On any given day at any given moment in your life, there are at least 15 wars and armed conflicts actively going on all around the world — even if you’re only hearing about a few of them on the news. Every day, people are fighting to the death for the ideals they believe in. Some are fighting for independence and freedom. Some are dying for their right to be heard, to be treated as human beings. Others are desperately attempting to gain control of resources, roads and riches, and they’re willing to wield death in order to get them. Some even say they’re ultimately fighting in the name of peace. But all of the wars and conflicts on this list have been dismissed, forgotten, ignored and under-reported while the world stays busy looking the other way.
After this list, you’ll realize that world peace is even further away from reality than you ever dreamed. Here are 15 wars happening right now, picked at random, from lists containing dozens of armed conflicts and insurgencies happening all over the globe at this very moment. These aren’t the only 15 wars you don’t know about — these are just the first 15 you need to find out about right now.
15. Somali Civil War in Africa
Somalia has been in a Civil War for decades, and few ever talk about it. Somalia as a country was created in 1960, and collapsed in 1991 when President Siad Barre was overthrown. With no government in place, the country was pieced off by various warlords as war raged for years. A unified government formed in 2000, and attempted to regain control of the country. It didn’t work. A new government was installed in 2012 after the first election in the country since 1967. Somalia is attempting to stabilize, but the government is constantly at odds with Al-Shabab and Al-Qaeda insurgents. U.S. troops were deployed in 2007 in an attempt to establish peace, but armed conflicts have not stopped.
14. Kashmir Unrest in India
The Kashmir unrest is widely reported in India, but rarely mentioned in the U.S. media. The unrest refers to a series of ongoing and violent protests that began in 2016. This conflict pits separatists against the existing Indian government. There have already been hundreds of casualties, mainly among children, in this ongoing conflict. Recently, 19,000 young people in Kashmir have enlisted to join the Indian army. There were several attacks on security personnel employed by the Indian government in early April of this year, and the Kashmir unrest is not showing any real signs of slowing down at present.
13. War in Darfur, Africa
Though it’s no longer in the news, war in Darfur continues to rage as government forces continually attack civilians living here. Sudanese armed forces launched an attack on Darfur in January 2016, and continued attacks through the rest of the year. During this time, government forces in Darfur killed civilians and destroyed hundreds of villages. In 2016, the UN estimated that up to 190,000 people in Darfur were displaced. UN peacekeeping efforts in Darfur have been blocked by government authorities who have control of the region. To date, around 2.6 million people in Darfur are displaced due to the ongoing war.
12. Civil War in Myanmar, Asia
Myanmar, once known as Burma, has been actively at war for decades. Civil War has raged in the country since 1948. Since the 1962 military coup in Myanmar, several different armed groups have opposed the controlling military power. There are many different ethnic groups in Myanmar attempting to become the dominant group through use of military force. The Arakan Liberation Army, Chin National Army, Kachin Independent Army and dozens of other groups create almost constant chaos in Myanmar. A Ceasefire Agreement was signed between the official Myanmese government and several ethnic groups in 2016, but three major opposing groups refused to sign the agreement and have not held to its terms in any way. Recently, these groups were involved in a military action along the Chinese border. This suggests the 7-decade war in Myanmar is not going to stop soon.
11. Conflict in Donbass, Ukraine
Conflict in Ukraine has been pretty consistent since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but the country has only been in a high state of crisis since 2013. Primarily, Ukraine is split between two groups: the west and the east. Western Ukraine strongly supports integration with Europe. The primary language here is Ukrainian. In eastern Ukraine, Russian is the primary language.
The conflict in Ukraine became violent in late 2013, when the President of Ukraine dismissed a deal with the European Union in order to support stronger ties with Russia. Hundreds of thousands of protesters swarmed city hall and government areas to express their anger at this decision. Violent opposition continues to remain in the Donbass region of Ukraine. A group known as the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic set up a blockade here in late 2016, creating an energy crisis in Ukraine. A January 2017 conflict led to the death of several Ukrainian soldiers and an electricity blackout for 16,000 civilians during frigid temperatures. There has been a ceasefire agreement in place since February 2015, but it has not stopped the violence.
10. South Sudan Civil War, Africa
Since December 2013, more than 50,000 people have died in the South Sudan Civil War — which you probably haven’t heard about until now. It’s estimated that 1.6 million people have been displaced by this war, which nearly 14,000 UN peacekeepers have already tried to halt. In an attempt to end the Civil War, President Salva Kiir signed a peace agreement with rebel leader Machar in 2015 — who was later sworn in as Vice President. In 2016, violence broke out again between the government and opposing forces in spite of these promising steps toward peace. Machar subsequently fled the country, and a new VP was appointed. South Sudan is still very much at war. The conflict is getting worse, rather than better, and the death toll continues to rise. The UN currently has 7,500 troops on the ground here.
9. Conflict in Peru, South America
Peru was a country violently at war from 1980 to 2000, with separatist armies clashing against the official government in a fight for control of the country. Though violence has diminished considerably, protest groups continuously clash with the Peruvian government due to discrimination and various human rights violations. Nearly 70,000 people died in the Peruvian Civil War, which some consider to be ongoing. Government-backed security forces have committed numerous human rights violations against civilians in Peru. More recently, protest groups have clashed with the government over mining practices in the country. Continued violent protests, repeated human rights violations and poor treatment of women have kept the flames of Peru’s ongoing conflict alive.
8. Instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa
Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo is ongoing, though it has slowed down in recent months. Widespread political instability here has led to nearly 500,000 refugees fleeing the area. The UN currently has 20,000 troops on the ground in DR Congo. There are at least 70 armed groups operating outside the bounds of the government here in spite of the UN’s efforts. Terrorist groups such as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda and the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces continue to create violent conflicts on a regular basis here, attacking the existing government. Elections in the country have recently been postponed, causing further anger and conflict from opposition groups. Protesters demanding an election have been killed and wounded by police and government security forces.
7. The North Caucasus Insurgency in Russia
The North Caucasus region of Russia has been plagued by violence for two decades, despite a lessening of death in the past two years. Several insurgent groups in North Caucasus have joined with the Islamic State, a terrorist group that Russia continues to violently oppose. Russian armed forces have met terrorists threats in North Caucasus with deadly force in several armed clashes. Officially, the Russian government has recently ceased its counter-terrorism efforts against IS in North Caucasus. Unofficially, skirmishes and attacks continue to break out in the region as led by terrorist militant groups. North Caucasus is between the Black Sea and Sea of Azov on the west and the Caspian Sea the east.
6. West Papua Civil War in Asia
The violent war in West Papua is rarely, if ever, reported in the U.S., even though the U.S. played a key role in this continuing conflict. Colonized by the Dutch in 1898, West Papua achieved independence in 1961. Within months, the Indonesian government invaded the fledgling country and started armed conflict with the Netherlands and the civilian population in West Papua. The U.S. government advised the Netherlands to hand control of West Papua to Indonesia, which the country did. People in West Papua have been fighting for independence from the Indonesian government ever since. The country attempted again to declare independence in 2000, but this led to bloody conflict with the Indonesian army. People in West Papua face death for protesting and jail time for even raising the West Papuan flag.
5. The Cabinda War in Angola, Africa
The War in Cabinda, also known as the Angola Civil War, is called “Angola’s forgotten war.” Rich in oil, African leaders have tried to split Cabinda from the rest of Angola in order to take advantage of this natural resource. The Angolan government has violently opposed these efforts, leading to several bloody military actions. The government declared in 2009 that the war is officially over, but attacks between government forces and separatists have continued to this year. The Republic of Cabinda has been trying for years to become recognized as an independent nation. Currently, only France has acknowledged it as such. To the rest of the world, Cabinda is still a part of Angola.
4. The War on Terror in Egypt
An Islamic terrorist group currently known as Wilayat Sinai has been carrying out attacks in Egypt since 2005, though the frequency of these attacks are not widely reported. The group has declared their allegiance to the Islamic State, and has launched several attacks on the existing Egyptian government and military sites. Civilians have also been targeted in terror attacks sponsored by Wilayat Sinai. The Egyptian government has responded with aggression of their own, leading to the destruction of many civilian homes in the country. Recently, Amnesty International has raised concerns about people mysteriously disappearing at the hands of the Egyptian government in an attempt to force peace.
3. The Hybrid War in Africa
The Hybrid War began in Mozambique, but has spread throughout South Central Africa into Zambia, Angola and Malawi as well. The clash is between the current government in Mozambique and the Mozambican National Resistance Movement, RENAMO. This ongoing war has been marked by violent conflicts since 2013, with tensions escalating in early 2016. The Mozambique Liberation Front, FRELIMO, is currently in control of the region. As tensions rise between the two groups, the fate of Mozambique and the surrounding area remains uncertain. Mozambique’s position as an economic power in the region could cause the Hybrid War to spiral and grow bigger in upcoming months and years.
2. Military Tension in the East China Sea
For months, Japan and China have seen rising tensions between their two countries in the East China Sea. Both countries have increased their military operations against each other in the region. China has recently built new naval ships to police the area, and increased the amount of their patrols of the waters. Japan has scrambled jets more than 500 times in direct response to Chinese aircraft flying near their borders. The countries are disputing the ownership of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, which were claimed by Japan in 1895. China asserted their own claim over the 8 disputed islands in the 1970s. When the Japanese government bought three of the island from private owners in 2012, tensions began brewing between the two countries again.
1. The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict
The violation of a ceasefire agreement in April 2016 shows that tensions in this disputed border region between Armenia and Azerbaijan are dangerously heating up. The population of this region is 95 percent Armenian, but the land is recognized by the world to be part of Azerbaijan. The two countries managed to live by this agreement until the collapse of the Soviet Union, leading to a full-scale war in the early 1990s when the region declared independence. Since the 1994 ceasefire, violations of the agreement have been frequent and violent. Five soldiers fighting for Azerbaijan were recently killed by Armenian separatists in February 2017 during a border battle.
There are wars raging all around the world that create deadly conflict every single day. Civilians are being murdered, tortured and displaced due to terrorism, government instability and human rights violations. When these wars are completely forgotten and ignored, each and every death is even more tragic.
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