Overview of Continental Trends 2016

African states experienced high rates of both political violence and protest in 2016 (see Figure 2). The aggregated totals are remarkably similar to those of 2015, which indicates three important lessons going forward: The crisis points on the continent- Libya, South Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria- continue to produce significant violence, with substantial harm to civilians and the political process of peace.…

South Sudan — June 2016 Update

In May 2016, the number of battles and conflict events in South Sudan fell to the lowest level in the past 12 months (see Figure 1). The decrease in total events and battles is due, in part, to the formation of a transitional government and the reinstatement of opposition leader Riek Machar as First Vice President on 26 April.…

Leadership Survival and Hired Guns

Regimes in developing states engage in practices of ‘violence management’ that involve both offensive and defensive strategies to contain, repress, and curtail various domestic threats. Some of these strategies include public repression, counterbalancing (fragmenting military and police units through offering varying levels of support, equipping units differently, and the creation of paramilitary forces) and supporting pro-government militias (PGMs) to combat opponents within and outside of the regime.…