The war in Ukraine has been headlining the news as the world considers the consequences of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of the country. Far fewer armed conflicts and wars, however, are conducted at a scale that captures the world’s attention. Not many, for example, seem to be aware of the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon that’s killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
There are currently about a dozen major global conflicts that have risen to the level of mayhem and violence to make them regularly front page news. Some of these are recent extensions of previous wars, like the one the U.S. fought in Afghanistan for 20 years before withdrawing in August 2021, leaving behind a country facing continuing violence and humanitarian crisis.
Other conflicts have been going on for decades, the oldest being the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where periods of violence can be followed by relative calm, as the conflict remains unresolved.
One major conflict, the civil war in South Sudan, ended in a peace deal struck in 2020 after hundreds of thousands of people died and millions were displaced. But ethnic tensions, chronic insecurity, and worsening humanitarian crises in the country persist and could tip the world’s newest country back into a state of civil war. (Also read: these are the rifles world war ii was fought with.)
To determine which countries are currently at war, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Global Conflict Tracker, a tool created by the Center for Preventative Action, a global conflict policy think tank. Out of the conflicts the tracker lists, we only included those that are active wars. To be considered active, the conflict needs to have had recent active fighting between distinct organized factions, independently verified using news sources. The wars on this list include insurgencies within countries, political instability and civil wars, and wars between neighboring countries. The conflicts are listed according to when they began.
Out of 13 major global conflicts, the newest ones are the Myanmar civil war, triggered shortly after a military coup in February 2021, and the war in Ukraine that started with Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. Seven of these conflicts are in Asia, including sectarian violence in Iraq following the pullout of the U.S. in December 2017, and Syria’s complicated civil war. Five of these conflicts are on the African continent. (Also see, 40 countries spending the most on war.)
Here are the major wars happening around the world.
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