Alleged Chemical Incidents in Syria

Chemical incidents have perhaps been the only consistent factor shaping the United States’ position on the civil war in Syria before and after Trump’s election. A chemical attack on Eastern Ghouta in August 2013 prompted an imminent attack, led by the Obama administration.…

Elections and Sectarianism in Iraq and Lebanon

Since the beginning of May 2018, voters in both Lebanon and Iraq have gone to the polls in historic elections. There have been concerns that these elections could spark violence amongst the participating actors due to sectarian tensions and the divisive political landscapes in these countries — as well as pressures from the Syrian Civil War and conflict with the Islamic State (IS).…

The Many Sides of International Peacekeeping in Africa

Of the fourteen United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions currently active around the world, half are based on the African continent. Of these, five—those in Somalia[1], Mali, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo– have ongoing or recently renewed mandates, and a force of over 10,000 personnel, including soldiers and police.…

Violence in Bangui, Central African Republic

Since the beginning of April there has been a dramatic escalation of violence in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic[1]. Most of this activity has been focused in the PK5 or KM5 neighbourhood – a Muslim area that is considered the economic heart of the city.…

Conflict Activity in South Sudan

Following the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement on 21 December 2017, conflict activity in South Sudan has reduced. This period in South Sudan corresponds the dry season, when the conflict is usually expected to resume (ACLED, November 2017), however, the totals of monthly fatalities since the agreement have remained significantly lower than in the same period last year (see Figure 1).…

Violence Against Civilians in Afghanistan: The Taliban and the Islamic State

Late last month in Kabul, an Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber detonated himself outside of a voter registration centre in the predominantly Shiite neighbourhood of Dasht-e-Barchi. At least 69 civilians were reportedly killed and another 120 were reportedly injured in the blast (Pajhwok, 23 April 2018).…