The Xinjiang conflict is an ongoing separatist struggle in the northwestern part of today’s China. Some of the indigenous Uighur people claim that the region, which they view as their fatherland and refer to as East Turkestan, is not part of China, but was invaded by China in 1949 and is since under Chinese occupation. China claims that the region has been part of China since ancient times, and nowadays calls it Xinjiang or “New Territory”. The separatism effort is led by ethnically Uighur Muslim underground organizations, most notably the East Turkestan independence movement, against the Chinese government.
This violent conflict between the Maoist people known as Naxalites and the Indian government has been going on since 1967.The Naxalite–Maoist insurgency gained international media attention after the 2013 Naxal attack in Darbha valley resulted in the deaths of around 24 Indian National Congress leaders.
Islamic Insurgency in the Philippines
Political tensions and hostilities between the Philippine government and Jihadist rebel groups began in the middle of the 20th century. To date, violence continues as rebel parties call for an Islamic state within the Philippines.
Philippine Communist Insurgency
Islamic militants aren’t the only issue in the Philippines. Some of its most prominent rebels are under the Communist Party. Until now, the government continues to red-tag possible communists, arousing violence from the rebels. Attacks have been launched from both parties with thin hopes of peace negotiations.
War in North West Pakistan
Started in 2004, the armed conflict ensued between Pakistani/American forces and armed militant groups such as the Al-Qaeda. The conflict has led to almost 50,000 deaths in its 9 years.
Kurds vs Turks
Dating back to 1984, various Kurdish insurgent groups have been demanding separation from the Republic of Turkey to create an autonomous Kurdistan. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has been considered a terrorist group by Turkey and numerous other countries like the United States and European Union. The reported human rights abuses from both the PKK and the Turkish government continue to fuel the conflict.
This separatist insurgency by the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda was launched in 1975 against the government of Angola. The conflict started when Angola and Cabinda were separated from Portugal but Angola declared Cabinda as a part of its territory. This sparked dissent and unrest. It is unlikely to find resolution anytime soon as the Angolan government most likely won’t give up Cabinda due to its richness in oil.
Northern Ireland Conflict
The ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland, most commonly known as The Troubles, has continued to be a problem since the 1960s. The most prominent issues that have caused the conflict are the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and the relationship between its two main communities, the Unionists and Loyalists that support Britain and the Republicans and Nationalists that support Ireland.
Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency
This ongoing guerrilla action which started back in 1987 was launched by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda, South Sudan, eastern DR Congo and Central African Republic. The aim of the insurgency is to overthrow the Ugandan government and establish a theocratic state which upholds the traditions of the Acholi people.
South Thailand Insurgency
Also known as the Unrest in Southern Thailand, this conflict is a separatist insurgency taking place in the southern most provinces of the state. It started in 2004 and has shown no signs of relenting.
Western Sahara Conflict
The Western Sahara conflict or Polisario Front dispute for independence is an ongoing conflict between the Polisario Front of the Sahrawi people and the state of Morocco. The conflict is the continuation of the past insurgency by Polisario against the Spanish colonial forces. Today the conflict is dominated by unarmed civil campaigns of the Polisario Front and their self-proclaimed state to gain fully recognized independence for Western Sahara.
The insurgency in Kashmir or the Kashmiri Insurgency is an internal conflict between Kashmiri insurgents (some favoring Kashmiri accession to Pakistan, and some favoring Kashmir’s complete independence) and the Government of India and has constituted the main conflict in the Kashmir region since 2002. Thousands of people have died during fighting between insurgents and the government as well as thousands of civilians who have died as a result of being targeted by the various armed groups.
The Casamance conflict of 1982 is between the government of Senegal, a country in West Africa, and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), with minor involvement from Gambia. The conflict started because the MFDC has been seeking independence in the Casamance region where the people are said to be ethnically and religiously different from the rest of Senegal.
Conflict in Niger Delta
This internal conflict originated from several minor ethnic groups’ (Ijaw and Ogoni) claims that they are being exploited by foreign oil corporations in Nigeria. It has been characterized by the competition for oil wealth and militarization of regions by the Nigerian police and military.
Papua Conflict in Indonesia
The Papua conflict in Indonesia roots from the call for independence of the indigenous people of West Papua from the Indonesian state. Papuans have accused Indonesian police, military, and government of abuse and suppression of freedom of expression. Since the conflict started in 1963, hundreds of thousands of Papuans have already been killed and arrested.
Insurgency in Northeast India
The insurgency in Northeast India roots from the calls of different groups to be completely separated, be independent, or be given regional autonomy in India. A strip of land called the Siliguri Corridor separates these north-eastern states from the rest of the states in the country, which causes them to demand separation or autonomy.
Nigerian Sharia Conflict
In 1953, militant groups, the local government of Nigeria, and different religious groups ignited the Nigerian Sharia conflict which, as the name suggests, is concerned with the introduction of sharia, or Islamic, law into Nigeria.
Columbia’s Civil Conflict
Since 1964, the Columbian government has been facing armed opposition from peasantry guerrillas such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and the National Liberation Army (ELN). In 2012, the president started peace talks with FARC regarding issues like rural development, guarantees for the exercise of political opposition, and citizen participation, but to no avail. To this day violence is still prevalent throughout the country.
Somalia Civil War
The conflict began in 1991 when a clan-based opposition arose against the country’s military government. Since then, several factions have been formed to compete for power. In 2012, Kenyan forces were integrated to help the operations against the insurgents in Southern Somalia.
Conflict in Afghanistan
The conflict in Afghanistan began in 1978 when the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan led a military coup against the existing government. The Revolution was followed by a series of mostly political uprisings in the country, including the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, the establishment of the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1992, NATO intervention in 2001 and the recent Taliban insurgency.
Division of Korea
The animosity between North and South Korea started during the Cold War in 1945, after the north established a Communist state and the south, a pro-Western state. For almost 70 years now, the conflict has caused numerous deaths and the country is still far from finding a way to resolve things.
The Iran–PJAK conflict, or Iran-Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan conflict is an armed conflict between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the ethnic secessionist Kurdish guerrilla group Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), which began in 2004. The group had been carrying out attacks in the Kurdistan Province of Iran and other Kurdish-inhabited areas, and is closely affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party operating against Turkey.
Insurgency in Yemen
The Al-Qaeda Insurgency in Yemen is a conflict between the Yemeni government (aided by the United States) and the global militant Islamic organization Al-Qaeda which started in 1992. In May 2013, Yemen’s main oil pipeline was blown by the terrorists, causing major disturbances in the country. The country is currently on a high alert warning as imminent attacks by Al-Qaeda will be launched in Sana’a and citizens are urged to leave the country immediately.
Internal Conflict in Burma
One of the longest-running civil wars is the conflict in Burma which started in 1948 after the country claimed its independence from the United Kingdom. As of 2013, the Karen state and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army are still fighting against the government. This internal conflict has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Burmese refugees in Thailand.
No surprise here. The conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians is undoubtedly one of the longest running conflicts in human history and it shows no signs of letting up.