Asia & Oceania Europe Sub-Saharan Africa West Asia, North Africa and Afghanistan 

Water Wars

by Luke Hally Traditional conflict modelling peacebuilding policy implementation has of late not taken into consideration the gravity and extent of contribution of the impact of water resource access has upon conflict-prone regions. This potent strategic resource has played a significant part within contemporary examples of conventional conflict. Examples that will only increase in severity and gravity as populations begin to grow and climate becomes more volatile in its ever-changing form.  Consecutive modern conflicts have had core undertones of water rights and access to clean drinking water as a stipulation…

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Sub-Saharan Africa West Asia, North Africa and Afghanistan 

Heritage Destruction: An Overlooked Conflict Contributor

by Luke Hally The looting of antiquities is a frequently overlooked aspect when considering the variables of conflict causation and continuation. The private market of antiquities is often allowed to operate with less stringent scrutiny than petroleum or rare earth minerals. This lack of scrutiny is present in the most prestigious auction houses, such as Christie’s, as recent as June 2020, with two Igbo statues looted during the Biafran war in Nigeria. It acts as a proxy front for both militant and regime officials to evade sanctions and raise funds…

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Americas Europe Middle East and Maghreb Sub-Saharan Africa Uncategorized 

Political Conflicts in 2019: Persistent continuation and surprising dynamics

by Mayely Müller and Michael Hebeisen

First published by Friedensakademie Rheinland-Pfalz

Observing political conflicts and tracing their dynamics is a complex undertaking, which requires a multilayered approach and long-term engagement. The annually published Conflict Barometer is taking up this challenge. For 2019, 358 political conflicts were recorded. The following blog article presents these recent findings and discusses how the current COVID-19 pandemic could affect the global conflict landscape.

The annual Conflict Barometer, a report published by the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK), is dedicated to the documentation of political conflicts worldwide. This entails the in-depth analysis of violent and non-violent conflicts in all world regions. By observing the dynamics of escalation, de-escalation, and resolution of conflicts on an annual basis, the Heidelberg approach makes conflict dynamics traceable and comparable in the long term. The continuous collection of data serves as a basis for the work and research of policymakers, NGOs, IOs, and scholars. HIIK focuses on the observation of conflicts rather than on root cause analyses. Moreover, it provides a global overview of certain dynamics, such as worldwide demonstrations in 2019.

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Sub-Saharan Africa 

The human story behind the “Virunga” movie

In April 2014, the Academy Award-nominated movie Virunga caused a worldwide outcry against the oil extraction in DR Congo’s Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the world’s last mountain gorillas. Only several weeks later, oil multinational SOCO International agreed to withdraw from Virunga and eventually sold its production shares in Bloc V, an area covering over one third of the park. Apart from the Virunga fimmakers, NGO heavyweights Human Rights Watch, Global Witness, the WWF, and some brave park wardens mentioned in the movie, who…

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Sub-Saharan Africa 

Islamist terrorists in the Congolese jungle? Myth and reality of the ADF

In December 2014, the renowned Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung published an article entitled „The ADF militia in Congo Kinshasa – Islamism in the heart of Africa”. Like other pieces in international media, the article claimed that the group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a phenomenon of typical violent Islamism and that the group has links to known jihadist groups such as al-Shabaab or Boko Haram. In addition, ADF has also been officially identified by the Congolese government and the UN Peacekeeping Mission in…

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Sub-Saharan Africa 

The Rainbow Revolution: Why the South African students’ movement #FeesMustFall stands for much more than tuition fees

A “Rainbow Nation” was Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s idea of post-apartheid South Africa. It was 1994, apartheid had been abolished, Nelson Mandela got elected for President, the hopes of the mainly black South African population were high that their future would be a better one: A future in peace and social justice. Today, more than 20 years after Mandela’s release, universities all across the country are repeatedly being closed, destroyed and torched, foreigners are being chased away from their homes and businesses and miners’ strikes are being shot down by national…

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