This article reports on trends in organized violence, building on new data by the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP). The falling trend in fatalities stemming from organized violence in the world, observed for five consecutive years, broke upwards in 2020 and deaths in organized violence seem to have settled on a high plateau. UCDP registered more than 80,100 deaths in organized violence in 2020, compared to 76,300 in 2019. The decrease in violence in Afghanistan and Syria was countered by escalating conflicts in, for example, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), Azerbaijan and Tigray, Ethiopia. Moreover, the call for a global ceasefire following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic failed to produce any results. In fact, the number of active state-based and non-state conflicts, as well as the number of actors carrying out one-sided violence against civilians, increased when compared to 2019. UCDP noted a record-high number of 56 state-based conflicts in 2020, including eight wars. Most of the conflicts occurred in Africa, as the region registered 30 state-based conflicts, including nine new or restarted ones.
This was originally published on SAGE Publications Ltd: Journal of Peace Research: Table of Contents.