DR-Congo — October 2015 Update

ACLED tracks a wide variety of non-governmental conflict actors in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over the past year, the most dynamic among these conflict actors have seen significant fluctuations in their respective levels of activity. These include the APCLS, ADF-NALU, FDLR, various FRPI factions, the LRA, various Mayi Mayi militia factions, and various NDC…

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…

The Targeting of Children in Conflict Zones, Part 1: General Trends

Violence against children is a conscious strategy employed by armed groups within conflict contexts. When children are targeted or killed, it is often in an attempt to instill terror in populations, or to reaffirm brutality and gain (global) notoriety, given that the targeting of children is meant to send a message to (adult) adversaries and/or…

Rape as a Weapon of Political Violence, Part 1: Trends Across Africa

Sexual violence as a weapon of political conflict is a serious, present-day atrocity affecting millions of people (primarily women and girls)[1] with grave health implications, both physical and psychological (Bastick, Grimm, and Kunz, 2007; UN, 2015). It is frequently a conscious strategy employed by armed groups to torture and humiliate opponents; terrify individuals and destroy…

A Review of Research Using ACLED in 2014

ACLED exists as an open-source tool to aid research into conflict dynamics and political violence. Certain traits of ACLED make the dataset especially suited to fine-grained micro-level analysis. Below are a selection of research papers published this year which have used ACLED; articles are chosen based on how certain traits of the ACLED enabled the…

Rebel Groups of the DRC and Attacks on Civilians

When looking at violence against civilians in DR-Congo from 2009-2014, rebel groups have been responsible for the majority of fatalities in these violent events (Figure 1). ACLED regards ‘rebels’ as armed agents in opposition to the established government with aims to overthrow the regime, or establish a separate state; in short, these groups have national…

Violence in Somalia

Last week, President Obama announced that the United States plans to deal with the ISIS threat with a similar strategy to what they have been implementing in Somalia to combat Al Shabaab. [1]  This decision has been met with scrutiny, as it is not clear how truly successful or effective the strategy in Somalia has…

A comparison of violence against civilians between US-backed African regimes and Africa’s ‘pariah states’

The three day US Africa Leaders Summit, which ended last week, has faced criticism for leaving the issue of human rights largely off the agenda (McGreal, 13 August 2014; Friedman, 7 August 2014). Obama himself acknowledged that some keys allies in Africa “are not performing optimally when it comes to all the various categories of human…