The world could potentially be entering its most dangerous chapter
The world could potentially be entering its most dangerous chapter in decades – and it is not just because of Donald Trump.
According to Rob Malley, the CEO and president of International Crisis Group, not all the world’s problems are caused by the former businessman despite his “tweets and taunts” and “cavalier disregard of international accords”.
But the globe’s most ominous threats of 2018 may well be aggravated by the US President’s actions – as the threat of nuclear war with North Korea and the spiralling confrontation with Iran looms over everyone’s heads.
And now Express.co.uk can bring you ICG’s terrifying list of the top 10 conflicts to watch in 2018:
The 10 conflict areas to watch in 2018
According to Mr Malley, a former adviser to Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, the threat of war on the Korean Peninsula is now “higher now than at any time in recent history”.
Kim Jong-un’s continued push for nuclear arms has evoked an aggressive response from Washington as tensions between the enemies reach boiling point.
Mr Malley writes: “Without a viable diplomatic off ramp, Washington risks cornering itself into military action. Even a precisely targeted attack would likely provoke a North Korean response.
“While Pyongyang would think twice before initiating a conventional strike on Seoul, it could take other steps: an attack on a soft South Korean target; an asymmetric strike against US assets on or around the peninsula; or crippling cyberattacks.
“These might not immediately trigger regional conflict, but they would provoke an unpredictable escalation.”
US – Saudi – Iran
As dozens of people have been killed in Iran protests – condemned by President Trump – over the past week, Washington is still tied into a bitter row with Tehran over the controversial nuclear deal.
While Saudi Arabia could be marching closer to war with Iran after ramping up their accusatory rhetoric towards their neighbour in the Middle East.
Myanmar’s Rohingya refugee crisis has “entered a dangerous new phase”, Mr Malley says as he insisted the UN Security Council step in with critical pressure.
Myanmar’s Rohingya refugee crisis has “entered a dangerous new phase”
Yemen, one of the Arab world’s poorest countries, has been devastated by a war between forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Houthi rebel movement.
Some eight million people are living on the brink of famine, more than 3 million people have been “internally displaced” and there are now one million declared cholera cases in Yemen.
Negotiations in the Yemen war have become more complicated in recent months and Mr Malley warns the conflict is likely to escalate in 2018.
Despite previously lambasting Afghanistan as a “complete waste”, President Trump is now in the midst of sending thousands more troops in a bid to stabilise the troubled region.
Mr Malley said that as it stands, the US strategy “sets the stage for more violence while closing avenues for de-escalation. Afghan civilians will pay the price.”
Some eight million people are living on the brink of famine in Yemen
Mr Malley wrote: “After nearly seven years of war, President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has the upper hand, thanks largely to Iranian and Russian backing. But the fighting is not over.”
He said the tiniest miscalculation in the civil war could see the violence bleed across the middle east, as he warned the “gravest danger” is the possibility of an offensive by the Assad regime in Syria’s northwest.
A huge humanitarian effort is required in the 9 countries of the Sahel – Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon.
Drought in the region has brought hunger to millions of people for the third time in seven years, with food assistance being sought for some 10 million people.
While conflict in Mali has forced around 340,000 people to flee their homes – making the food shortages even more dire as thousands are displaced.
Thousands of people have been killed as Congo fears a return to civil war
The humanitarian situation deteriorated dramatically in 2017, and the country is now facing a crisis of massive proportions, according to CARE International.
Thousands of people have been killed and more than a million displaced as Congo fears a return to the bloody civil war of the 1990s that killed five million.
Reports of mass graves, militia cutting off toddlers’ limbs and stabbing pregnant woman have seen the political unrest in the country, which faced elections last year, slide further into civil war.
Ukraine was hit by a war between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces in two eastern regions of the country, held together by a fragile ceasefire.
Mr Malley wrote: “The conflict in eastern Ukraine has claimed over 10,000 lives and constitutes a grave ongoing humanitarian crisis.
“While it persists, relations between Russia and the West are unlikely to improve”
Shocking images as violence flares in Venezuela
Tue, November 14, 2017
Venezuela’s political crisis intensified when the Supreme Court issued rulings curbing the powers of the opposition-controlled legislature. The court reversed the rulings, but the opposition intensified its protests from that moment
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Venezuela took yet another turn for the worse in 2017, as President Nicolás Maduro’s government ran the country further into the ground.
Political unrest fuelled by the devastating humanitarian crisis that has left thousands starving saw protests raging as clashes killed over 120 people between April and July.
Opposition politicians look to the presidential election, due in late 2018, by Maduro is not expected to allow a credible vote.