Homosexuality and Discrimination in Africa

While many celebrate the US Supreme Court ruling late last week to legalize same-sex marriage across the US as a victory for the gay-rights movement and equality (NYTimes, 26, June 2015), gay and lesbian people across many countries in Africa continue to experience discrimination and attacks as a result of their sexual orientation, a trend which has been increasing in recent years.…

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 April (Wall Street Journal, 2015).…

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).…

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 the international community at-large.…

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).…

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 authors to carry out their research.…

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 political aims.…

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).…