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…

Peacekeeping and Violence Against Civilians

Up until the end of the 1990’s, United Nations (UN) peacekeeping (PK) missions did not necessarily specify the protection of civilians (PoC) in their mandate under ‘immediate threats of physical violence’ (Holt et al., 2009). Nor did their mandates clearly permit the “use of force” to fulfil their mission. However, failures of peacekeeping in the…

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…

Rape as a Weapon of Political Violence, Part 2: Where, When, and by Whom is This Tactic Used?

Sexual violence (e.g. rape) is a conscious strategy frequently employed by armed groups to torture and humiliate opponents, terrify individuals, destroy societies though inciting flight from a territory, and to reaffirm aggression and brutality, specifically through an expression of domination (Bastick et al., 2007; UN, 2015). In order to torture opponents, sexual violence can be…