Regional Overview – Africa 26 February 2018

A drop in political violence and protest was recorded in the normally active countries of Africa last week, including Nigeria, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Proportionally, battles between armed groups increased compared to the week beginning 11 February. Violence against civilians experienced a modest decrease. Ethiopia maintained a steady rate of protests and…

Regional Overview – Africa 5 February 2018

Across Africa in January 2018, political violence and protest levels rebounded from the lull in December 2017. This regional pattern is predominantly driven by a 38.5% increase in protest levels, where regional coordination between movements is provoking tougher government responses in anti-TPLF protests in Ethiopia, as well as in Tunisia and South Africa. Political violence-related…

Angola – September 2017 Update

On 24 August, before counting finished, it was announced that the MPLA had won the majority of the parliamentary seats in the Angolan election. The MPLA candidate, Joao Lourenco, won the presidential vote (The Guardian, 24 August 2017). There has been significant commentary that this election does not alter the politics of Angola. Jose Eduardo…

Sources of Income and Political Conflict

Strong state capacity is difficult to attain in low-income countries where the state lacks access to resources to aid in effectively implementing policies. As a result, incomes are often used as a proxy measurement to determine the strength of state capacity, and states with lower incomes experience some of the highest levels of conflict (see:…

A New Working Paper on ACLED Reporting Sources

The growth of online media and easily accessible information has enabled conflict data projects to provide a granular and detailed picture of conflict dynamics with geographically and temporally discrete events (Gleditsch et al., 2013). However, reliance on secondary sources means that datasets may be vulnerable to the biases of those sources. Previous studies on the use of media…

Rape as a Weapon of Political Violence, Part 1: Trends Across Africa

Sexual violence as a weapon of political conflict is a serious, present-day atrocity affecting millions of people (primarily women and girls)[1] with grave health implications, both physical and psychological (Bastick, Grimm, and Kunz, 2007; UN, 2015). It is frequently a conscious strategy employed by armed groups to torture and humiliate opponents; terrify individuals and destroy…

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. Valuable resources can both fuel violence through competition for territorial control,…

Remote-Violence, Bombings and Conflict Part 3: Overall Trends in the Use of Improvised Explosive Devices

The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in conflict zones across has become increasingly prevalent over the past few years (Norton-Taylor, 3 July 2014). Conflict in Africa mirrors this global trend, as the number of discrete events involving IEDs grew from 9 reports in 2005 to 468 in 2013. The number of fatalities resulting from…