DR-Congo — March 2016 Update

In the first quarter of 2016, many of the trends that marked the previous year continue to play out in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR-Congo). The past year has witnessed volatility with respect to the number of riots, protests and politically violent events. This includes notable peaks in riots and protests in May and…

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:…

The Conflict Patterns and Role of Pro-Government Militias

Pro-government militias (hereafter PGMs) are a growing risk to the safety of civilians and stability of developing states. Of all active militias operating on behalf of political elites (e.g. rebel leaders, politicians, political parties, warlords, military, government officials, etc.), those associated with the state have the most pervasive and negative impact on civilians. Why do…

DR-Congo — October 2015 Update

ACLED tracks a wide variety of non-governmental conflict actors in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over the past year, the most dynamic among these conflict actors have seen significant fluctuations in their respective levels of activity. These include the APCLS, ADF-NALU, FDLR, various FRPI factions, the LRA, various Mayi Mayi militia factions, and various NDC…

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…

Violence in Zimbabwe

  Zimbabwe’s political violence is characterized by several distinct features. An extremely high proportion of all conflict is directed against civilians: while across Africa, violence against civilians’ averages at 30% of total political violence, in Zimbabwe, it accounts for 75% as an average from 1997-2015.Most violent acts are perpetrated by political militias   associated with the…

Changing Patterns of Violence in Burundi’s Political Crisis: A comparison to Burkina Faso and Democratic Republic of Congo

The decision by Burundian president Pierre Nkurunziza to push for a third term in government has pulled the country into its most intractable political crisis since the end of the 2005 civil war. Protests started in late April and quickly escalated to include riots, grenade attacks and the targeted lynching of those suspected of being…

The Exportation of Ugandan Rebel Violence: A Comparison of the Allied Democratic Forces and Lord’s Resistance Army

In the past few weeks, the Alliance of Democratic Forces (ADF, formerly the Alliance of Democratic Forces – National Army for the Liberation of Uganda, ADF-NALU) has experienced several setbacks. Dozens of its soldiers have been killed or captured, including senior personnel, while its leader, Jamil Mukulu, was arrested in Tanzania at the end of…

Counter-Insurgency and Violence Against Civilians in Eastern Congo

Since the beginning of 2015, numerous offensives have been launched by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC). These include operations against Rwandan FDLR rebels in North and South Kivu and Katanga, Ugandan ADF rebels in the areas north of the town of Beni (which has been the site of frequent attacks…