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…

Zambia – October 2017 Update

In the period between President Sata’s death in October 2014 and Lungu’s election in August 2016, Zambia saw an increase in political activity. Protest levels rose, as the declining copper prices and stalling economy affected workers across the country, and then became increasingly violent as the election approached (ACLED Trends Report, September 2016). A month…

Zambia — October 2015 Update

Zambia recently experienced a record number of riots, suggesting that the political instability that occurred in January has not been resolved, and the politics of succession are not entirely peaceful (see Figure 1). Recent riots were sparked by parliamentary by-elections in Solwezi and Lubansenshi (Lusaka Times, 25 September 2015), revealing a continued rivalry between the…

Resource-Related Conflict in Africa

Natural resource extraction by mining (including oil, diamonds, copper, and cobalt) has tremendous positive economic potential for states. However, these resources can also do more harm than good if used towards ulterior motives including corruption, the unequal distribution of wealth, and to fuel violence. Valuable resources can both fuel violence through competition for territorial control,…

A look at increasing violence against civilians in Zambia

Michael Sata won the presidency of Zambia in 2011 when his Patriotic Front (PF) unseated the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy which had held power for 20 years. Since assuming the presidency, Sata has been repeatedly accused of sponsoring political militias to silence and attack civilian opponents. The US recently expressed alarm at the rise…