a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial

New data from UCDP for 2012

By: Jon Brunberg | posted: 7/26/2013 12:20:09 PM


The number of armed conflict in the world are at its lowest level since the 1970s conclude Lotta Themnér and Peter Wallensteen from Uppsala Conflict Data Program in a report which was published in the summer issue of Journal of Peace Research (available on-line via Sage Publishing). These distinguished researchers find that the number of armed conflicts dropped from 37 in 2011 to 31 in 2012. However a positive message this may be there are some serious setbacks in the development towards a more peaceful world – foremost in the fact that the number of battle related deaths in the ongoing conflicts, and specially in Syria, are higher than in the previous year.

UCDP identifies six wars in 2012: “The conflict in Syria escalated dramatically during 2012, causing over 15,000 battle-related deaths during the year … In 2012, the conflict in Afghanistan increased in intensity for the fourth consecutive year, causing almost 7,400 battle-related deaths. In Somalia the conflict between the government and Al-Shabaab escalated in 2012, causing over 2,600 battle related deaths, which is the highest number recorded in this dyad. Closely connected to the conflict in neighbouring Afghanistan, the war in Pakistan continued at a high level in 2012, causing more than 2,700 battle-related deaths. In Yemen the conflict between the government and AQAP (Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) escalated dramatically in 2012, with the number of battle-related deaths more than doubling to over 2,300. The conflict in Sudan continued unabated in 2012, remaining on the same high level of intensity as the previous year. The fighting, which caused roughly 1,100 battle-related deaths, was concentrated around Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.”

This website uses (when possible and not coherently) UCDP and other academic institutions‘ definition of war as being an armed conflict in which at least 1000 battle related deaths occurred in one year, and our database have been updated to reflect the reported changes in fatalities for the above-mentioned wars.

As more and more internet users start to visit this site and my data start to appear in Wikipedia articles and elsewhere I’ve come to realize the necessity to present the sources for the fatality counts I publish here. You’ll now find such comments in connection with some of the articles. You should however note that the fatality data is not coherent. It comes from several publicly available sources and uses several definitions. It is my goal that the numbers in the database eventually will be more coherent and correct over time and in the meantime I kindly ask for your patience. It is perhaps also worth noting that the numbers and data is presented to give an idea of the scale of killing in wars and is not intended to be perceived as scientific research. I do however strive for an politically and culturally unbiased stance whenever that is possible – if it is at all possible.


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The online version of the referenced article can be found at:
http://jpr.sagepub.com/content/50/4/509 DOI: 10.1177/0022343313494396 2013 50: 509
originally published online 1 July 2013
Journal of Peace Research
Lotta Themnér and Peter Wallensteen


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