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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Human Security Brief 2007, Human Security Report Project, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Western governments often cite the threat of Islamic terrorism to justify national security concerns, legislature and expenditure. However, is the threat from such insurgents as real or increasing as they suggest? Here the Human Security Report Project, asserts that Islamic terrorism, in fact all global terrorist activities, are decreasing. The authors analyse the incidence of terrorist attacks as part of a global report on human security issues which also looks at armed conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa and other global trends.

In the area of terrorism the authors find:

* there is little objective evidence to support the claim that the threat of terrorism is increasing around the world
* by August 2007, the number of Islamist attacks and fatalities, and the average number of fatalities per attack, had all declined from a high point in 2004. Attacks were down by 65 percent and fatalities by 92 percent
* Al-Qaeda’s global terror campaign has been disrupted by an assault on its financial networks, by the loss of its sanctuaries in Afghanistan and by the death or capture of individuals in key leadership positions.

Regarding armed conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa:

* the number of armed conflicts and campaigns of one-sided violence are sharply down and fatality tolls have declined even more steeply
* refugee numbers have declined by over 60 percent since 1994. There has also been a modest decline in human rights violations in the region since 1999
* more wars are ending in negotiated settlements - suggesting that peacemaking initiatives have become both more common and more successful.

For global trends on human security issues:

* between 2002 and 2006, Central and South Asia was the most conflict-prone region in the world. It has experienced a net increase in conflicts - from seven in 2002, to ten in 2006
* the three regions in the world with the highest incidence of human rights abuses are Central and South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa
* the decline in the average number of coups per decade since the 1970s is associated with rising incomes; a norm against the usurpation of government by the military; and a greater willingness on behalf of the international community to prevent coups.

Read the full text (pdf, 64pp) here =>

Authors: A. Mack; Z. Nielsen; T. Cooper
Publisher: Human Security Centre, 2008Recommend this Post

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