Regional Overview – Middle East 26 March 2018

Trends in political violence and demonstrations stayed largely static this week, outside of some interesting activity in Bahrain, Iraq, and Turkey. Syria and Yemen also saw continuations of existing trends, with Syria in particular seeing ongoing offensives by government and Turkish forces respectively coming close to completion.…

Protests in Guinea

Guinean protests became more violent as demonstrators took to the street again last week to protest against the local election results and the month-long teachers’ strike (Afrique La Tribune, 14/03/2018). Since the election, on 4 February 2018, Guinea has seen consistent waves of protest and violent demonstrations, as can be observed in the spike in riots and protests in Figure 1.…

Protests in Morocco

Jerada, the remote Moroccan mining city, remains the only active hotspot of protests in Morocco and is currently witnessing a period of high intensity. From the map (Figure 1) showing riots and protests in Morocco in 2017 and 2018, it can be seen that there is significantly more activity in Jerada than any other city in Morocco this year.…

Pro-Government Militia Autonomy on the Battlefield in Syria

The presence of pro-government militias during civil wars has been a prominent feature in armed conflicts across the globe, and Syria is no exception (Kishi and Raleigh, 2018). The Syrian government first mobilised loyalist gangs, known as “Shabiha,” to act against civilian opposition when peaceful demonstrations began in Syria in 2011 (Marsh and Siddique, 2011).…

Targeting of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS)

French forces of ‘Operation Barkhane’ aided by local militias step up operations against ‘Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.’ Since early February 2018, French forces of Operation Barkhane, aided by a coalition of local militias including the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA) and the Tuareg Imghad and Allies Self-defence Group (GATIA), have intensified operations targeting Islamist militants in the Gao and Menaka regions of north-eastern Mali (see Figure 1).…

Regional Overview – Asia 19 March 2018

There was not a significant change in the levels of political violence and protests in South and Southeast Asia during the week of March 11, with the exception of Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, the number of military operations against the Islamic State, as well as the number of reported fatalities stemming from these operations, increased last week compared to the week prior.…