Mauritania: Police violence against the IRA (Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement)

Protests in Nouakchott increased last week, as they had in the past when a ‘lenient’ verdict was given for blogger Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir (accused of apostasy) and during the constitutional referendum in August 2017. The latter imposed the abolition of the senate, devolution of power to regional councils, a new flag and a new…

Regional Overview – Africa 26 February 2018

A drop in political violence and protest was recorded in the normally active countries of Africa last week, including Nigeria, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Proportionally, battles between armed groups increased compared to the week beginning 11 February. Violence against civilians experienced a modest decrease. Ethiopia maintained a steady rate of protests and…

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…

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:…

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…