A selection of visuals highlighting continental and country trends in political violence are included below. The data is drawn from ACLED Version 4.
Over the past 17 years, political violence rates have grown. ACLED recorded a total of 13,504 violent conflict events in Africa for 2013, compared to just over 9,000 events for 2012.
Over the past 17 years, there have been distinct changes in the main perpetrators of political violence on the African continent. While governments remain the most actively violent group, the second-most violent group has changed from rebels to political militias.
Somalia, Sudan, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo were the four most violent states in 2013, when riots and protests are excluded from the count. The instability facing these different states is reflective of the diversity of the security challenges facing countries across the African continent.
As in 2012, Al Shabaab and Boko Haram were the two single, most violent non-state actors in Africa in 2013. Al Shabaab activity, at over 1,000 recorded violent events, dwarfs that of Boko Haram (at 262 violent conflict events).
Rioting and protesting are the fastest growing ‘event types’ within the ACLED dataset. Almost all countries experienced some ‘civilian’ turbulence in past years; the sole exceptions are countries with autocratic regimes.