53 armed conflicts in 34 countries in 2023, battle deaths 122,000


Credit – @PRIOresearch

10 June 2024: The year 2023 saw the highest number of conflicts since 1946. In addition, the past three years were the most violent in the last three decades, according to new conflict trend analysis, says the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).

Main takeaways of the report:

  • 59 different conflict zones in 34 countries
  • Fatalities in conflicts was 122,000
  • Fatalities – 78,000 Ukraine and 23,000 Gaza
  • Africa had the highest 28 conflict zones
  • Africa had 330,000 deaths in conflicts since 2021
  • Americas had 36 non-state conflicts
  • Mexico had 14,000 deaths

“Violence in the world is at an all-time high since the end of the Cold War. The figures suggest that the conflict landscape has become increasingly complex, with more conflict actors operating within the same country,” said Siri Aas Rustad, Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and the lead writer of PRIO’s Conflict Trends: A Global Overview report.

“The increase in state-based conflicts can be attributed in part to the Islamic State expanding across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and an increase in other non-state actors getting involved in conflicts, such as the Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin group,” said Professor Rustad. “This development makes it increasingly difficult for actors like aid groups and civil society organizations to maneuver the conflict landscape and improve the lives of ordinary people.”

Africa remained the region with the most state-based conflicts per year (28), followed by Asia (17), the Middle East (10), Europe (3) and the Americas (1). The number of conflicts in Africa nearly doubled compared with ten years ago, from 15 in 2013. In the past three years, Africa has seen more than 330,000 battle-related deaths.

The continued fall in the number of conflicts in the Middle East reversed, with an increase from eight to ten from 2022 to 2023. In 2022, slightly more than 5,000 battle-related deaths were recorded in the Middle East, the lowest since 2011. However, in 2023 the number was back up at almost 26,000. It is worth noting that almost 23,000 of these were registered in Israel and Palestine. This shows that while violence in the Middle East continues, it is now driven by a different conflict than previously.

“The Middle East figures give hope that extreme violence and complex conflicts such as in Syria can diminish. On the other hand, it is a continuous worry that we see new extremely violent conflicts emerging more often than previously,” said Professor Rustad.

By SAT News Desk

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