The popular depiction of Africa is that armed conflict is extensive throughout the continent. Indeed, 2015 and 2016 were the two years with by far the highest number of conflicts since 1946. This policy brief reveals that, though the number of conflicts in Africa today is high, the broader conflict picture of the continent is more nuanced. We find that the increase in number of conflicts in recent years can in large part be explained by the rise of the Islamic State (IS). IS has not only created new conflicts, but also fueled existing ones. Moreover, given the high number of conflicts, we would expect the number of deaths to be at a high toll. Instead, conflict has abated in terms of battle deaths.
Read the report upon which this brief is based, Conflict Trends in Africa 1946–2017