Overview of Continental Trends 2016

African states experienced high rates of both political violence and protest in 2016 (see Figure 2). The aggregated totals are remarkably similar to those of 2015, which indicates three important lessons going forward: The crisis points on the continent- Libya, South Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria- continue to produce significant violence, with substantial harm to civilians…

Chad — April 2016 Update

Chad witnessed an increase in domestic protest in early 2016. This spike in political unrest represents a distinct departure in what has been a consistently low activity country from 2010 onwards (see Figure 1). A low level of political violence and unrest can be at least partially attributed to the thawing of relations between Presidents…

African Overview 2015

In 2015, ACLED recorded 14,640 conflict events on the African continent. Armed conflict decreased by 14.0% compared to the previous year, marking the first negative trend since 2009. In a number of high-activity countries, including Central African Republic, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia, conflict levels declined by more than 20% over one year.…

The Geographic Profile of Violence against Civilians during Peacekeeping Deployment — Containment and Diffusion

Investigating the ability of peacekeeping (PK) missions to reduce levels of violence against civilians (VAC) requires an assessment of whether these deployments control the spread of anti-civilian actions. Previous studies contend that PK operations prevent contagion and reduce the scope of rebel violence by reducing their external shelters and restricting their ability to move (Beardsley,…

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…

Human Rights, Rule of Law, and Political Conflict in Africa

Human rights abuses can range from physical violence to denials of peaceful assembly or freedom of expression. Amnesty International (2015) highlights shortcomings in justice and accountability, where crimes such as gender-based violence go unpunished; this impunity can have further negative ramifications within effected societies (ACLED, 18 February 2015). Irresponsible business practices associated with extractive industries…

State Fragility and Conflict in Africa

The Fragile States Index (FSI), produced by The Fund for Peace, highlights pressures faced by states, identifying “when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure”, with the intent of shaping assessments of political risk by researchers and policymakers (Messner et al., 2015). The FSI is calculated for countries worldwide using an…

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,…

The Rainy Season and Conflict in South Sudan

The climate did its part to worsen the crisis in South Sudan during the rainy season, which began around May and is only just now letting up (Sudan Tribune, November 10, 2014).  The rain’s effects on food insecurity and malnourishment (BBC, September 9, 2014), health issues (The Guardian, July 1, 2014), and increased displacement (Al…