Russia and Ukraine have been in the news headlines across the globe & the entire news fraternity is relentlessly focused on it. But currently there are other ongoing armed conflicts in quite a few parts of the world and remain underreported. Media houses around the world have failed to report armed conflicts that fall outside their areas of interests.
On 24 February 2022, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. Russian anxiety regarding Ukraine’s amalgamation into the NATO & reports of constant tension between Russia and Ukraine has led the world into an uncertain situation.
On 26 March 2022, Al Jazeera news reported that US President Joe Biden said “Russia cannot conquer Ukraine and that Russia’s prime minister Vladimir Putin will not always be in power”.
The situation had become critical, on 27 March 2022, Russia rocketed the oil facility in the city Lyiv, Ukraine, due to which heavy fire was reported and the firefighters were engaged in extinguishing the fire with the help of water fountains.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Vladimir Zelensky has appealed to the country of Poland to help Ukraine with arms warning Poland about Russia’s ambitions to enter NATO territory and other neighboring nations.
Russia Ukraine invasion has been given the centre stage by the world’s big news organizations like BBC, CNBC, Wall Street Journal, NBC, CFR, Amnesty International, Forbidden Stories, NPR, ABC News, The Guardian, CBS news, Bloomberg, The Wire, Sky News, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, DW, France 24, Telesur and many more etc.
The biggest issue for Europe would be the refugee crisis that has erupted due to the conflict. Many European countries are taking in the blue eyed Caucasian refugees from Ukraine with open arms. But not too long ago their stance towards refugees from Africa and Arab nations was completely opposite.
A list of ongoing armed conflicts with a prominent impact
- Papua/West New Guinea
- Sudan & South Sudan
- DR Congo
- Iraq & Syria
Papua/ West New Guinea
The Free Papua Movement (OPM) has engaged in a pro-independence conflict with the Indonesian military since the 1960s. Indonesia has used all means including violence to bring down all the voices for Papuan independence.
Earlier in March 2022 UN in a statement mentioned extreme Human Rights Violations between April-November 2021. They received reports referring many instances of extrajudicial killings, including of young children, disappearances, torture, and displacement of at least 5,000 Papuans.
This UN’s statement was followed by Pro independence rebels shooting 8 Indonesian telecom technicians, in an act to make a statement. Earlier in January 2022 Rebel spokesman Sebby Sambom, in a statement sent to The Associated Press, confirmed the group’s fighters carried out the attack, saying it lasted more than four hours. He confirmed no deaths on the rebel side where as the Indonesian military lost three
In May 2021 The Guardian published an article about the situation in Papua. As per the article heavy military deployment was witnessed and activists and journalists were targeted. So it explains why there is a lack of any news coming from Papua as the underreported conflict continues.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, who became the first President of Yemen in 2014, faced a rebellion and was uprooted from power after which Houthi rebels took charge. Houthi is a Shia organization and an armed group allied with Iran which is a Shia majority country.
France 24 reported on 17 January 2022, drone attacks at the under construction International Airport and Industrial Area in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
On 15 sep 2019 as per New York Times report, the rebels had conducted a similar drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities. After which Saudi Arabia conducted an air strike on the rebels of Yemen.
As per UN, January 2022 was one with the worst recorded civilian casualties in Yemen due to air strikes led by the Saudi led coalition. Saudi Arabia’s alliance with the USA is not to be not forgotten in this conflict.
According to DW news, on Friday 26 March 2022, Saudi Aramco oil facility was ignited into flames after the attack by Yemen Houthi Rebels in the coastal city of Jeddah and on 27 march 2022 Saudi Arabia conducted air strikes against these rebels in Yemen’s Sanaa and Red Sea Port City of Hodeidah to protect the natural Global sources and to ensure supply chain.
Some news of relief and peace during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan have surfaced. But it would be difficult to predict how long it will last.
According to 2022 data from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Project, in recent years nearly 150,000 people, including over 14.500 civilians have lost their lives in Yemen due to the conflict.
Myanmar conflict is not a surprise, be it the issues around Rohingyas or due to rebels fighting the military establishment. News about attacks on peaceful protests and use of violent means to silence the descent have been reported globally.
UN human rights office released data in February stating at least 1,500 deaths in year-long protests against the coup in Myanmar, with thousands more possibly killed in the armed conflict.
As per ABC news on March 15th Myanmar’s army is targeting civilians in fighting on a scale unmatched in the country since World War II.
At least 800 people have fled their homes due to this encounter between the Junta Soldier and the Local Resistance Force .
On 1 March Myanmar Now reported that the Junta Soldier was shielding the common man and using it against the resistance force which was a Human rights violation.
Due to the tight control by the juntas army most of the incidents go unreported and hence the the world community is mostly unaware of the happenings inside the country
France 24 reported on 27 march 2022 Junta Chief Min Aung Hlaing inspects officers during a parade to commemorate Myanmar’s 77th Armed Forces Day in Naypyidaw vows ‘annihilate’ enemies of the army rule.
Somalia has been amidst armed conflicts for decades now. The civil transgressed into two decades and it’s end brought in temporary peace. The short-lived peace was torn apart by the militant group al-Shabaab, now a part Al-Qaeda.
As per Africa news the death toll due to a twin blast in Somali capital has reached to 48. al-Shabaab took responsibility and mentioned the purpose of the attacks was to target the politicians.
As per Somali military statement in early March 2022, US drone attacked al-Shabaab pockets and estimated 200 deaths. The mission was a collab between US & Somali Army.
UN news reported that Somalia is inching towards a famine and the drought like situation is worsening it. Acute food shortage is already evident and he Ukraine war is accelerating it.
Sudan & South Sudan
Since the Omar al-Bashir’s military coup d’états it has been an era full of violence. Even Osama Bin Laden visited the country to appropriate extreme Islamic ideology. Darfur War that took its roots in 2003 created a civil war like situation, where the non Arab Sudanese in Darfur felt oppressed and retaliated with violence. Government reacted with ethnic cleansing drive.
After a public referendum in 2011, South Sudan became an independent nation sperate from Sudan. The peace was short lived and political infighting amongst leaders led to a civil, war that lasted till 2020. But conflicts continue in Sudan & South Sudan until today.
In January Al Jazeera reported atleast 30 deaths including three children in South Sudan during armed raids carried out by Murle an ethnic group.
As per Amnesty.org’s report in December 2021, dozens of civilians have died and almost 80,000 were displaced due to the clashes in Western Equatoria.
A March 10 report by Al Jazeera mentioned the heavy handedness of Arab Sudanese in Non-Arab communities. Some 17 deaths & 4 villages burnt in Sudan’s Jabal Moon region were also reported.
Nigeria has seen many military dictatorships and coups since its struggle towards independence bore fruits in the mid of 20th century. The independent republic of Nigeria was shaped by violence and armed conflict. The Nigerian civil war broke before Nigeria would see a peaceful democratic government would settle into their own.
The military dictators of Nigeria have often used violence as their only means to make ends meet. In the 70s Nigeria witnessed a oil boom amidst the armed conflicts that overshadowed the nation. Nigeria joined the OPEC then which helped the country with petroleum revenue. However the prosperity would not guarantee peace.
By the end of the first decade of 21st century a new rebel group had made it to the news, Boko Haram. The rebel group began their operations in 2009 and slowly began to take over regions in Nigeria. Boko Their alliance with ISIS made them sole Daesh representatives in West Africa making them ISWAP(Islamic State’s West Africa Province). Haram’s violence has been regarded the most brutal even compared to ISIL standards as per the researcher Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi and which has also led the division of itself too.
Meanwhile Nigerian Bandits had begun their armed conflict mostly due to clashes between herders and farmers but also the addition of Jihadist elements also triggered it. According to Al Jazeera in January 2022 at least 200 died in bandit attacks in northwest Nigeria. A week after Reuters reported “Gunmen kill more than 50 in Nigeria’s northwest” i.e. Dankade .
In early March 2022, The Premium Times reported loss of more than 83 lives, including the 63 vigilantes killed in Sakaba by the Bandits.
Sahara Reporters in their story published on 31 March 2022 mentioned clashes between Boko Haram & ISWAP, where 50 ISWAP members were killed.
DR Congo, home to tropical rainforests of Africa, was occupied by Belgium since late 19th century until the1960. Since its independence the west has been intervened in most of the DR Congo’s political processes. Mobuto a US backed leader ruled DR Congo using all the ways possible, until he finally dies in 1997.
Since then DR Congo has been swept by violence and civil war.
Last year as per Boris Cheshirkov UN refugee agency spokesman told reporters in Geneva, that UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its partners, estimated “more than 1,200 civilian deaths and 1,100 rapes this year” in the two most affected provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.
2nd February 2022 UN news report mentioned nearly 50 deaths in a camp executed by militia. UN also went ahead and estimated atleast 2,024 civilians, including 439 women, which were victims of summary executions.
Around 3 November 2020 clashes between political parties in Ethiopia began and the conflict converted into a violent civil war. Eritrea in the north, adjacent to the Ethiopian border sent their troops to take part in the conflict. Conflicts in Ethiopia were also seen spilling into neighboring countries such as Sudan, Somalia which is also known as the Tigray War .
On 14 march 2022, The Globe and The Mail reported and estimated 50,000 to 100,000 victims of direct killings, 150,000 to 200,000 deaths due to hunger and more than 100,000 additional deaths caused by lack of healthcare. This data was provided by researchers led by Jan Nyssen of Ghent University in Belgium.
According to Wikipedia The local Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) are engaged against the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), the Ethiopian Federal Police, regional police, and gendarmerie forces of the neighboring Amhara and Afar regions with the involvement of the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF).
Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TDLS) which is a rebel organisation that has a strong hold on the North region called Tigray. Bloomberg reported on 28-03-2022, 32 buses carrying soldiers were seen in Kobo in Amhara state, south of Tigray as rebels and the Ethiopian government agreed on humanitarian aid along with a ceasefire.
Bloomberg reported On March 25, 2022 the agreement had concluded between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and it’s being observed as a ceasefire between these troops and rebels.
Iraq & Syria
26 October 2019 Baghdadi was killed during a U.S. special operations raid in Idlib, Syria and on 31 October 2019 the then President of US Donald Trump announced and confirmed that the most wanted terrorist is down and his successor, Ibrahim al Hashemi al Qurayshi took charge of ISIS. Many fierce conflicts have occured in Iraq & Syria, which have changed the region completely.
2022 has brought in a new wave of violence. The province of Daraa in southern Syria has witnessed 117 different types of attacks that left 97 people dead, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced.
Israeli raids and missiles are very often in Syria especially from Golan heights and since 2011 Israel has been actively participating in the armed conflict.
“In response to the anti-aircraft missile launched from Syria earlier tonight, we just struck surface-to-air missile targets in Syria, including radar & anti-aircraft batteries,” the IDF statement in a tweet regarding the February missile attacks.
On Febraury 2nd UN released a statement mentioning that Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity “must be respected at all times”. This was following the suspected Turkish attacks on Kurdhish positions
Earlier in March, Iraqi state TV quoted the Kurdistan region’s counter-terrorism force as saying 12 missiles launched from outside Iraq hit Erbil. It was not immediately clear where they landed. No casualties were reported though
On March 9, 2022, there is an inflationary environment in Iraq due to the Ukraine War because Iraq buys wheat and sunflower oil from Russia, but the movement has taken shape inside Iraq.
On 27 March 2022 , Al Jazeera reported that LGBTQ people in Iraq face violence by armed groups and police forces. LGBTQ people face gender discrimination and violation of human rights.
On 26 March 2022 , according to France 24, Iraq failed again to elect a new president, remaining mired in political paralysis.
Al-Jazeera reported on October 2020, the Court of Israel ruled that the Palestinian Family who is living in Sheikh Jarrah i.e. Neighboring East Jerusalem. They will have to evacuate by May 2021. But after the court’s statement, in February 2021, the people of Palestine started protesting because of the illegal displacement of Palestinians from their home . In April 2021, the Palestine protest commenced fiercely on the streets of Jerusalem against the decision of the Israel government.
Reuters reported on 7 may 2021 heavy tension between Palestine and Israel in the month of Ramadan. Violence erupted near the Al Aqsa Mosque, Israel’s police tried to dilute the situation by using stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannons. Gaza, adjacent to Palestine, is a place which is ruled by a militant group named Hamas. In support of Palestine, Hamas fired thousands of missiles into Israel territory. But around May 21, a ceasefire agreement was signed between Israel and Hamas and both of them agreed to each other in a peaceful manner. Due to the tension between Palestine and Israel, according to the United Nations report, it is said that more than 72,000 Palestine have been scattered.
In the midst of the Palestine Israel clash, some of the major media agencies covered them, such as Accuracy in Media, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Honest Reporting, Palestine Media Watch, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs printed newspapers and investigated related to the unrest.
On 1 March 2022 Al Jazeera reported that Israeli top court suspends Palestinian evictions in Sheikh Jarrah.
On 29 March 2022 Jordan King Abdullah met Israeli defence minister Gantz before Ramadan and asked Israel to respect muslim rights at Al Aqsa .
Al-Jazeera reported On 30 March 2022 Palestinians carried out 3 attacks against Israelis and killed 11 personnels.
War in Afghanistan started in 1978. According to Armed Conflicts Location and Event Data Project ACLEDs, there have been 30,936 fatalities within 2020 alone. On 15 August 2021 – 30 August 2021 during the evacuation of the citizens from Kabul, a suicide bombing took place at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan,around 17:50 local time,
Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui, who worked for Reuters News was assassinated by the Taliban on 16 July 2021. His family is now appealing to the International Court of Justice to bring the Taliban to justice in Afghanistan.
The newspaper Al Jazeera, dated 23 March 2022, reported that girls above the sixth grade were not allowed to go to school, but on the contrary, despite ban and sanctions by countries around the world against Afghanistan, cryptocurrency has brought some relief in their economic crisis.
On 28 March 2022, the Economic Times reported that the government of Afghanistan made a statement on the travel of women in the plane that women cannot travel alone in the plane. They need a compulsory male escort to travel whereas males and females cannot visit the park together. The park will be dedicated to only males or only females every alternate day.
The Taliban Government is banning selective airings. On 27 march 2022 BBC news press team tweeted that international media service BBC for both languages Persian, Uzbek and Pashto were discontinued. Along with the BBC, even Voice of America, German Deutsche Welle and China Global Television Network were banned from further broadcasts.