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…

Al Shabaab and Boko Haram: Patterns of Violence

Which group is the most violent in Africa? A recent report exploring Africa’s active militant Islamic groups aimed to tackle this question. The report, produced by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), argued that Somalia’s Al Shabaab has eclipsed Nigeria’s Boko Haram, to become “Africa’s deadliest group”. The claim was supported with data drawn…

Cameroon – October 2017 Update

Riots and protests witnessed an uptick in intensity in Cameroon in September as demonstrators voiced their opposition to perceived discrimination towards the Francophone regions of Cameroon. Relatively routinized opposition to President Paul Biya’s 35-year rule has coupled with calls for independence (VOA news, 1 October 2017) demonstrating the complex set of grievances that motivate citizens…

Central African Republic – June 2017 Update

Despite relatively low levels of reported violence in Central African Republic (CAR) between 2015/2016 (see Figure 1), there is a growing rift between the ex-Seleka Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC) and the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central Africa (FPRC), which is allied with the Patriotic Movement for CAR (MPC). Starting…

Conflict Summaries of Hotspots of Political Violence – June 2017

Chad  With 170 fatalities, June 2017 saw Chad’s highest monthly total of reported fatalities in the past decade. The fatalities occurred during a three-day battle between June 23-25 that saw the Chadian army and Boko Haram militants clash around a series of islands near the Nigerian border in the Bol area of  Lac region. This…

The Prospects of Islamic State Expansion into Africa & an Analysis of State and Non-State Actor Strategies

In November 2014, The Islamic State’s recruitment and propaganda publication ‘Dabiq’ announced a strategy to ‘remain’ and ‘expand’ (The Clarion Project, 21 November 2014) in order to consolidate its existing territorial presence whilst spreading the caliphate regionally, and eventually globally to promote disorder and disruption. To date, this stated objective has held true; the group…

Conflict Dynamics Within and Across Africa and Asia

ACLED’s release of data for Asia in addition to ACLED’s African data will allow for new comparisons to be made in regard to the conflict patterns within and across countries on both continents. While the ACLED Asia team continues to collect backdated information across South and Southeast Asian states, the newly available real-time data can…

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