ACLED has released their 2018 annual report surveying the disorder patterns over the past year. It has stated that Afghanistan was by far the deadliest country in 2018.
The report noted that Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Iraq are home to the most violent conflicts in the ACLED dataset, “Together, these four countries make up over 60% of all organized violence events recorded by ACLED in 2018. The Syrian Civil War continues to be one of the most devastating conflicts in the world despite a significant drop in violence since 2017, accounting for nearly 30% of total organized violence events in ACLED’s 2018 dataset – the most of any single country”.
“The Afghan War is the most lethal”, the report continues as it says that Afghanistan was by far the deadliest country covered by ACLED in 2018, with nearly as many reported fatalities as Syria and Yemen combined, despite fewer conflict events. The Afghan War accounts for 30% of all fatalities recorded by ACLED during the year.
It was reported that state actors in Yemen, Syria, and Afghanistan were active in the highest number of conflict events. State forces were also responsible for the largest number of civilian fatalities across regions, indicating non-state actors are not alone in the use of ‘terror tactics’ in civilian targeting.
Overall, civilians faced significant threats from conventional wars (Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen), but also from government repression (the Philippines) and militia targeting (Nigeria and India).
An alarming point in the report was that an increase in high fatality events stemming from larger operations by both the Taliban and the Afghan military, especially during the height of the Taliban’s spring offensive Al Khandaq, contributed to the increase in reported fatalities in Afghanistan.
Thus it was conceded that the most violent countries by number of organized violence events across ACLED’s coverage area in 2018 are primarily those with large conventional conflicts, including Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Together, these four countries make up over 60% of all organized violence events recorded by ACLED in 2018.