It’s that time of year when most websites and blogs do a rather whimsical review of the year with an overly saccharine Christmasy feeling. That may be all well and good for those of us living in something of a peaceful and prosperous existence but I think it’s important to remember that for many of us even in richer nations, a large majority of people are less fortunate and that there are large parts of the world where just making it through the year in one piece is something of an achievement.
Hot off the press below, there is the results of the annual State of Global Peace Index. Those countries in green are those which can be considered peaceful both militarily, domestically and politically. Those in yellow are not particularly peaceful but broadly stable and better than the pink nations that generally have active insurgencies in parts of their territory, low level warfare or less than good socio-political siutations. Countries in red are as unpeaceful as they come.
The graph below shows just how many countries are suffering from war or paramilitary activies on their territory. As well as the attention grabbing events in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, much of Africa is also suffering as are areas of India, Pakistan and obviously Ukraine.
It’s interesting to see that Russia is classed as amonst the handful of most unpeaceful countries and instigated one war largely responsible for the worst one continuing and yet has zero domestic casualties which probably says a lot.
The charts below are taken from Wikipedia. For yet another year, the war in Syria has proven to be the most terrible in the world.
The table below is full of almost forgotten conflicts. Not big enough or with any single catasphrophe to make the news but rumbling on and responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths.
The chart below is of mostly internal unrest, mostly in Asia and Africa. Many of these have been ongoing for decades at such a low level that no-one but those involved are aware of them. Some of them are dispute between ethic groups or immoral governments favouring one section of the population over others.
People here live their entire lives with the war rumbling on in the background. It’s just something that they have to make the best of as for various reasons the conflicts are either intractible or the casualties are so low that in other places they would be less than the homicide counts in other nations.
The Kurdish separatist situation in Iran is the oldest ongoing active trouble-spot. The Kurds are one of the very few nations that have no state or can even be found as a large majority in one single state. Instead their lands were divided by amongst others Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Armenia, abused by all and with few friends. Though I don’t agree with terrorism in any way, I do think there should be a real Kurdistan state.
Finally the table below illustrates the most deadly nations in the previous 3 years.
Let’s hope that even if these low level conflicts can’t be resolved next year that 2017 the worst wars at the top of the page come to a close. I think it is good to remember that not everyone, perhaps even most people won’t have a Merry Christmas and hundreds of thousands that were here last year aren’t even alive to have a choice at all.