Africa has seen some of the deadliest conflicts in history. Since the early 2000s, however, battle-related deaths in the region have remained relatively low. This PRIO Paper takes a closer look at trends in conflicts in Africa between 1989 and 2019 and compares them to global trends, using data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP). In addition, the paper analyzes trends in ceasefires and peace agreements during the same period, as well as trends in peacekeeping operations from 1994 to 2018.
While the number of state-based conflicts in Africa reached a record high in 2019, these conflicts are mostly of a low intensity. Nevertheless, Africa exhibits an increasing trend in non-state conflicts and conflicts involving the Islamic State, as well as a rise in one-sided violence.
Despite these worrying developments, Africa saw the highest number of definitive ceasefires and peace agreements when compared with other world regions. Further, Africa also experienced a steady increase in peacekeeping operations between 1994 and 2018. These trends serve as important indicators of concerted efforts to solve conflicts within the region.