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  • Author: Lucie Collinson, Andrew Winnington, Mary Vriniotis
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Studying the evidence related to the burden of injury of a population is a critical component of developing strategies to prevent and reduce violence. In many countries around the world, national observatories have been established to collect data to measure and monitor armed violence in an effort to inform and strengthen evidence-based armed violence reduction initiatives. These observatories collect data on violent incidents to enhance awareness of the extent and distribution of armed violence in varying geographic and socio-economic settings. An observatory’s ability to inform effective violence prevention strategies depends in large part on the efficient collection and timely sharing of quality data (Gilgen and Tracey, 2011).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Liberia
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: The Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, FDLR)—including its armed wing, the Forces Combattantes Abacunguzi (Abacunguzi Fighting Forces, FOCA)1—is among the most enduring armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Several members of the group’s top leadership are suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, making the FDLR’s continued presence in the DRC a recurring point of contention between Kinshasa and Kigali and a source of tensions for the Great Lakes region as a whole (Omaar, 2008, pp. 65– 66, 236–312). Maj. Gen. Sylvestre Mudacumura, the group’s military commander, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes committed in the DRC itself (ICC, 2012). The group’s presence has also led to the emer- gence of local armed groups that claim to protect communities, further complicating security dynamics in the eastern DRC (Debelle and Florquin, 2015, p. 206).
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Genocide, Armed Struggle, War Crimes
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: More than four years after the start of the Syrian uprising, the country is the stage of a protracted civil war with a perplexing multitude of armed opposition factions competing over territory with the regime and among each other. Well over 1,000 such groups are currently active in Syria (Carter Center, 2014a, p. 11). They range from relatively small local protection units with a few hundred fighters to large movements with a national reach, such as Ahrar alKSham, which is estimated to number at least 10,000 fighters (Stanford University, 2014b).
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, Armed Struggle, Non State Actors, Violent Extremism, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Most of today's armed conflicts take place within states and are waged by at least one NSA fighting state forces and/or other NSAs. In these conflicts, frequent violations of humanitarian norms are committed by both state and non-state parties. NSAs also frequently control or heavily influence areas where civilians live. Consequently, efforts to protect civilian populations should address not only the behaviour of states, but also that of NSA.
  • Topic: Security, Intelligence, Armed Struggle, Non State Actors
  • Political Geography: Geneva
  • Author: Nathan Brown, Michele Dunne
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest opposition movement and one of its oldest, is squeezed between an unprecedented crackdown from the security state and a young generation pushing for more assertive action against the regime of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. As a movement that has long espoused evolutionary change morphs into one that advocates revolutionary change—and struggles with whether that means adopting a strategy of violence against the state—the implications for Egypt and the entire region are massive.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Armed Struggle, Insurgency, Political Activism
  • Political Geography: Arab Countries, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Teresa Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Violence at the hands of the Basque separatist organization ETA was for many years an anomalous feature of Spain’s transition to democracy. This report, which draws on the author’s book Endgame for ETA: Elusive Peace in the Basque Country (Hurst and Oxford University Press, 2014), explains why this was the case, examines both the factors that contributed to ETA’s October 2011 announcement of an end to violence and the obstacles encountered in moving forward from that announcement to disarmament and dissolution, and extracts lessons relevant for other contexts.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Armed Struggle, Territorial Disputes, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Dr. W. Andrew Terill
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Syrian civil war began in March 2011 and has claimed nearly 250,000 lives so far. After over 4 years of internal fighting, the Kremlin has decided to expand its role in this conflict by moving combat aircraft and some ground troops to Syria to support the Bashar al-Assad government. These actions seem like a clear prelude to a direct Russian combat role, although the scope of such an effort is not yet clear. It has started with a limited number of air strikes against the opposition forces fighting Assad. Additionally, Russia is providing the Syrian army with new weapons supplies which that army seems to be absorbing very quickly. The United States has expressed concern about the deployment and is facing the question of how seriously it seeks to oppose increased Russian involvement in this war, and what, if anything, to do about it.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, Islam, Military Strategy, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Russia, Syria
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: The Islamic State has been moving aggressively to exploit the chaos of Libya since last summer, with profound risks for the Mediterranean region and beyond Libya is a perfect breeding ground for an expanded Islamic State, with large amounts of heavy weaponry, systemic lawlessness, a divided population, and sustained armed conflict The group has formed three active and capable groups in Libya-in Tripoli, Fezzan, and Barqa-all of which have conducted deadly attacks in recent months The phenomenon of Islamic State affiliates-beginning in the summer of 2014, before which the group was entirely focused on Iraq and Syria-is actually in the tradition of its arch-rival al-Qaeda the presence and power of the Islamic State in Libya will likely increase as conditions in Syria and Iraq deteriorate for the group, and conditions in Libya continue to worsen.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Libya, Syria
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: The Islamic State's murder of Jordanian hostage Lt Moaz al-Kasasbeh was both a message to the group's fighters that it can counter the coalition's relentless airstrikes as well as an offensive move designed to provoke a high-profile overreaction The air campaign against the Islamic State has been relentless while at the same time has receded from the headlines-a double blow to the group in that it suffers the losses but doesn't benefit from the attendant spectacle The drawn-out 'negotiations' over this past month-while the hostage was already dead-were likely intended to sow division and tension in Jordan, and draw attention to the issue as long as possible before the gruesome finale While Jordan is understandably enraged and will have to strike back, the most effective response might be an escalation that continues to kill the group's fighters away from the headlines.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: While the threat of an immediate escalation between Israel and Hizballah appears to have subsided after deadly tit-for-tat attacks, the trend lines suggest greater conflict ahead In an important and ominous speech on January 30, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah created, in effect, one long front against Israel that now includes Syria and the Golan Heights as well as Lebanon, increasing the potential for conflict with Israel Iran is no longer moving in the shadows but rather is openly coordinating strategy with its proxy Hizballah as the two seek to strengthen and expand 'the resistance' against Israel All parties involved have specific reasons to avoid a near-term conflict-the upcoming Israeli elections, ongoing Iranian nuclear negotiations, Hizballah's commitments in Syria-but shifting regional power dynamics will only increase the likelihood of serious fighting between them.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia