The media has a habit of fixating on one topic at a time, and failing to give its viewers and readers a full picture of what is really going on the world. While the globe has been focused on big ticket issues like Ukraine, ISIS or Ebola, many other wars and armed conflicts of equal or larger scale have been playing out. These so-called ‘forgotten conflicts’, often located in remote areas, are no less tragic than those which fill the headlines, and thus deserve our attention too.
South Sudan Civil War (10,000+ Dead) At the end of 2013, the two major ethnic groups that make up the majority of the new country’s population, the Dinka and the Nuer went to war. The split was driven by a fallout between two independence-era leaders and resulted in an attempted coup. When this failed, Nuer troops took to the bush and staged ongoing attacks against Government forces, now solely loyal to the majority Dinka tribe.
Mexican Drug War (1000+ Dead) While the so-called drug wars in Mexico are an armed conflict on a sub-state level, they nonetheless are equally deadly to many international conflicts. This year saw several high level leaders of the cartels either killed or arrested included the infamous Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Additionally, it saw the disappearance (and likely murder) of 43 student teachers, by local cartel-connected authorities, leading to mass civil unrest.
Pakistan Tribal Conflict (3800+ Dead) The War in Afghanistan still gets attention due to the presence of foreign troops, however an even more deadly conflict this year sits just across the border in Pakistan. There, the government is involved in heavy fighting against Islamist militants in the Northwest Frontier Province. This conflict also regularly spills over into major cities in the form of regular bombings which have killed 100s this year.
Central African Republic Unrest (5000+ Dead) Early this year, a mainly Muslim rebel group called “Selaka” took control of the Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui. This prompted a wider conflict between the Christian and Muslim communities within the country, who formed armed militias and engaged in ethnic cleansing and mass killings. A ceasefire signed mid-year has largely held, however sporadic inter-communal violence continues at a lower level.
Nigeria Boko Haram Insurgency (5700+ Dead) After ISIS, the most dangerous Islamist group in the world is probably Boko Haram. This group, based in northern Nigeria is engaged in active fighting against government forces who seem unable to confront them. As well as weekly bombings, the group has also become infamous for mass kidnappings, such as that of 276 schoolgirls in April, which gave rise to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.