22 January 2014

ACLED 4.0 Launched

The Armed Conflict Location & Event Dataset (ACLED) team recently released Version 4 of the ACLED dataset, which covers political violence in Africa from January 1997 – December 2013. Files for all countries are composed of ACLED data indicating the day of the event, actors involved, type of activity, location, fatalities, source, and notes for individual politically violent events. 

In addition to adding the latest monthly installment of new data from December 2013, Version 4 of the ACLED dataset contains additions and corrections from targeted quality review in ACLED’s latest annual update of historical data.

In 2013, ACLED recorded a total of 13,504 violent conflict events in Africa, compared to just over 9,000 events for 2012. Looking at Africa as a whole, 32.8% of events involved battles between armed groups; 39.7% involved rioting or protesting; and 27.4% involved violence against civilians. Riots and protests saw the largest overall increase (of over 60%), driven largely by events in North Africa as the fallout from the Arab Spring continues to be felt across the region. The activity of rebel groups on the continent showed the smallest rate of increase (at 11%), underscoring the changing pattern of elite-sponsored militia activity. In many cases, these militias no longer look to wage civil wars to overthrow national regimes, but instead they desire to shape the existing political system through the programmatic use of violence. For more analysis of African political violence in 2013, see the most recent ACLED Conflict Trends report for January 2014

ACLED is the most comprehensive public collection of political violence data for developing states. The collection of data contains information on the specific dates and locations of political violence, the types of events, the groups involved, fatalities suffered as well as changes in territorial control. For more information, visit the ACLED research pages here.

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