Travel With Me - Conflicts Around The World
Written by Lucie
You could say we live in a world of peace. And in a way, you wouldn't be wrong, as a lot of countries nowadays remain conflict-free. However, there are still 27 nations that keep fighting due to various reasons. Let me guide you through different types of conflicts and their origins.
Territorial dispute - Turkey
Along with civil war, territorial dispute is the most prevalent type of conflict. It occurs when two or more countries want to occupy a certain area - either land or sea. The Kurdish-Turkish conflict is one of these disputes. In 1984, the Kurds (who comprise nearly ⅕ of Turkey's population), wanted to gain greater cultural and political rights and even establish their own independent Kurdish state. However, since they are a minority, Turkey didn't acknowledge their existence for a long time. Not even TV could air programmes in Kurdish, let alone support any of its leaders. This kind of suppression started 35 years ago and has resulted in 40,000 deaths so far.
Civil war - Syria
Civil war can be described as a war between entities of the same country. In Syria, it all started with the succession of President Bashar al-Assad, who was repressive. In 2011, demonstrations supporting his resignation began and the country divided with nationwide protests. Consequently, the situation escalated quickly and Syria descended into civil war. Once foreign states got involved and jihadist organizations appeared, it was apparent that this will be a long run. According to data from The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the conflict has taken its toll on over 387 000 people, a third of them being civilians.
Political instability - Venezuela
Venezuela is the perfect example of a country affected by severe political instability. The current president, Nicolás Maduro, is allegedly the one to blame for the economy's downfall, which has led the country into one of the biggest humanitarian emergencies ever, with millions of people unable to access basic healthcare, clean water, and adequate nutrition. An exodus of Venezuelans, caused by the bad political situation, repression, and skyrocketing hyperinflation, along with food and medical shortages, is considered the largest migration crisis in recent Latin American history.
PHOTO: Instagram Maduro, Nicholas
Transnational terrorism - New York
Unlike other mentioned conflicts, this form of terrorism threatens and targets multiple countries. Some well-known terrorist organizations, such as ISIS and Al-Qaede, have been held responsible for multiple terrorist attacks around the globe, including 9/11, which caused nearly 3000 casualties and left a mark on many people's lives.
PHOTO: Sean Adair/Reuters/CORBIS
Sectarian conflict - Nigeria
'Sectarian' refers to conflicts that are provoked by religious or political issues. For example, Boko Hara, a militant extremist group based in northeastern Nigeria, operating also in Chad, Niger, and Cameroon, aims to make Nigeria a completely Muslim country, based on a strict interpretation of the Sharia law. This terrorist organization, which plans to overthrow the Nigerian government, is closely associated with ISIS and Al-Qaede.
PHOTO: Emmanuel Braun, Reuters
Criminal violence - Mexico
According to The Institute of Economics and Peace, Mexico ranked 140th out of 163 countries. In comparison, Czechia ended up in 9th place (TOP 10!). As the evaluation factors included, for example, weapon imports, violent demonstrations, homicide rate, and deaths from internal conflict, it is no surprise Mexico has been given this low position. To clarify, 89 politicians were killed during the campaigning period around the Mexican midterm elections - and this was only one of many similar events. The fact that there is an ongoing 'Mexican Drug War' happening between the Mexican government and local drug cartels doesn’t really help either, since drugs are known to induce aggression. What is also worth mentioning is that this 'war' started in 2006 (15 years ago!) and doesn't seem to be coming to an end anytime soon.
Although we now live in one of the most peaceful eras in history, conflicts are, and unfortunately will continue to be out there. We as individuals can't do a lot, but we can do something. It is enough if we avoid violence and don't incite it. If we treat people with kindness and respect their opinions. If we try to understand them instead of judging right away. It's all about having even just a little sympathy.
Koop, Avery. “Mapped: Where are the World's Ongoing Conflicts Today?”, https://www.visualcapitalist.com/mapped-where-are-the-worlds-ongoing-conflicts-today/
Roth, Kenneth. “World Report 2021: Venezuela / Human Rights Watch”, https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2021/country-chapters/venezuela
BBC. “Venezuela crisis: How the political situation escalated” https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36319877
History. “September 11 Attacks: Facts, Background & Impact” https://www.history.com/topics/21st-century/9-11-attacks
IEP. “Global Peace Index 2021”
BBC. “Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamist group?”
BBC. “Why has the Syrian war lasted 10 years?” https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35806229
Český Rozhlas. “Turecko a Kurdové se vracejí ke konfliktu.”
CFR. “Conflict Between Turkey and Armed Kurdish Groups”