When you look at a map of the world’s armed conflicts, there are always several nations at war. Some wars linger far longer than others, and the nations involved in these protracted conflicts often suffer tremendous devastation and persistent poverty.
Most of the time, internal strife amongst factions of the country’s people causes so much destruction in these war-torn nations. In addition to casualties, war-torn nations must deal with shaky economies and highly damaged infrastructures, both of which are difficult to restore.
At the same time, combat continues and may take years (or even decades) to recover after it ends.
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The World’s Most War-Torn Countries:
Since 1978, Afghanistan has constantly been at the center of civil wars, foreign wars, and inter-ethnic conflicts. U.S. soldiers invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to remove the Taliban, a violent Islamic extremist organization, and to aid the nation in its recovery from years of war.
In addition to providing financial aid, the United States sent soldiers to Afghanistan to defend civilians from Taliban assaults and help the government restore its authority.
Several thousand people were killed annually by Taliban strikes despite these measures. Additionally, the Taliban reemerged and retook control of Afghanistan within months after the United States withdrew its forces in 2021 as part of a strategy to restore control of Afghanistan to the Afghan people.
Since Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979, Iraq has also had a lengthy history of conflict. Despite claiming half a million and half a million lives, the Iran-Iraq War, which lasted from 1979 to 1988, ended in a stalemate.
Following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990–1991, which sparked the Gulf War, a faction of the Iraqi population rose to try to overthrow Hussein and sparked a civil war.
Following the 9-11 attacks on the United States, a coalition headed by the United States and its allies invaded Iraq in 2003, overthrew Hussein’s regime, and occupied the country until 2007.
Due to the violent backlash from Al Qaeda and other domestic governments, an estimated 151,000-1.2 million Iraqis lost their lives.
Since the United States and its allies withdrew, Iraq has been plagued by prolonged and severe political instability, such as a civil war between Iraqi peacekeeping troops and the insurgent organization Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The Syrian Civil War has killed more people than any other conflict in the 21st century. Protests in 2011 demanding the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s resignation contributed to the war’s escalation.
Wars were fought because demonstrations were put down ruthlessly. Those on the other side of the conflict in Syria include the Ba’athist Syrian Arab Republic headed by al-Assad (and their supporters) and the opposition groups both within and outside of Syria.
International organizations have condemned all parties to the conflict, including the Syrian government, rebel groups, the United States, Turkey, and Russia, for their roles in the conflict’s atrocities and human rights abuses.
Over six million people have been displaced inside Syria due to the civil conflict, and over five million have fled the country altogether.
Over 20,000 people were killed in 2019 due to the ongoing civil conflict in Yemen. The Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi administration and the Houthi armed movement, claiming to be the legitimate government of Yemen, have been at war with one another since 2014.
Saudi Arabia conducted airstrikes to reinstate the previous administration in Yemen; this decision has been widely criticized for resulting in the murder of innocent civilians.
As of March 2019, more than 17,700 people have been killed due to the bombing assault. An estimated 100,000 people, including 12,000 civilians, have been murdered in the Yemeni Civil War.
More than 13 million people in Yemen are at risk of hunger due to food shortages brought on by the ongoing civil conflict.
The Mexican government and numerous drug trafficking syndicates are engaged in an ongoing war known as the Mexican Drug War. Fighting has also broken out in Mexico between rival drug gangs.
There have been five major reorganizations of federal law enforcement since 1982, all aiming to decrease cartel violence and control corruption.
There have been around 120,000 deaths and 27,000 reported disappearances as a direct consequence of the Drug War since 2006. Since entering office in 2018, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has proclaimed an end to the conflict.
However, the high murder rate has been used as proof that this declaration was premature.
The Somali Civil War began in the 1980s and was sparked by people’s opposition to the military junta (military dictatorship) headed by Siad Barre. The Somali Armed Forces fought against armed rebels in 1988, and the resistance eventually toppled Barre’s regime in 1991.
After Barre was removed as president of Somalia, a counterrevolution tried to put him back in power.
Tensions flared up in the south, especially as opposition factions fought for government control. Deaths from conflict and famine both threatened the already impoverished nation.
In April of that year, researchers in humanitarian aid expressed serious doubts about the nation’s preparedness for the COVID-19 epidemic. More than half a million people have lost their lives due to the civil war in Somalia.
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In 2011, Libyans, encouraged by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, began demonstrating forcefully against the government, sparking the country’s civil war. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s army fought back against the rebels. Once the rebels conquered Benghazi and Tripoli in October 2011, the war was over.
In the first Libyan Civil War, it is believed that 20,000 people died, and another 50,000 were wounded. In 2014, Libya descended into its second civil war, with competing groups vying for power.
There is a lot of tension between the House of Representatives and the Government of National Accord. The second Libyan civil war has resulted in the deaths of almost 9,000 individuals and the injuries of over 20,000 more.
Other war-torn countries:
- The central African Republic
- The Democratic Republic of Congo
- The Kurdish-Turkey Conflict (Turkey, Iraq, and Syria)
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