Conflict

Patrick Vinck, Phuong Pham, Suliman Baldo, and Rachel Shigekane. 8/2008. Living With Fear: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes About Peace, Justice, and Social Reconstruction in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.Abstract

After years of armed conflict, instability, and human rights violations, in 2006 the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) held its first elections since independence. Despite this success, eastern DRC grapples with major challenges in achieving security, social reconstruction, and transitional justice. This study presents the needs and priorities of the Congolese population in light of prevailing social and political instability, and recommends that the Congolese government and international community take steps to monitor and implement peace negotiations, security, and good governance as the country moves forward.

Nesrine Badawi. 2/2009. Islamic Jurisprudence and the Regulation of Armed Conflict.Abstract

The increase in violent attacks against civilians and non-civilians and the claims made by groups waging such attacks that their acts are legitimate under Islamic law generated wide interest in Islamic ‘laws of war’. This paper attempts to challenge the approach focused on comparison between international humanitarian law (IHL) and Islamic law on the basis of the rules adopted in each system and argues that both legal regimes are governed by certain theoretical and ideological paradigms that are distinct from each other. In order to highlight this difference, the paper examines the different juristic approaches to issues of concern to the jurists and shows how these approaches reflected particular agenda and thus can not be simply compared to rules of IHL, because these are equally governed by other agendas and interests.

Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. 8/2009. Characterizing Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Profiles of Violence, Community Responses, and Implications for the Protection of Women.Abstract

This report uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Results from this report show the sexual violence perpetrated by armed actors in the DRC has features that indicate rape is being used as a weapon of war. The violence in DRC embodies a new kind of war emerging in the 21st century - one that occurs in villages more than battlefields and affects more civilians than armed combatants.

Patrick Meier and Jennifer Leaning. 9/2009. Applied Technology to Crisis Mapping and Early Warning in Humanitarian Settings.Abstract

The purpose of this Working Paper Series on Crisis Mapping is to briefly analyze the current use, and changing role, of information communication technology (ICT) in conflict early warning, crisis mapping and humanitarian response. The authors demonstrate that ICTs have the potential to play an increasingly significant role in three critical ways by: facilitating the communication of information in conflict zones, improving the collection of salient quantitative and qualitative conflict data, and enhancing the visualization and analysis of patterns.

Phuong Pham, Patrick Vinck, and Tino Kreutzer. 6/2011. Talking Peace: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes about Security, Dispute Resolution, and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Liberia.Abstract

Liberia has made progress in peacebuilding and reconstruction in the aftermath of a 14-year long civil war, but the country continues to face challenges in overcoming the results of a legacy of violence. This study, undertaken in November and December 2010, provides insight into Liberians’ current priorities for peacebuilding, their perceptions of post-conflict security, and existing dispute and dispute resolution mechanisms.  The findings suggest that while Liberians are generally positive about the country’s prospects for peace and security, the fears and inequalities perpetuated by years of civil strife continue to reverberate throughout the country. This study provides recommendations to address the existing problems of gaping socioeconomic disparities, limited access to information, a weakened security sector, and the diminished quality of current dispute resolution systems. It also supports inter-ethnic national dialogue on truth, reconciliation, and the underlying causes of the war.

Not On Our Watch, The Enough Project, Google, DigitalGlobe, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and LLC Trellon. 7/2011. Strike Range: Apparent Deployment of SAF Mobile Rocket Launchers Near South Kordofan.Abstract

Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery captured on 28 June has identified four vehicles consistent with BM-21 mobile multiple rocket launcher (MRL) systems at an apparent Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) camp southwest of El Obeid, North Kordofan, Sudan.

Not On Our Watch, The Enough Project, Google, DigitalGlobe, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and LLC Trellon. 8/2011. Special Report: Evidence of Burial of Human Remains in Kadugli, South Kordofan.Abstract
SSP's identification on 14 July 2011 of a cluster of white bundles in Kadugli as consistent with human remains wrapped in white plastic tarps or body bags was controversial at the time. Although publicly questioned by a US government official, it has now been established by SSP through the collection of additional imagery and eyewitness reports.
Not On Our Watch, The Enough Project, Google, DigitalGlobe, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and LLC Trellon. 5/2011. SAF Troops, Tanks, and Artillery Massing at El Obeid Barracks.Abstract

Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has identified a previously unidentified assembly of SAF forces at the El Obeid Barracks, approximately 440 kilometers (273 miles) from Abyei town and the contested border line between North and South Sudan. Based on analysis of available transportation logistics and the formation of the units, SSP has concluded that the forces at El Obeid are capable of imminent forward deployment and could reach Abyei town in less than a day.

Program Humanitarian Policy Conflict on and Research. 5/2010. Reparation for Civilians Living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT): Opportunities and Constraints under International Law.Abstract

A prominent issue in contemporary international law and policy involves civilians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (“OPT”)1 who wish to seek reparation for damage allegedly sustained as a result of Israel’s activities vis-à-vis the OPT, whether in the course of belligerent occupation or armed conflict. This policy brief provides humanitarian practitioners with a basic understanding of the legal framework applicable to that issue. Given the sensitive nature of the topic it examines, this policy brief aims to equip readers with the conceptual tools necessary to understand the various arguments from different viewpoints. The main question to be addressed is whether in the above-outlined context a victim of a violation of international law has a right to compensation. This paper does not take any position as to whether Israel has, or has not, violated international law in any of the instances discussed. Nor does the paper address whether individual persons acting on behalf of the State of Israel may be held criminally liable for their acts. Also outside the scope of this paper is the situation of Israeli civilians having suffered damage as a result of the situation. 

Not On Our Watch, The Enough Project, Google, United Nations UNITAR Operational Satellite Applications Programme he (UNOSAT), Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, DigitalGlobe, and LLC Trellon. 4/2011. The Razing: Intentional Burning Confirmed at El-Feid, Nuba Mountains.Abstract

The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has confirmed that at least 356 structures in the town of el-Feid, located in the Nuba Mountains region of South Kordofan State, Sudan, have been razed. There is evidence that an area in Um Barmbita has also been burned, but no visible structures appear to have been destroyed. SSP cannot confirm based on the imagery collected whether the scorched area in Um Barmbita was intentionally burned. There is evidence of scorching at several points between and around the two communities, which are an estimated 15 to 20 kilometers apart. The razing of el-Feid underscores the rising tensions in the Nuba Mountain region as next month's South Kordofan State gubernatorial elections approach.

Jocelyn Kelly. 6/2010. Rape in War: Motives of Militia in DRC.Abstract
"Rape in War: Motives of Militia in the DRC" is a special report commissioned by United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on sexual and gender-based violence, which uniquely examines the experiences of armed combatants in this conflict. The report is a qualitative analysis of interviews conducted with the Mai Mai militia in the DRC and looks at the experiences of armed combatants with the aim of revealing potential avenues for intervention.
Not On Our Watch, The Enough Project, Google, The United Nations UNITAR Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT), DigitalGlobe, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and LLC Trellon. 4/2011. Range of Attack: Deployment of SAF Attack Helicopters, Tanks Near Abyei.Abstract
In recent weeks, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has deployed heavy offensive weaponry, including attack helicopters and tanks, at Muglad, the reported headquarters of the SAF's 15th Division. These units include two helicopters consistent with Mi-24 Hind gunships, at least nine main battle tanks consistent with T-55s, and trucks consistent with support vehicles needed for the forward deployment of heavy armor. The helicopters, tanks and support vehicles are all within attack range of the Abyei region, approximately 175 kilometers away from Abyei town and 100 kilometers from Abyei's border as demarcated by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2009.
Not On Our Watch, The Enough Project, Google, DigitalGlobe, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and LLC Trellon. 11/2011. Radius of Operations: Sudan Increases Air Attack Capacity.Abstract

The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has confirmed through the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) are rapidly working to enhance air strike and air assault capacity in two airbases recently captured from rebels in Sudan’s Blue Nile border area.

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