Civil Unrest
The Skinny on Civil Unrest in the AI era

Civil unrest is a complex issue with many causes. Political and financial factors are two of the main drivers of civil unrest, and addressing these issues is critical to preventing and resolving conflicts. Governments must work to promote transparency and accountability, protect human rights, and ensure equal distribution of resources to avoid civil unrest. Additionally, addressing economic inequality, unemployment, and poverty is crucial to preventing economic-related civil unrest. Artificial intelligence (AI) technology could be used both to quell and exacerbate civil unrest. AI-powered disinformation campaigns and deepfakes could be used to fuel existing tensions and incite violence. Additionally, as AI technology becomes more ubiquitous, it could exacerbate existing inequalities and create new sources of tension, potentially leading to more civil unrest.

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The Sahel Jihadist Crisis

The Sahel, “shore” in Arabic, is home to diverse ethnic groups, including the Fulani, Tuareg, Hausa, and Songhai. A long history of political and economic marginalization has created a sense of frustration and resentment, which has been exploited by jihadist groups to recruit fighters and gain support. The overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 led to the proliferation of weapons and the destabilization of neighboring countries, including Mali and Niger. This created a power vacuum that jihadist groups were able to exploit.

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The jihadist insurgency in Mozambique

The insurgency begun in 2017 in the mostly Muslim northern Cabo Delgado province with unemployed and disgruntled youth joining or supporting the group known as Ansar al-Sunna (ASWJ). In 2019 the insurgents have pledged alliance to the Islamic State (IS) and declared itself as the Islamic State Central Africa Province (IS-CAP). The group’s attacks have resulted in over 3000 deaths and displacement of around 800,000 people and also effected the nation’s economy.

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