IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Analysing low intensity conflict in Africa using press reports

Listed author(s):
  • Philippe Bocquier


    (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

  • Hervé Maupeu


    (IFRA Kenya)

(english) Unreliability and biases prevent us from analysing homicides using direct sources in most African countries. Victimisation surveys in Africa proved to be considerably biased regarding the recording of homicides. In the absence of more reliable and exhaustive sources, press reports can reflect at least some specific causes of death, on condition that a political analysis of the relation between the press and the political power is conducted. In this paper, using data collected from a leading Kenyan newspaper, we were able to depict the deaths since 1990 due to three main causes of collective violence : State violence (essentially the police), community clashes and banditry. We used a historical as well as geographical approach to determine the level and trend of the number of deaths as a consequence of organised crime and political conflicts. In addition, this analysis has helped us to point out the discrepancies between the press discourses on insecurity and political violence, and the reality of deaths reported by the very same press. _________________________________ (français) Les sources directes sur les homicides ne sont généralement pas, en Afrique, suffisamment fiables et souffrent de biais. Les enquêtes de victimation en Afrique se révèlent également très biaisées en ce qui concerne l’estimation des homicides. En l’absence de sources plus fiables et exhaustives, les articles de presse peuvent au moins refléter quelques causes de mortalité spécifiques, à condition qu’une analyse politique des relations entre la presse et le pouvoir politique soit parallèlement conduite. Dans ce document, nous utilisons des données recueillies dans un quotidien majeur du Kenya pour décrire depuis 1990 les décès dus à trois sources de violence collective : la violence d’état (essentiellement la police), les violences communautaires et le banditisme. Nous utilisons une approche à la fois géographique et historique pour déterminer le niveau et la tendance du nombre de décès résultant du crime organisé et des conflits politiques. Notre analyse permet de plus d’identifier les divergences entre les discours parus dans la presse sur l’insécurité et la violence politique, et la réalité des décès rapportés dans cette même presse.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version, 2003
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) in its series Working Papers with number DT/2003/15.

in new window

Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2003
Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200315
Contact details of provider: Postal:
4, rue d'Enghien, 75010 Paris

Phone: + 33 1 53 24 14 50
Fax: + 33 1 53 24 14 51
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200315. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Loic Le Pezennec)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.