‘Good Governance’ and Conflict in Africa

The World Governance Indicators (WGI), produced by Kaufmann, Kraay, and Mastruzzi (2014), measure governance defined as “the set of traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised; this includes (1) the process by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced, (2) the capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound…

Tunisia — August 2015 Update

In the immediate aftermath of the Islamist attack on Marhaba hotel in Sousse, Tunisia’s government adopted urgency measures aimed at safeguarding tourist sites and preventing other attacks on Tunisian soil. Under the state of emergency declared by President Essebsi on July 4, thousands of army troops have been deployed nationwide for reasons of internal security,…

South Africa — August 2015 Update

Riots and protests increased this month in South Africa with Gauteng, Western Cape and Eastern Cape having the highest incidence of demonstrations (see Figure 1). In spite of this general increase, service delivery protests remained low and accounted for only 10% of all demonstrations. This represents a decrease from June (15.6%) and May (15%). Instead…

Peacekeeping and Violence Against Civilians

Up until the end of the 1990’s, United Nations (UN) peacekeeping (PK) missions did not necessarily specify the protection of civilians (PoC) in their mandate under ‘immediate threats of physical violence’ (Holt et al., 2009). Nor did their mandates clearly permit the “use of force” to fulfil their mission. However, failures of peacekeeping in the…

Boko Haram in Nigeria — August 2015 Update

Political violence in Nigeria resulted in 980 reported fatalities in July, the highest count since March 2015. This increase in fatalities is largely due to the actions of Boko Haram, which has increased its campaign of violence against civilians. In July, Boko Haram was responsible for 67.3% of all civilian fatalities, the highest proportion since…

Libya — August 2015 Update

Conflict events in Libya were subject to a slight rise in July, although they steadily fell in the previous two months. Reported fatalities remained relatively constant with just over 250 deaths reported since May 2015. With overlapping conflicts occurring in distinct areas across Libya, this trend reflects stalemates on several battlefronts, including fighting in Benghazi…

Al Shabaab in Kenya: Emerging Dynamics and Shifts

In July, US President Barack Obama completed his first official visit to Kenya, which he described as a country ‘at a crossroads – a moment filled with peril, but also enormous pride’ (Obama, 2015). Security was high on the agenda for discussions, as Obama outlined ‘similar threats of terrorism’ faced by the US. Obama’s visit…

Algeria — August 2015 Update

Despite its relative stability in a precarious regional context, a recurrence of violence in July has raised concerns over Algeria’s unresolved problems. A critical socio-economic situation is putting Algeria’s peripheral regions – where conflict activity has remained high since the beginning of 2015 (see Figure 1) – under constant pressure, exacerbating popular grievances and igniting…