Violence in North and West Africa increasingly targeting civilian and border areas – OECD/SWAC

africa ciolance

(Pawel Janiak, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with OECD.

Violence in North and West Africa is increasingly targeting civilian and border regions as today’s conflicts involve non-state actors with diverging agendas, according to a new report by the OECD’s Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC).


The report uses granular data to assess the intensity and geographical distribution of violence in the region since 1997. It finds that the last five years have been the most violent recorded in North and West Africa, with more than 60,000 people killed between January 2015 and the end of 2019. More than 40% of violent events and fatalities occur within 100 km of a land border, and 10% of deaths from political violence occur less than 10 km from a border. Civilians are increasingly specific targets of violence, rather than just being caught in cross fire.


The report uses a “Spatial Conflict Dynamics Indicator” to show which regions of North and West Africa experience the most conflict, how conflicts evolve geographically over time and how military interventions affect the intensity and spread of violence. It notes that attempts to stabilise the region are complicated due to the number of players involved and their shifting alliances.


“Paying close attention to the geography and dynamics of these deadly conflicts and the complex interactions between the large numbers of actors involved may help to find ways to resolve this worsening insecurity,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, presenting the report at the Munich Security Conference.


The Sahara-Sahel region is suffering from exceptional levels of political instability involving a combination of rebellions, jihadist insurgencies, coups d’état, protest movements and illegal trafficking of drugs, arms and migrants. Conflicts tend to regionalise across borders as armed groups defeated by counter-insurgency efforts relocate to other countries. The geographic spread and opportunistic relocation of conflicts is exacerbated by a lack of controls on many African borders that facilitates the circulation of fighters, hostages and weapons.


The study calls for states in the region and the international community to promote regional initiatives to restore state legitimacy, increase investment in border regions and improve protection of civilians — creating secure regions where inclusive forms of policies are put in place and a strong dialogue between states, local actors and populations is reinforced.


the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The global economy is woefully unprepared for biological threats. This is what we need to do

The Swiss will pay dearly for voting out fellow Europeans

Refugee crisis: Commission proposes a new plan urging EU countries to help Italy

4 myths about corruption

FROM THE FIELD: Faces and Voices of Conflict

Why the ECB prepares to flood the markets with more and free of charge euro; everybody needs that now

Medicines from the sky: how drones can save lives

How to fix our planet: the pioneers fighting to bring nature back

Q&A on extraordinary remote participation procedure

IMF cuts global growth outlook, but predicts pick up later in 2019

Japan’s agro-food sector would benefit greatly from policies to boost innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable resource use

From drones to health data, how Japan can power ahead

The Stray

Infrastructure around the world is failing. Here’s how to make it more resilient

How biotechnology is evolving in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Local innovation, international impact: SMEs and the ITU Telecom World Awards

Palestine refugees’ relief chief warns Security Council money to fund Gaza operations will run out in mid-June

EU’s tougher privacy rules: WhatsApp and Facebook set to be soon aligned with telcos

UN Committee says Ebola in DR Congo still an international public health emergency

Researchers have invented a brick that can build itself

Statement by Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič on the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon

UN rights chief calls for release of hundreds abducted and abused in South Sudan

Debunked: 5 myths about the future of work

Eurozone: Austerity brings new political tremors

This 12-year-old built an underwater robot to fight plastic pollution

Parliament wants to suspend EU accession negotiations with Turkey

Western Balkans: An Economic and Investment Plan to support the economic recovery and convergence

Mergers: Commission refers acquisition of newly created joint venture by Telefónica and Liberty Global to the UK competition authority

Africa is launching the world’s largest free trade area – but these are the stumbling blocks

‘Staunch support’ for Iran nuclear deal tempered by concern over missile testing

America’s student debt crisis explained

External action: more funds for human rights, development and peace

Joint OECD and World Bank report urges governments to improve resilience to disasters and related fiscal risks

Safer roads: EU lawmakers agree on life-saving technologies for new vehicles

Social Committee teaches Van Rompuy a lesson

The digital transformation is a skills and education opportunity for all. Companies must use it

What’s behind South Korea’s elderly crime wave?

Mental health in primary care: a unique therapeutic project

UN honours fallen colleagues and friends who ‘risk all to promote peace’

‘We can’t stop COVID-19 without protecting health workers’: WHO chief

We are close yet so far…

One person dies by suicide every 40 seconds: new UN health agency report

Will 2020 be the year blockchain overcomes its hype?

Countries violate rights over climate change, argue youth activists in landmark UN complaint

Only the Americans are unhappy with the ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine

Republic of Korea President proposes DMZ as future ‘peace and cooperation district’ on Peninsula

From drone swarms to modified E. Coli: say hello to a new wave of cyberattacks

Greece leaves EU aid program, gets last 15 billion euro

Mobile 360 Series – Russia & CIS: Empowering the Digital Economy

The Shifting Rhythms of Harmonious China: Ancient, Modern & Eternal

Over $39 million earmarked by UN-backed fund to combat effects of climate change in Nepal

More capital and liquidity for the banks

Energy security: The synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity networks – European solidarity in action

Mergers: Commission approves Worldline’s acquisition of Ingenico, subject to conditions

Four million have now fled Venezuela, UN ramps up aid to children who remain

‘Global sisterhood’ tells perpetrators ‘time is up’ for pandemic of violence

Mobile technology saving lives: How simple technological solutions can improve our health care system

Doctors and nurses around the world are calling in sick

Climate change and health: Raising awareness is the key for greener actions

Eurozone’s credibility rock solid

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s