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).…

Factionalism and Violence within the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front

Tensions within the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) have increased ahead of the party Congress in December. There is an expectation that the Congress will address the question of succession, an issue that has divided the party into two camps: one backing the ascension of Vice-President Joice Mujuru and the other backing the President’s wife, Grace Mugabe (Africa Confidential, 13 November 2014).…

Education and Political Conflict Part 2: Non-State Actor Strategies – A Focus on Boko Haram & Al Shabaab Conflict Dynamics

In February 2012, Boko Haram members burned down three schools in the town of Maiduguri in north-eastern Nigeria. The group claimed that the attack was provoked by indiscriminate student arrests in Islamic schools by state forces (IRIN, 4 October 2013).…

Education and Political Conflict Part 1

Following the announcement on the 16th October that the Nigerian government had negotiated the release of over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok in Nigeria, the global trend of deliberate and recurrent attacks against schools and education in conflict-affect areas has received renewed attention.…

The Changing Actors of Political Violence in Zimbabwe

Since the upheaval of the 2008 Zimbabwean presidential elections in which much of the political violence and intimidation recorded was attributed to the Zimbabwean African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), the level of political violence in Zimbabwe and the composition of its perpetrators  has changed dramatically.…

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).…