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.…

Education and Political Conflict Part 2: Non-State Actor Strategies – A Focus on Boko Haram & Al Shabaab Conflict Dynamics

In February 2012, Boko Haram members burned down three schools in the town of Maiduguri in north-eastern Nigeria. The group claimed that the attack was provoked by indiscriminate student arrests in Islamic schools by state forces (IRIN, 4 October 2013).…

Continued Conflict and Violence in South Sudan

With peace talks between president Salva Kiir and SPLA/M-In Opposition leader and former vice-president Riek Machar on hiatus, conflict in South Sudan continues.  Since the ceasefire agreement between the two in May, the number of conflict events involving the government and the SPLA/M-IO has not significantly decreased. …

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.…

Tunisia’s October Elections and Collective Action

Electoral violence has long spurred debate over the catalysing effects of party rivalries, the strive for democratic institutions, and social divisions on conflict patterns. With parliamentary and presidential elections due to be held in Tunisia on 26 October and 23 November respectively, a number of key factors may be instrumental in shaping conflict in the country over the coming months.…