Myanmar: Conflict Update

Overview Despite a ceasefire agreement in 2015[1], violence in Myanmar has increased as clashes between government and non-state groups[2] continues to grow in areas party to the ceasefire and those not (see Figures 1 and 2).…

Gender-Based Violence and Women’s Political Participation

While many studies of political gender-based violence (GBV) have focused on the practices of groups during wars, the practices of gendered repression in unstable—but not warring—developing states is under-acknowledged and ought to be scrutinized equally closely.…

Central African Republic — January 2016 Update

The Central African Republic (CAR) has faced increased insecurity and violence since Séléka rebels marched on the capital, Bangui, and ousted then-President Bozizé in 2012 (Townsend, 27 July 2013). Since the height of violence in late 2013 / early 2014, the conflict has remained persistent and widespread (see Figure 1).…

Human Rights, Rule of Law, and Political Conflict in Africa

Human rights abuses can range from physical violence to denials of peaceful assembly or freedom of expression. Amnesty International (2015) highlights shortcomings in justice and accountability, where crimes such as gender-based violence go unpunished; this impunity can have further negative ramifications within effected societies (ACLED, 18 February 2015).…

Sudan Leads in the Use of Rape as a Weapon of Violence in Africa

Sexual violence as a weapon of political conflict is a conscious strategy employed by armed groups to torture and humiliate opponents; terrify individuals and destroy societies, especially to incite flight from a territory; and to reaffirm aggression and brutality, specifically through an expression of domination (Bastick et al.,…

Counter-Insurgency and Violence Against Civilians in Eastern Congo

Since the beginning of 2015, numerous offensives have been launched by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC). These include operations against Rwandan FDLR rebels in North and South Kivu and Katanga, Ugandan ADF rebels in the areas north of the town of Beni (which has been the site of frequent attacks on civilians), the FNL around the Uvira plateaus, FRPI militiamen in the territory of Walendu Bindi, and the APCLS in the Lukweti area.…

Protest, Service Delivery and Xenophobic Violence in South Africa

Conflict levels fell dramatically in May 2015 after South Africa suffered a wave of xenophobic and anti-foreigner violence in April. The scale of the violence surpassed the anti-foreigner riots that hit Soweto in January 2015 after an alleged robber was shot by a Somali shopkeeper, prompting South African residents to loot foreign-owned shops.…