The increasingly sophisticated arsenals of guided light weapons held by non-state actors pose an international security threat. These include man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS) and anti-tank guided weapons (ATGWs)—systems operable by a single user or a small crew, where the weapons’ missiles are either manually targeted or self-guided after launch. Such systems have been used by armed groups to attack commercial airlines, military aircraft, and governmental targets, as well as to degrade military and peacekeeping operations.
A Widening War around Sudan: the Proliferation of Armed Groups in the Central African Republic examines the origins and diffusion of armed groups in northern CAR and emerging responses to instability in the border areas with Sudan and Chad.
In 2018, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GoSS), the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO), and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) signed the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). As part of the transitional security arrangements within the R-ARCSS framework, all warring parties agreed to assemble combatants in designated cantonment sites to facilitate their training, and later, integration into a new ‘unity’ army or other national security services.
Darfur’s fade-out from international headlines and Western interests over the past several years has fostered a false narrative that the conflict there is over, despite stark evidence to the contrary. Linked to this narrative, the paralysis of internal and international engagement on Darfur has compelled Darfurians—civilians and combatants alike—to increase their outward mobility in search of safety and livelihood opportunities in neighbouring African countries or further afield into Europe.
Southern Libya after the fall of Qaddafi has become synonymous with lawlessness. For centuries, the area has been home to a shifting sea of ethnic groups who see the border as an imposition but not a barrier. The Tubu (or Teda) are one such group, whose presence stretches across southern Libya, Chad, and Niger.
The history of Tripoli after the fall of Qaddafi is one of conflict, shifting control, fractured alliances, and the quest for power and influence. Central among the players in this quest have been the militias controlling the capital’s territory. In the past two years, that control has consolidated into the hands of a cartel: four militias whose military dominance, influence in government, and power over the resources of the state is unprecedented.
An unprecedented and complex Islamist insurgency has raged in Egypt since the 2013 military coup that overthrew the government formed by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Salafi-Jihadi attacks of Islamic State – Sinai Province (IS-SP) are well known. But another strain of pro-violence Islamist armed action aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has recently evolved in the Nile Valley, home of 97 per-cent of the country’s population. This new strand of Jihadi belief represents what can perhaps best be described as a type of MB-Jihadism, or Ikhwani-Jihadism.
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)—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.
The increasingly sophisticated arsenals of guided light weapons held by non-state actors pose an international security threat. Such systems—man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS) and anti-tank guided weapons (ATGWs)— are operable by a single user or a small crew, and the weapons' missiles are either manually targeted or self-guided after launch. These weapons have been used by armed groups to attack commercial airlines, military aircraft, and governmental targets, as well as to degrade military and peacekeeping operations worldwide.
For decades, armed groups around the world have converted rockets intended for use with large, vehicle-mounted launchers into improvised light weapons. Indiscriminate and lethal, these weapons have killed and injured thousands of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.
Yet, despite the demonstrated threat posed by artillery rockets, they have received significantly less attention from policy-makers than conventional small arms and light weapons do.