Boko Haram Activity Since the Nigerian Government’s Announcement of the Ceasefire

On the 17th of October, Hassan Tukur, a senior aide to President Goodluck Jonathan, announced that the Nigerian government had agreed a ceasefire with Boko Haram and secured the release of the 219 girls kidnapped from Chibok earlier this year (Al Jazeera, 18 October).…

Anti-Government Protests and Regime Breakdown: Conflict Dynamics in Transitional States

“Authoritarian regimes…breakdown in systematically different ways, and they also affect post-transition outcomes” Geddes (1999: 6) The recent civil disobedience activity in Burkina Faso to oust President Blaise Compaore, following an attempt to extend his 27-year long term (BBC, 30 October 2014) highlights the success of civil society movements in mobilising for regime change.…

The Escalation of Political Violence in Libya

Since June 2014, Libya has been the fourth most volatile country in the ACLED African dataset with 534 reported conflict events. Political violence continued to escalate throughout the month of October (see Figure 1)with September recording the highest fatalities – and over double those reported since the beginning of the renewed post-civil war violence.…

Rebel Groups of the DRC and Attacks on Civilians

When looking at violence against civilians in DR-Congo from 2009-2014, rebel groups have been responsible for the majority of fatalities in these violent events (Figure 1). ACLED regards ‘rebels’ as armed agents in opposition to the established government with aims to overthrow the regime, or establish a separate state; in short, these groups have national political aims.…

Bombings, Explosives and Conflict Part 2: Weapons of the Weak? Remote Violence and the Relative Strength of Non-State Actors

Does the use of remote violence indicate weakness in a non-state conflict actor? Forms of ‘remote violence’, such as roadside bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), enable armed groups to attack targets that they do not have the capacity to face directly.…

Remote-Violence, Bombings and Conflict Part 1: The patterns of bombings in post-Arab Spring North Africa

While the Arab Spring was lauded as a triumph of democracy by various Western politicians, the response from security analysts have been more ambiguous (CNN, 28 May 2011). There have been concerns that the dramatic shifts, or outright disintegration, of existing power structures could aid international and domestic conflict, particularly within the region (BBC News, 22 June 2011).…

Education and Political Conflict Part 1

Following the announcement on the 16th October that the Nigerian government had negotiated the release of over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok in Nigeria, the global trend of deliberate and recurrent attacks against schools and education in conflict-affect areas has received renewed attention.…

Freedom of expression in Libya undermined by targeted civilian killings

Since elections on June 25th, Libya’s volatile political landscape has, to a great extent, been characterised by warring political and ethnic militias vying for power and control. A joint report by UNSMIL and the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR, 4 September 2014) documents how the ongoing fighting has impacted ordinary civilian life: multiple armed militias have shown little regard for the safety of non-combatants, with residential areas being subject to indiscriminate shelling.…