Trends and Unexpected Developments in Africa 2015

A look back at political conflict across the African continent this past year yields a number of trends and unexpected developments. Leaders have sought to extend constitutional term limits to remain in power – leading to demonstrations and conflict within states. Relatedly, coups d’état – or attempts thereof – have occurred, in large part as…

South Sudan and Sudan — 2015 Update

In 2015, both Sudan and South Sudan experimented with peace talks and peace agreements with their respective opposition groups, with varying effects on conflict events in each country. Despite stalled talks and ceasefires in Sudan, the number of conflict events in the country decreased in the second half of 2015 (see Figure 1). In late…

The Effect of Inequality on Conflict in Africa

Many have noted inequality as fuel for conflict (see review in Lichbach, 1989). It can serve to exacerbate grievances amongst those who have less-than within unequal contexts, which can in turn serve as a mobilizing factor in fueling violence (Stewart, 2008). Alternatively, it can make the ‘prize’ of conflict larger – within the most unequal…

South Sudan — September 2015 Update

Levels of political violence in South Sudan decreased in August with reported fatalities falling by over 60% (see Figure 1). This relative lull in violence follows a particularly unstable July in which government forces —supported by Bul Nuer and Warrap Dinka fighters — killed 200 civilians in Mayendit and Leer (Sudan Tribune, 12 August 2015).…

Human Rights, Rule of Law, and Political Conflict in Africa

Human rights abuses can range from physical violence to denials of peaceful assembly or freedom of expression. Amnesty International (2015) highlights shortcomings in justice and accountability, where crimes such as gender-based violence go unpunished; this impunity can have further negative ramifications within effected societies (ACLED, 18 February 2015). Irresponsible business practices associated with extractive industries…

South Sudan — July 2015 Update

Levels of political conflict in South Sudan decreased in June 2015. Though the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which has overseen multiple peace negotiations aimed at ending the 18-month conflict, may be tempted to refer to this drop in conflict as a sign of progress, the decrease is more likely due to the onset of…

State Fragility and Conflict in Africa

The Fragile States Index (FSI), produced by The Fund for Peace, highlights pressures faced by states, identifying “when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure”, with the intent of shaping assessments of political risk by researchers and policymakers (Messner et al., 2015). The FSI is calculated for countries worldwide using an…

The Exportation of Ugandan Rebel Violence: A Comparison of the Allied Democratic Forces and Lord’s Resistance Army

In the past few weeks, the Alliance of Democratic Forces (ADF, formerly the Alliance of Democratic Forces – National Army for the Liberation of Uganda, ADF-NALU) has experienced several setbacks. Dozens of its soldiers have been killed or captured, including senior personnel, while its leader, Jamil Mukulu, was arrested in Tanzania at the end of…

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…

Conflict Dynamics Within and Across Africa and Asia

ACLED’s release of data for Asia in addition to ACLED’s African data will allow for new comparisons to be made in regard to the conflict patterns within and across countries on both continents. While the ACLED Asia team continues to collect backdated information across South and Southeast Asian states, the newly available real-time data can…