Libya — August 2015 Update

Conflict events in Libya were subject to a slight rise in July, although they steadily fell in the previous two months. Reported fatalities remained relatively constant with just over 250 deaths reported since May 2015. With overlapping conflicts occurring in distinct areas across Libya, this trend reflects stalemates on several battlefronts, including fighting in Benghazi…

Reporting Lags and the Timeliness of Realtime Data

ACLED collects disaggregated data of every event of political violence in Africa, henceforth expanding to Asia (Raleigh et al., 2010). A particularity of ACLED’s work is the publication of data on a real-time, weekly basis. One issue experienced in the collection of real-time data is that of reporting lags, by which information about a particular…

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…

Spoilers and Game-Changers in Libya’s Civil Conflict

From December 2014 to February 2015, there was a significant lull in violence on all fronts in Libya. This is concurrent with a dramatic decrease in Libya Dawn (Fajr Libya) activity, especially from the Misratan battalions (see Figure 1). Whilst tensions were stoked at the beginning of May between Libya Dawn forces and Operation Dignity…

A New Working Paper on Collective Action in North Africa

Sustained collective action in the lead up to, over the course of, and in the fallout from, the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 has resulted in a rising trend of riots and protests, and an intensification in the violence witnessed across these events. The multiple social movements that emerged in the wake of 2011 have…

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…

The Risk of Conflict-Related Mortality: How to Calculate Risk and Understanding Relative Risk Across Countries  

A unit of relative risk is necessary in order to be able to draw comparisons on the risk of violence or death against civilians from political conflict. A micromort is such a measure, and is often used to determine the ‘riskiness’ of various activities within decision analysis (Howard, 1980). A micromort is the microprobability of…

The Strategic Use of Unidentified Armed Groups In Conflict Zones

Unidentified armed groups (UAGs) constitute a large share of violent actors in the ACLED dataset; approximately 15% of organized, armed conflict carried out by violent actors (e.g., government forces, rebels, political militias, communal militias, external forces) are at the hands of UAGs.  There are many reasons why a group may be ‘unidentified’: the first is…

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…

The Break of Dawn? Shifting Interests and Opportunities in the Libya Dawn Bloc

Libya was the fifth most active country in the ACLED dataset in February 2015 with an average of 4 fatalities incurred for every conflict event (see Figure 1). The recent wave of attacks by Islamic State groups has prompted widespread discussion of the role of Islamist groups such as the Shura Council of Islamic Youth,…