Past event

Research Event

Entrepreneurs of Violence: Rebel Groups and Militias in Africa

Chatham House, London

Participants

Richard Cornwell, Institute for Security Studies, South Africa
David Zounmenou, Institute for Security Studies, South Africa
Henri Boshoff, Institute for Security Studies, South Africa
Paula Roque, Institute for Security Studies, South Africa

Overview

Although not new in Africa, a new set of militias and rebel movements have emerged as key actors in conflicts, wars and armed struggles since the 1990s. In recent years, the deadly combination of availability of natural resources, political and economic grievance, small arms and light weapons as well as the porous nature of African borders has led to the regionalization of rebel movements and militias.

What are these movements, what are their objectives, where do they draw their legitimacy from and how do they operate? The discussion will unpack the nature of some movements in Africa (MEND in Nigeria, FDLR in the DRC and Al-Shabaab in Somalia) and analyse their tendency to conflate social justice discourse and business entrepreneurship.