Conflict Networks in North and West Africa

Conflicts in North and West Africa have become more violent and widespread than in the past. They have also become more difficult to resolve due to the complex relationships between a growing number of belligerents with diverging agendas. Building on a dataset of more than 36 000 violent events over a 23‑year period and three case studies (Lake Chad, Central Sahel and Libya), this report maps conflict networks and the evolution of rivalries and alliances in 21 North and West African countries. It applies an innovative approach, Dynamic Social Network Analysis, to explain the types and evolution of relationships across actors in conflict. Finally, the report analyses the impact of military interventions on the re‑composition of violent groups and the shifting nature of insecurity. This new analysis, based on temporal and spatial approaches contributes to the creation of strategies that will ensure long‑term political stability and serves as a reminder that there is a need for co‑ordinated regional approaches and place‑based policies.

Published on March 29, 2021Also available in: French

In series:West African Studiesview more titles


The Sahel and West Africa Club
Abbreviations and acronyms
Executive summary
Conflict and regional stability in North and West Africa
Violent organisations in conflict in North and West Africa
A dynamic analysis of conflict networks in North and West Africa
Networks of violence in North and West Africa
Conflict environment and military interventions in North and West Africa
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