Definitions

The following definitions apply to the security statistics provided in this section. The definitions are derived from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program which can provide additional detail.

Battle deaths are reported and codable deaths that are the direct result of combat between warring parties in a conflict. The majority of battle deaths will be combatants, however, deaths of civilians caught in the crossfire are also included.

A campaign of one-sided violence is the use of armed force against civilians by the government of a state, or a formally organized group, that results in 25 or more reported and codable deaths in a given country in a calendar year. The 25 or more deaths must occur in a given year; however, they need not occur at the same time.

A civilian is a non-combatant.

A combatant is a member of, or acting representative of, a warring party.

A conflict episode is a period of armed conflict that results in 25 or more battle deaths in a calendar year. A conflict can be made up of multiple conflict episodes, each of which is at least one year in duration. If the battle death toll from fighting between two parties drops below the 25 per calendar year threshold, a new episode will be coded for the year that the battle death toll between the parties next reaches the 25 threshold.

A conflict episode onset is recorded when fighting between two parties who were not in conflict in the previous year results in 25 or more battle deaths in a calendar year.

A conflict episode termination is recorded when fighting between two formerly warring parties results in fewer than 25 battle deaths in a calendar year. The termination will be recorded as having taken place in the last year in which the death toll reached the conflict threshold. (i.e., if there were 26 battle deaths in 1998, and no battle deaths in 1999, the termination will be recorded as having taken place in 1998.)

Conflict episode terminations are categorized as follows:

  • Peace agreement: an agreement—or the first or last in a series of agreements—concerned with the resolution of the incompatibility signed and/or accepted by all or the main actors in a state-based armed conflict. The agreement may address all, or the central, issues in contention.
  • Victory: one side in a state-based armed conflict is either defeated or eliminated, or otherwise succumbs to the power of the other through capitulation, surrender, or public announcement.
  • Ceasefire:
    • an agreement between all or the main actors in a state-based armed conflict on the ending of military operations that includes an agreement on the mutual dissolution/withdrawal of forces, but which is not complemented by a peace agreement regulating the incompatibility; or
    • an agreement between all or the main actors in a state-based armed conflict on the ending of military operations that does not include an agreement on the mutual dissolution/withdrawal of forces, and which is not complemented by a peace agreement regulating the incompatibility.
  • Other:
    • in the absence of a peace agreement, victory, or ceasefire, fighting stops, or continues but does not reach 25 battle deaths in a calendar year; or
    • any other theoretically possible outcome.

Deaths from one-sided violence are reported and codable deaths of civilians who were killed by a government or formally organized group.

One-sided violence is the use of armed force by the government of a state, or by a formally organized group, against civilians.

A non-state armed conflict involves the use of armed force between two organized groups, neither of which is the government of a state, that results in 25 or more battle deaths in a calendar year.

Six regions are used in the presentation of the organized violence data. Countries with a population under 250,000 are not included, nor are non-sovereign territories/dependencies. See the Regional Map.

Reported and codable deaths are deaths that have been documented by a reliable source, and which can be attributed to a particular actor in an armed conflict or campaign of one-sided violence. Counts of reported and codable deaths are almost always lower, and sometimes much lower, than estimates of total deaths.

A state-based armed conflict is a contested incompatibility over government and/or territory where the use of armed force between two parties, one of which is the government of a state, results in 25 or more battle deaths in a calendar year.

Types of state-based armed conflict:

  • An extrastate armed conflict is a conflict between a state and an armed group outside the state’s own territory. These are mostly colonial conflicts.
  • An interstate armed conflict is a conflict fought between two or more states.
  • An intrastate armed conflict (also known as a civil conflict) is a conflict between a government and a non-state group that takes place largely within the territory of the state in question.
  • An intrastate armed conflict becomes an internationalized intrastate armed conflict when the government, or an armed group opposing it, receives support, in the form of troops, from one or more foreign states.
A conflict is coded as a war when the battle-death toll reaches 1,000 or more in a given calendar year.