Special Report: Gender, Inclusion and Conflict

A number of recent studies explore the relationship between gender inequality and conflict and generally find that higher gender inequality, or lower rates of inclusion, is associated with higher rates of conflict and violence. However, efforts to increase inclusion ought to be accompanied by institutional and normative changes too if negative violent consequences are to…

Al Shabaab and Boko Haram: Patterns of Violence

Which group is the most violent in Africa? A recent report exploring Africa’s active militant Islamic groups aimed to tackle this question. The report, produced by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), argued that Somalia’s Al Shabaab has eclipsed Nigeria’s Boko Haram, to become “Africa’s deadliest group”. The claim was supported with data drawn…

Zambia – October 2017 Update

In the period between President Sata’s death in October 2014 and Lungu’s election in August 2016, Zambia saw an increase in political activity. Protest levels rose, as the declining copper prices and stalling economy affected workers across the country, and then became increasingly violent as the election approached (ACLED Trends Report, September 2016). A month…

Burkina Faso – October 2017 Update

January 2016 began a string of violence by militant Islamist groups in West Africa that moved beyond the “arc of insecurity” reaching from Mali in the north to the Lake Chad basin in the east. This first attack was carried out by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Mourabitoun group on a hotel and restaurant frequented by foreigners in…

Cameroon – October 2017 Update

Riots and protests witnessed an uptick in intensity in Cameroon in September as demonstrators voiced their opposition to perceived discrimination towards the Francophone regions of Cameroon. Relatively routinized opposition to President Paul Biya’s 35-year rule has coupled with calls for independence (VOA news, 1 October 2017) demonstrating the complex set of grievances that motivate citizens…

Nigeria – September 2017 Update

Boko Haram violence in Nigeria has decreased overall since the beginning of 2017 (see Figure 1). This may be attributed to the group’s 2016 organizational collapse in much of the country’s North-East; as a result, recent offensives have been limited guerrilla-style attacks against civilian and military targets. Following the effective defeat of Boko Haram from…