Conflict Trends in Asia, 1989–2021

PRIO Paper

Palik, Júlia; Anna Marie Obermeier & Siri Aas Rustad (2022) Conflict Trends in Asia, 1989–2021. PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.

This PRIO Paper examines conflict trends in Asia between 1989 and 2021. State-based conflicts increased in Asia from 13 in 2020 to 17 in 2021, consisting of 14 civil wars, 2 internationalized civil conflicts, and 1 interstate conflict between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Of these 17 conflicts, 16 were categorized as low-intensity and 1 was classified as a war, which took place in Afghanistan. While there was only one war ongoing in Asia in 2021, state-based battle-related deaths in Asia were at their highest point since 1988. This is primarily a result of the conflict in Afghanistan, which accounted for 20,473 fatalities, compared to the 1,513 fatalities from all other state-based conflicts in the region. Notably, Afghanistan was the deadliest conflict in both the region and the world in 2021, but some other countries saw an increase in the number of conflicts fought within their borders. The number of conflicts in Myanmar, for example, increased to five civil conflicts in 2021. While state-based battle-related deaths peaked in 2021, fatalities from non-state conflicts in the region were at historic lows. Conversely, fatalities from one-sided violence in Asia more than tripled between 2020 and 2021. The number of actors who perpetrated one-sided violence also increased, putting Asia second only to Africa as the region with the highest number of actors perpetrating one-sided violence.

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