The 2008 Armed Conflicts Report—Preview

Tasneem Jamal

The Ploughshares Monitor Summer 2008 Volume 29 Issue 2

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After a period of seven years, during which there was a cumulative decrease of 12 armed conflicts, 2007 saw an increase in armed conflicts from 29 to 30, with two added to the report and one removed. The number of countries involved increased from 25 to 26.

Fighting between Israel and Lebanon (Hezbollah) ended in August 2006 with a UN-brokered ceasefire and the deployment of Lebanese and UN forces into southern Lebanon. Yemen and Turkey were again added to the map, both having been included in past Armed Conflicts Reports—Yemen for its 1994 civil war and Turkey for the 1984–2002 phase of the conflict with Kurdish rebels. Research indicates that half of all post-war countries are in danger of reverting to war within a decade.

In Yemen, the current armed conflict began in 2004 with the emergence of a new rebel group (the Shabab al-Moumineen or Youthful Believers). By the end of 2007, the total number of deaths greatly exceeded 1,000.

The earlier phase of the Turkish conflict ended in 2002 when conflict-related deaths totaled less than 25 for the second consecutive year. A unilateral ceasefire had been declared by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in 1999. In 2004 the ceasefire ended, after the Turkish government refused to issue a general amnesty to PKK militants and militant Kurdish bases in northern Iraq became better equipped. Since then conflict fatalities have been on the rise, exceeding 1,000 in 2007.

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