Picking a Fight: The Rise of Armed Separatists in Cameroon

With elections looming in October, we consider the trajectory of the current conflict in Anglophone Cameroon and demonstrate how the government’s heavy-handed response to protesters facilitated the rise of armed secessionist movements against the Cameroonian government. What began as a peaceful protest by English-speaking lawyers and teachers in Cameroon in 2016 has escalated into a…

The Fledgling Insurgency in Burkina’s East

Since February this year, a new battlefront has emerged in eastern Burkina Faso (ACLED, 2018), in the  Est Region situated along the borders with Niger, Benin, and Togo is regarded as a bastion of banditry. However, militancy is a new phenomenon in this part of the country, except the reported failed attempt by Al-Mourabitoun to…

Homemade Resistance: The Popular Response to the Difficulties of Life in Gaza

The recent conflict activity on the Gaza border can be characterized by its lack of affiliation to armed groups in Gaza and by the use of homemade and/or found weapons (i.e stones and Molotov cocktails, either thrown or attached to balloons or kites). These unaffiliated actors are responding to their daily conditions, which are punctuated…

Nothing Quiet on the Western Front: A New Battle Starts in Hodeidah as Peace Talks Fail

On September 7, coalition-backed anti-Houthi forces resumed military operations outside Hodeidah, in the latest attempt to retake the western port city that the Houthis have been controlling since October 2014. The offensive is reported to have already caused tens of casualties during the weekend, mainly a result of intense air and artillery strikes on Houthi…

Targeting Tripoli: Newly Active Militias Targeting Capital in 2018

In the final days of August in Libya, fierce fighting erupted in Tripoli between the partnering 7th Brigade and a coalition of militias comprised of the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade, Bab Tajoura Brigade, Ghanewa Brigade, Nawasi Brigade and Misrata’s 301 brigade (Libya Observer, 31 August 2018). The invasion by the 7th Brigade took the Tripoli-based militias…

August 2018 Syria Conflict Update: QSD Progress, Shifting Regime Fronts, and the Final Rebel Enclave

During August 2018 (see map below), Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD) and the Global Coalition Against Daesh continued to battle Islamic State (IS) fighters in the northeast, gaining control over the Iraqi border area and surrounding IS in its remaining territory in Deir-ez-Zor. QSD representatives also attempted to kick-start negotiations with the regime over Kurdish autonomy…

The Complexity of Disorder in India

As India celebrated its 72nd Independence Day on 15 August 2018, the country continues to face multiple and complex challenges. Disorder—including political violence and protests—is increasingly multidimensional, complex, and evolving (OECD, 2016; United Nations & World Bank, 2018). Multiple types of disorder can co-occur across states, can interact, and may involve different agents as well…

Political Peril in Pakistan: Comparing Levels of Violence in the 2013 and 2018 General Elections

On July 25, 2018, Pakistan held its first general election in five years. With the 2013 election described as one of the “bloodiest” in Pakistan’s history (BBC News, May 2, 2013), the 2018 election seems to have followed the trend following high-casualty attacks carried out by the Islamic State and a number of reports of…

Regional Overview – Middle East 30 June 2018

Last week, violence continued in Gaza and the West Bank, but also in the area surrounding the Sea of Galilee as Israeli forces sparred with Syrian armed groups from across the border. Within Syria itself, Islamic State (IS) militants launched several attacks in As-Sweida governorate, which were in turn met with a regime counteroffensive. This…

Regional Overview – Africa 30 June 2018

The most notable trend in Africa on the week of July 22nd was the rise in violence involving Islamist militants across a number of countries. In Somalia, Al Shabaab carried out multiple operations across southern regions. The group claimed responsibility for several IED and grenade explosions targeting government officials and troops in Mogadishu, Baidoa, Belet…