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Forgotten wars revealed in new map

19 April 20170 comments

There are more than 100 conflicts unfolding in countries around the world.

Many of them don’t get the media or policy attention of the wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan or Ukraine.

And many do not have same geopolitical or economic importance but they are all cause death destruction and the displacement of refugees.

But the toll of decades-long conflicts – from Colombia to the Ogaden, from Kashmir to Western Sahara – is just as devastating for the people who live there.

Not for profit humanitarian media network IRIN has produced a fascinating and disturbing map that traces some of the world’s little known conflicts.

See the map here: https://www.irinnews.org/maps-and-graphics/2017/04/04/updated-mapped-world-war

Some of the obscure but deadly conflicts currently under way include:

Blue Nile

Eclipsed by the media coverage of Darfur and South Sudan, a little-known rebellion lingers in the south eastern corner of Sudan. The roots of the conflict are long and winding, but for the civilians caught in the midst of Blue Nile’s insurgency the effects are immediately real.

Philippines

With a peace deal stalled on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, more militant Islamist groups are emerging and aligning themselves with the so-called Islamic State. In other parts of Mindanao, indigenous communities are displaced by war between the government and communist insurgents, and peace talks have halted entirely.

South Kordofan

In July 2011, the world celebrated the independence of South Sudan after a 22-year civil war. But bombs had been falling for weeks across the Sudanese border in South Kordofan, where rebels who had fought for the new nation felt their state had been left stranded in the wrong country.

Casamance

Three decades of on-and-off separatist conflict in Senegal’s southern region of Casamance have killed thousands of people, displaced tens of thousands more, crippled the rural-based economy and turned large tracts of territory into no-go zones due to landmines.

Southern Thailand

Tourism has boomed in Thailand over the past decade, but many of the backpackers island-hopping around its palm-fringed shores are not aware that a brutal conflict is raging in its deep south.

The civilian toll is staggering and yet news of the bombings, the beheadings, the pernicious pursuit of soft targets like teachers and monks, barely makes it out of the region. The government, currently led by junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha, seems to have neither the ability nor the inclination to make serious efforts to stem an insurgency now fuelled as much by criminality and power as by religion, ethnicity or separatism.

 

Laurie Nowell
AMES Australia Senior Journalist