University of Florida Homepage


Geography Colloquium: Spatial and temporal evolution of political violence and pastoralists in North and West Africa

Speaker: Matthew Pflaum

PhD Student, Department of Geography, University of Florida

Thursday, October 8, 2020

2:50-3:50 PM (Period 8)

Zoom, livestreamed on YouTube

University of Florida

All are welcome to attend.

This presentation is based on a forthcoming OECD report about pastoralist violence in 21 North and West African nations from 1997-2020 using ACLED data. The study finds that violence involving pastoralist actors is present in all except three countries, has potential for transnational dispersion, concentrated in two hotspots of Lake Chad and Central Sahel, and involves a mix of different categories of actors. Pastoralist violence is also increasing temporally but remains only a fraction of total violence. There are 188 total pastoralist actors involved in violence in the period, and 15 of these are transnational. The highest proportion of pastoralist groups, events, and fatalities occur in Niger, Chad, Nigeria, and Mali. Finally, the study raises issues about generalizing pastoralist violence, as many actors have numerous iterations across different countries, therefore treating some groups as a unified actor is problematic. The five most violent groups are responsible for >80% of both fatalities and events.

For more information, email Dr. Mike Binford at