The Effect of Inequality on Conflict in Africa

Many have noted inequality as fuel for conflict (see review in Lichbach, 1989). It can serve to exacerbate grievances amongst those who have less-than within unequal contexts, which can in turn serve as a mobilizing factor in fueling violence (Stewart, 2008). Alternatively, it can make the ‘prize’ of conflict larger – within the most unequal…

Zimbabwe — September 2015 Update

In August, conflict activity in Zimbabwe reached the lowest levels since December 2014, with 12 recorded conflict events and no reported fatalities. Conflict levels have been decreasing since April, when competition for the June by-elections contributed to escalating violence (ACLED Trends Report, June 2015). As the different factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)…

Tunisia — September 2015 Update

For the second consecutive month, the number of conflict events in Tunisia continued to decrease and overall conflict remained below average levels. In August, ACLED recorded 18 discrete conflict events, the lowest level since November 2014 when, however, the number of fatalities was higher (11, against the 6 recorded in the past month). This decline…

Sudan — September 2015 Update

August witnessed the lowest levels of political violence in Sudan, both in terms of activity and reported fatalities since the start of 2015. This decrease in violence has been driven by a reduction in violence against civilians, especially by political militias as incidences of civilian targeting by political militias decreased from 41 in July to…

South Sudan — September 2015 Update

Levels of political violence in South Sudan decreased in August with reported fatalities falling by over 60% (see Figure 1). This relative lull in violence follows a particularly unstable July in which government forces —supported by Bul Nuer and Warrap Dinka fighters — killed 200 civilians in Mayendit and Leer (Sudan Tribune, 12 August 2015).…

The Geographic Profile of Violence against Civilians during Peacekeeping Deployment — Containment and Diffusion

Investigating the ability of peacekeeping (PK) missions to reduce levels of violence against civilians (VAC) requires an assessment of whether these deployments control the spread of anti-civilian actions. Previous studies contend that PK operations prevent contagion and reduce the scope of rebel violence by reducing their external shelters and restricting their ability to move (Beardsley,…

The Prospects of Islamic State Expansion into Africa & an Analysis of State and Non-State Actor Strategies

In November 2014, The Islamic State’s recruitment and propaganda publication ‘Dabiq’ announced a strategy to ‘remain’ and ‘expand’ (The Clarion Project, 21 November 2014) in order to consolidate its existing territorial presence whilst spreading the caliphate regionally, and eventually globally to promote disorder and disruption. To date, this stated objective has held true; the group…

Central African Republic & Allegations of Abuse against Peacekeepers

In April, allegations of child sexual abuse by French soldiers and other nationalities deployed as part of international peacekeeping efforts in Central African Republic surfaced. Since then, troubles have continued to mount for these forces. Despite the largely successful draw-down in violence across much of the country, claims of abuses by peacekeepers, now primarily regarding…