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The 2006 armed conflicts report--preview.

During 2005 the world's peoples suffered 32 armed conflicts in 27 states. * Although the total number of armed conflicts was unchanged from 2004, two conflicts came to an end while two others surpassed the threshold of 1,000 direct deaths that separates armed conflict from lower levels of violence. While armed conflict was considered to be over in Senegal and the Indian state of Gujarat, despite the lack of formal ceasefires or peace processes, wars recurred in Haiti and Thailand. Overall, in 2005 the number of states at war increased by one. Because there are three other wars taking place in India, this country remained on the list of states experiencing armed conflict.

Although the war in Iraq dominated world headlines, in 2005 the continents of Africa and Asia continued to be most affected by war (see Table 1). Each region hosted 13 conflicts or more than two-fifths of the world's total, leaving the three remaining regions of Europe Europe is often divided into regions due to geographical, cultural or historical criteria. Some common divisions are as follows. Directional divisions
Groupings by compass directions are the hardest to define in Europe, since (among other issues) the pure geographical criteria
, the Americas (North and South), and the Middle East with two armed conflicts each, and a combined share of less than one-fifth of all conflicts. Africa also continued to bear a disproportionate dis·pro·por·tion·ate  
Out of proportion, as in size, shape, or amount.

 share of the fighting, with almost one in every four African states suffering an internal war.

During the past decade (1996-2005) 32 armed conflicts ended (see Table 2), over two-thirds in Africa and Asia. However, only the Middle East ended the decade in a net gain situation; with the resolution of six conflicts and two still active.

Full descriptions of all armed conflicts of 2005, as well as those recently ended, are available in the Armed Conflicts Report 2006 under the "Library" link on the Project Ploughshares
For the agricultural implement, see plowshare, for the anti-nuclear group, see Trident Ploughshares

This article or section needs sources or references that appear in reliable, third-party publications.
 website ( Project Ploughshares has reported annually on armed conflicts since 1987.

* Defining Armed Conflict: For the purposes of the annual Armed Conflicts Report an armed conflict is defined as a political conflict in which armed combat involves the armed forces of at least one state (or one or more armed factions seeking to gain control of all or part of the state), and in which at least 1,000 people have been killed by the fighting during the course of the conflict. An armed conflict is added to the annual list of current armed conflicts in the year in which the death toll reaches the threshold of 1,000, but the starting date of the armed conflict is shown as the year in which the first combat deaths included in the count of 1,000 or more occurred.

The definition of "political conflict" becomes more difficult as the trend in current intrastate in·tra·state  
Relating to or existing within the boundaries of a state.

Adj. 1. intrastate - relating to or existing within the boundaries of a state; "intrastate as well as interstate commerce"
 armed conflicts increasingly obscures the distinction between political and criminal violence. In a growing number of armed conflicts, armed bands, militia militia (məlĭsh`ə), military organization composed of citizens enrolled and trained for service in times of national emergency. Its ranks may be filled either by enlistment or conscription. , or factions engage in criminal activity (e.g., theft, looting, extortion extortion, in law, unlawful demanding or receiving by an officer, in his official capacity, of any property or money not legally due to him. Examples include requesting and accepting fees in excess of those allowed to him by statute or arresting a person and, with ) in order to fund their political/military campaigns, but frequently also for the personal enrichment enrichment Food industry The addition of vitamins or minerals to a food–eg, wheat, which may have been lost during processing. See White flour; Cf Whole grains.  of the leadership and the general livelihood of the fighting forces Fighting Force is a 1997 3D beat 'em up developed by Core Design and published by Eidos in the same lines of classics such as Streets of Rage and Double Dragon. . Thus, in some circumstances, while the disintegrating order reflects the social chaos borne of state failure, the resulting violence or armed combat is not necessarily guided by a political program or a set of politically motivated or defined military objectives. However, these trends are part of the changing character of war, and conflicts characterized char·ac·ter·ize  
tr.v. character·ized, character·iz·ing, character·iz·es
1. To describe the qualities or peculiarities of: characterized the warden as ruthless.

 more by social chaos than political/military competition are thus included in the tabulation tab·u·late  
tr.v. tab·u·lat·ed, tab·u·lat·ing, tab·u·lates
1. To arrange in tabular form; condense and list.

2. To cut or form with a plane surface.

Having a plane surface.
 of current armed conflicts.

In many contemporary armed conflicts the fighting is intermittent intermittent /in·ter·mit·tent/ (-mit´ent) marked by alternating periods of activity and inactivity.

1. Stopping and starting at intervals.

 and involves a very wide range of levels of intensity. An armed conflict is deemed to have ended if there has been a formal ceasefire or peace agreement and, following which, there are no longer combat deaths (or at least fewer than 25 per year); or, in the absence of a formal ceasefire, a conflict is deemed to have ended after two years of dormancy Dormancy

In the broadest sense, the state in which a living plant organ (seed, bud, tuber, bulb) fails to exhibit growth, even when environmental conditions are considered favorable.
 (in which fewer than 25 combat deaths per year have occurred).

The above definition builds upon, but differs in some aspects from, the definitions of other groups producing annual conflict tabulations, notably reports by Peter Wallensteen and Margareta Sollenberg of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University Uppsala University (Swedish Uppsala universitet) is a public university in Uppsala, Sweden, 64 kilometres (40 miles) north-northwest of Stockholm.[1] Founded in 1477, it claims to be the oldest university in Scandinavia, outdating the University of Copenhagen  (Sweden), published annually in the yearbook of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is an organization that conducts scientific research into questions of conflict and cooperation of importance for international peace and security, in order to contribute to an understanding of the conditions for .
Table 1: Geographic distributions of armed conflicts in 2005

Region         # of        # of        # of        % of
               countries   conflicts   countries   countries
               in region   in region   hosting     in region
                                       conflicts   hosting

Africa            50          13          12          24
Asia              42          13           9          21
Europe            42           2           2         4.8
The Americas      44           2           2         4.5
Middle East       14           2           2          14

World Totals     192          32          27          14

                 % of

Africa              41
Asia                41
Europe               6
The Americas         6
Middle East          6

World Totals       100

Table 2: Geographical distribution of armed conflicts
resolved between 1996 and 2005

Region         # of conflicts resolved   % of total resolved

Africa                   12                      37.5

Asia                     10                      31.3

Europe                    2                       6.2

The Americas              2                       6.2

Middle East               6                      18.8

Totals                   32                       100
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Publication:Ploughshares Monitor
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Jun 22, 2006
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