The Global Terrorism Index 2023 report indicates that terrorist attacks became more deadly last year, killing on average 1.7 people per attack in the same year compared to 1.3 deaths per attack in 2021.
The Sahel region in sub-Saharan Africa is now the epicenter of terrorism, with the region accounting for more terrorism deaths in 2022 than both South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa combined.
The increase in the region has increased by over 2,000% in the last 15 years.
And as the world marks the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism under the theme: "Legacy: Finding Hope and Building a Peaceful Future," some terror survivors who lived to tell the story still live in fear.
Lilian Munyiva is a Kenyan who survived the 1998 Nairobi bomb blast that targeted the United States embassy.
"On that day," she said, " I was at the building working with the teacher’s service commission, and I was expecting. My baby was born three weeks after the bomb blast.
"We went to the office normally, we didn’t think that anything bad would happen. We were busy with our normal routine and that’s when the first blast happened. Funny enough, I never heard the second blast, because I think I was just dead."
Munyiva says most survivors are still traumatized, and some mothers gave birth to children with lifetime health conditions. She tells her story to fellow terror survivors for closure.
"We have never healed at all," she said. "In my community we normally bury people two weeks after death, and it occurred to me that this could be my burial, and that really heat me so hard.
"People are still hurting; the wounds are very fresh. I thought I was healed until I realized I don’t want to go to city center. After some years I resigned from my office. I prefer places with not many people. I hate any voices that are loud."
In the past few months, Kenya has experienced a surge in terror attacks that have left at least 30 security personnel dead in the coastal and northeastern parts of the country, due to the al-Shabaab ambushes.
Kithure Kindiki, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for the interior and administration of the national government, told the parliamentary Committee on National Security, Defense and Foreign Relations that the government will enhance patrols in regions affected by al-Shabaab and other groups.
"The attackers were many and heavily armed," he said,"and we have been able to neutralize all of them. We must continue to commend our security officers. We have lost many of them in some of these engagements."
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres says the U.N. pays tribute to the extraordinary work of the victims and survivors who have resolved to use their experiences to bring about change.
Vladimir Voronkov, the under secretary-general for the United Nations office of counter-terrorism, says the agency is today launching a legacy project that will feature victims and survivors of terror across the globe to tell their stories.
"The United Nations office of counter-terrorism is launching the Legacy Project and a documentary gallery through social media to showcase how victims and survivors are creating a positive legacy in the aftermath of terrorism," he said. I encourage you all to visit the project gallery and help amplify the legacy of victims and survivors of terrorism."
According to the Global Terrorism Index 2023 report, the deadliest terrorist groups in the world in 2022 were the Islamic State and its affiliates, followed by al-Shabaab, Balochistan Liberation Army and Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin.