Cohen, Dara Kay & Ragnhild Nordås (2012) Sexual Violence by Militias in African Conflicts: Not a question of ‘delegation’ by states, PRIO Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: CSCW.
In a study of African conflicts from 1989 to 2009, we find that governments do not seem to ‘delegate’ the commission of atrocities to militias in order to avoid accountability, as has often been assumed. On the contrary, when militias commit acts of sexual violence, states are also reported as perpetrators.
Also counter to conventional wisdom, our data show that:
What characterizes those militias that use sexual violence? We find that such militias often rely on child soldiers and operate in the poorest countries, but do not operate in the conflicts with the highest casualty rates from regular battles.
Senior Researcher & Deputy Editor, Journal of Peace Research
The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) conducts research on the conditions for peaceful relations between states, groups and people.