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.…

Boko Haram Activity Since the Nigerian Government’s Announcement of the Ceasefire

On the 17th of October, Hassan Tukur, a senior aide to President Goodluck Jonathan, announced that the Nigerian government had agreed a ceasefire with Boko Haram and secured the release of the 219 girls kidnapped from Chibok earlier this year (Al Jazeera, 18 October).…

Anti-Government Protests and Regime Breakdown: Conflict Dynamics in Transitional States

“Authoritarian regimes…breakdown in systematically different ways, and they also affect post-transition outcomes” Geddes (1999: 6) The recent civil disobedience activity in Burkina Faso to oust President Blaise Compaore, following an attempt to extend his 27-year long term (BBC, 30 October 2014) highlights the success of civil society movements in mobilising for regime change.…

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.…

The Escalation of Political Violence in Libya

Since June 2014, Libya has been the fourth most volatile country in the ACLED African dataset with 534 reported conflict events. Political violence continued to escalate throughout the month of October (see Figure 1)with September recording the highest fatalities – and over double those reported since the beginning of the renewed post-civil war violence.…

Education and Political Conflict Part 2: Non-State Actor Strategies – A Focus on Boko Haram & Al Shabaab Conflict Dynamics

In February 2012, Boko Haram members burned down three schools in the town of Maiduguri in north-eastern Nigeria. The group claimed that the attack was provoked by indiscriminate student arrests in Islamic schools by state forces (IRIN, 4 October 2013).…

Education and Political Conflict Part 1

Following the announcement on the 16th October that the Nigerian government had negotiated the release of over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok in Nigeria, the global trend of deliberate and recurrent attacks against schools and education in conflict-affect areas has received renewed attention.…

The Nigerian Election and the Politicisation of the Boko Haram Insurgency

Boko Haram’s recent seizure of various territories has been noted as a significant evolution in the group’s tactics. Figure 1 shows that Boko Haram has managed to seize territory throughout Borno and has even successfully invaded settlements in the neighbouring state of Yobe.…

Ebola and Conflict in West Africa

Ebola spread to Senegal last week, now the fifth country affected in the West Africa Ebola outbreak, which also includes Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone (Reuters, 30 August 2014).  At the same time, a record number of Ebola-related protests and riots occurred as residents reacted to ad-hoc government plans to deal with the unprecedented outbreak.  …