No peace

Forgotten wars

Foreign Affairs  

Thomas Kern

Phone booth on the campus of the Pasquale Paoli University, the only Corsican university (1996). Conflict: Corsican independence. Began: 1975.  Parties involved: Front de Libération National Corse (Corsican National Liberation Front) and the French government.

Thomas Coex/AFP

"Chief of war" Mudey Kepanga (right) et the "Chief of peace" Polobi Palia, Papua New Guinea, during a visit to the French national assembly in Paris (2006). Conflict: Tribal violence in New Guinea. Began: 1975. Reasons: Regional domination and access to resources. Parties: Various tribes.


Soldiers of the Shan State Army march in Loi Tai Teng, Myanmar (2010). Conflict: Myanmar, Shan state. Reasons: Demands for autonomy/independence. Began: 1952. Parties: Shan State Army (SSA) and central government.

Dominic Nahr/Magnum Photos

A group of Samburu men at a elders meeting at Archers Post in Kenya (2010). Conflict: Kenya (ethnic violence). Began: 1991. Reasons: regional domination and access to resources. Parties: various ethnic groups.

Abbas/Magnum Photos

Shadow of the church of the Apostles at St. Antony's monastery in Egypt (1997). Conflict: Egypt (Muslims and Christian). Began: 1952. Reasons: Regional domination. Parties: Muslims and Coptic Christians.

Abbas/Magnum Photos

Chinese soldiers on the square opposite the Jokhang temple in Lhassa, Tibet. Conflict: China (Tibet). Began: 1950. Reasons: Tibetan independence, ideology, access to resources. Parties: Tibetan separatists, Tibetan government in exile, Chinese government.

Thomas Kern

Azeri refugees living in dilapidated buildings of the former Soviet oil industry in Baku, Azerbaijan. Conflict: Nagorno-Karabakh. Began: 1987. Reasons: control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, recognised by international instances as Azeri, but mostly inhabited by Armenians. Parties: Armenia  and Azerbaijan.

Dominic Nahr/Magnum Photos

A mob of angry Western Timorese young men attack an East Timorese refugee camp in Dili (East Timor, 2006). Conflict: East Timor. Began: 2002. Reasons: Territorial. Parties: Indonesia and East Timor.

Diario El Comercio/Reuters

Members of Peru's Shining Path terrorist group in a remote jungle region in southern Peru (2012). Conflict: Peru (Shining Path). Began: 1980. Reasons: regional domination, ideology and access to resources. Parties: Maoist Shining Path rebel group and the Peruvian government.

Thomas Kern

A night of troubles in the Bogside neighborhood in Londonderry, Northern Ireland (1989). Conflict: Britain (Northern Ireland). Began: 1968. Reasons: Independence of Northern ireland from Britain. Parties: Various nationalist and unionist groups.

Madaree Tohlala/AFP

Thai police examine the body of a presumed Islamic militant in Narathiwat province (2012). Conflict: Southern Thailand. Began: 1902. Reasons: Independence of the southern provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla. Parties: Islamic separatists and the central government.

Dominic Nahr/Magnum Photos

Congolese government soldiers on the frontline near Kibati, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (2008). Conflict: Democratic Republic of Congo (CNDP/M23). Began: 2004. Reasons: Territorial control and access to resources in South and North Kivu.

Thomas Kern

Quran school in Chadshal Mechi, Dagestan, Russia (1996). Conflict: Northern Caucasus. Began: 1989. Reason: Independence of the Republic of Caucasus. Parties: Islamic militants of the Caucasian Front, central and regional governments.




There are more than 400 ongoing conflicts around the world, some of which have lasted decades and still seem unlikely to end. And even if they aren't on the front pages of your newspaper, they keep on causing death, pain and suffering. looks at some of these "forgotten wars" based on the 2012 conflict barometer published by the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research in Germany.

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