Middle East and North Africa region recorded a 32 percent drop in terror-related deaths in 2022 to 791, the lowest number of deaths since 2013.

In the West, the number of attacks continued to decline, but recorded a higher number of deaths.

Last year there were 40 terrorist attacks, 27 percent less than in 2021, but the number of fatalities went from nine in 2021 to 19 in 2022.. EFE


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