The situation may not look too dire from this map, but consider what it shows: from the southern tip of Africa to its most northern point, the scale of conflict and disorder is on the rise.
Source: The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)
This map only shows whether the number of conflicts have increased or decreased. Not how bad each country’s conflict really is.
So while it is good news that the civil war in South Sudan has tailed off in 2018, surely no-one is under any illusion how severe the situation remains?
By September last year the war was reported to have cost over 380,000 lives since it erupted in December 2013. And that is before one counts the millions of refugees and internally displaced.
In these circumstances, a decline in the South Sudanese conflict is very much to be welcomed, but it is hardly the end of the road.
Perhaps the rise in the number of conflicts in Ethiopia is particularly worrying. As the European Union said in a press release: “Currently there are close to 3 million people displaced within the country.”
The increasing violence in South Africa ahead of May’s general election should also be noted. The ANC have been killing each other to gain office. As the election draws closer this violence could escalate and other parties could be targetted. It would be tragic if South Africa – which paid such a high price for its democracy – allowed this to happen.