State Policy, Political Opportunity and Phases of Contentious Political Activity in Egypt

A cursory glance at Egypt’s conflict landscape from the beginning of the revolutionary uprising would infer that overall, riots and protests have followed an upward trajectory with increased participation, mobilisation and dissent against the regime (see Figure 1).…

Tensions among soldiers in Ivory Coast

Contrary to the recent tensions in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast has experienced a period of relative stability in 2014. With the exception of an outbreak of violence in May 2014, when pro-Gbagbo militia fighters stormed the South-western village of Fetai killing three soldiers and ten civilians (Aboa, 2014), overall conflict levels and intensity have remained relatively low throughout much of the year.…

Terrorism: A review of differences in definition

The existence of multiple, contrasting and even contradictory definitions and conceptualisations of terrorism in policy, legal frameworks and academic research is well-documented. The plethora of competing legal definitions has been likened to the Bermuda Triangle (Dedeoglu, 2003), and attempts to develop consensus around a single one, to ‘the quest for the Holy Grail’ (Levitt, 1986).…

Resource-Related Conflict in Africa

Natural resource extraction by mining (including oil, diamonds, copper, and cobalt) has tremendous positive economic potential for states. However, these resources can also do more harm than good if used towards ulterior motives including corruption, the unequal distribution of wealth, and to fuel violence.…

Algeria – Political Competition and Stability

The Arab Democracy Index IV, published in November 2014, documented that “there has been a positive but slow progress towards democratic change” in the region since the Arab Spring. The results identify that Algeria progressed by 105 ADI (Arab Democracy Index) points since 2011 and ranks third behind Morocco and Jordan.…

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).…

Intra-Tuareg Militant Violence and Islamist Insurgency – The Overlapping Crises of the Conflict in Mali

Following the short but deadly burst of fighting in May, Mali has generally seen a decreasing trend in overall events over the past few months (which follows a broader trend in decreasing violence since this time last year), with a spike in fatalities during July (see Figure 1).…

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.…