The Break of Dawn? Shifting Interests and Opportunities in the Libya Dawn Bloc

Libya was the fifth most active country in the ACLED dataset in February 2015 with an average of 4 fatalities incurred for every conflict event (see Figure 1). The recent wave of attacks by Islamic State groups has prompted widespread discussion of the role of Islamist groups such as the Shura Council of Islamic Youth, Ansar al-Sharia, Islamic State of Tripoli and the Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade in the political negotiation process mediated through the UN.…

Where’s ISIS in all this crisis?

The Egyptian air force’s bombing campaign in Libya’s eastern city of Derna on the 16th February in retaliation of the killing of 21 Coptic Egyptians has sought to raise fundamental questions over the extent and reach of the Islamic State’s presence in Libya. …

Rape as a Weapon of Political Violence, Part 2: Where, When, and by Whom is This Tactic Used?

Sexual violence (e.g. rape) is a conscious strategy frequently employed by armed groups to torture and humiliate opponents, terrify individuals, destroy societies though inciting flight from a territory, and to reaffirm aggression and brutality, specifically through an expression of domination (Bastick et al.,…

Rape as a Weapon of Political Violence, Part 1: Trends Across Africa

Sexual violence as a weapon of political conflict is a serious, present-day atrocity affecting millions of people (primarily women and girls)[1] with grave health implications, both physical and psychological (Bastick, Grimm, and Kunz, 2007; UN, 2015).…

Violence against Civilians and Al Shabaab: Tactics of Internal Security and Distabilisation

Conflict event levels and reported fatalities fell slightly in Somalia in January. While violence overall has witnessed a gradual decline since a peak in July 2013, this has been punctuated by upswings in violence, and a concomitant increase in reported fatalities, suggesting an intensification of violent conflict (see Figure 1).…

Egypt: Developments in Political Violence Patterns Through a Comparative Analysis of the January 25th Protest Anniversaries

January saw heightened conflict activity in Egypt; a pattern that is evident in both 2013 and 2014. The over-whelming majority of these events can be understood as a resurgence of protests as demonstrators take to the streets during the week of the 25th January, the anniversary of the Arab Spring uprising.…

Counter-revolution, Autocracy, and Stability in Egypt in 2014

The most significant trend witnessed throughout 2014 in Egypt was the dramatic decline of riot and protest events nationwide (see Figure 1). Sweeping detentions of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, unconstitutional civilian and military trials, and the introduction of legislation that curtails representation has seen Egypt slip into a counter-revolution reminiscent of past regimes under Mubarak in the late 1980s, and Nasser’s government in the 1950’s (Origins, July 2014).…

A Review of Libya in 2014

Libya was the fourth most active and the sixth most violent country in the ACLED dataset with 2383 reported fatalities from battles and remote violence in 2014. The deterioration of security in Libya throughout 2014 has been characterized by a myriad of factional armed groups with complex competing claims and two divided governments mobilizing competing narratives in the pursuit of ‘political legitimacy’.…