How does this fit into the bigger picture?

1945 – 2012: Civilian casualties in armed conflicts 4

The Russian-Chechen conflict (1994-2009) comprised two wars between the Russian Federation and Islamic separatists in Chechnya. The numbers of casualties vary widely and are almost impossible to verify. Estimates of civilian deaths range from 30,000 to 200,000. Both sides accuse each other of war crimes and the Council of Europe and Amnesty International have accused both sides of violations of International Humanitarian Law. Also from 2002-2004 Chechen militants carried out a terrorist campaign in Russia killing over 200 civilians.

 

The Somali Republic gained independence in 1960 followed by a military coup which established a socialist state. This was overthrown in 1991 and the country has been in a state of civil war ever since. The United Nations intervened to keep peace in 1992 but withdrew in 1995 after sustaining significant casualties. According to the United Nations Somalia is the most dangerous country in the world and all sides in the conflict are guilty of war crimes against the civilian population.

 

In 2003 a coalition of forces led by the USA invaded Iraq. Its mission was described as “to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism and to free the Iraqi people”. This began as a conventional war between two regular armies.  The war lasted 21 days but the peacekeeping process is ongoing. Estimates of deaths and casualties vary widely but it is clear that civilian deaths far outnumber military deaths and continue to do so 9 years after the end of the war.  A systematic academic review of all the estimates suggests that over one million civilians have died so far. 

 

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