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News: Ethiopia war “the most deadly” as world sees record high battle-related deaths in 2022 since 1984- report

A tank damaged in the North Ethiopia War (Photo: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

Addis Abeba – A new report by the non-profit Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) revealed that with more than 100,000 fatalities, the war in Ethiopia, which was third deadliest in 2021, became the most deadly conflict in the world in 2022, as the year records highest battle-related deaths from state-based conflicts than in any year since 1984.

The report which was published on Thursday said more than 204,000 battle-related deaths were recorded worldwide in active state-based conflicts during 2022, with the wars in Ethiopia and Ukraine accounting for 89% of the deaths.

“While the war in Ukraine gained most attention, the parallel war between the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was more lethal. The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) estimates that about 81,500 battle-related deaths occurred because of the war in Ukraine, while 100,200 battle-related deaths resulted from the parallel war between the Government of Ethiopia and the TPLF” the report said.

The report underlined that documenting war crimes and battle-related deaths in Ethiopia has been difficult, and “casualty figures should be understood as a conservative baseline”.

The total number of casualties in the two years war has not been officially disclosed by both Ethiopian government and the TPLF, but former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, who was the chief mediator of the war said in January this year, that the war may have killed as many as 600,000 people.

PRIO also said that the other war in Ethiopia, between the government of Ethiopia and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), was one of the seven conflicts in the world that have increased in severity in 2022 from the top ten list. It stated that 55 conflicts were recorded in 2022, eight of which crossed the 1,000 battle-related deaths threshold and were classified as wars including Ukraine and Ethiopia.

According to the report, the year 2022 also marked a dramatic shift in the conflict landscape both in location and intensity, where previously Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria were the conflicts with the highest numbers of battle-related deaths in the world. In 2021, for the third consecutive year, the conflict with the most battle-related deaths occurred between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban. In the same year, the second deadliest conflict was between the Government of Yemen and the Forces of Hadi, the report noted. AS

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