Dynamic Conflicts and Static Promises: Shifting Advantage, the Political Marketplace and Broken Ceasefires

In the past half-decade, multiple peace agreements and ceasefires have been implemented in various African countries to solve ongoing political conflicts on the continent. The most notable examples during this period are Mali, Central African Republic and South Sudan.…

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).…

Tensions among soldiers in Ivory Coast

Contrary to the recent tensions in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast has experienced a period of relative stability in 2014. With the exception of an outbreak of violence in May 2014, when pro-Gbagbo militia fighters stormed the South-western village of Fetai killing three soldiers and ten civilians (Aboa, 2014), overall conflict levels and intensity have remained relatively low throughout much of the year.…

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.…

Intra-Tuareg Militant Violence and Islamist Insurgency – The Overlapping Crises of the Conflict in Mali

Following the short but deadly burst of fighting in May, Mali has generally seen a decreasing trend in overall events over the past few months (which follows a broader trend in decreasing violence since this time last year), with a spike in fatalities during July (see Figure 1).…

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.…