Welcome to the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) Newsletter!


I am proud to announce major data releases from the UCDP team. In the article "Organized violence 1989–2021 and drone warfare" recently published in the Journal of Peace Research, Shawn Davies, Therése Pettersson and I present updated data on all three categories of organized violence (state-based conflict, non-state conflict and one-sided violence) as well as explore how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, has become a decisive factor in many contemporary conflicts.


UCDP has released six new versions of its annually updated datasets: UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset v.22.1, UCDP Dyadic Dataset v.22.1, UCDP Battle-related Deaths Dataset v.22.1, UCDP Georeferenced Events Dataset v.22.1 (UCDP GED 22.1), UCDP Non-State Conflict Dataset v.22.1 and UCDP One-sided Violence Dataset v.22.1. Moreover, the UCDP encyclopedia has been updated with information for 2021, including conflict narratives and actor descriptions.


UCDP has also released the updated versions of the UCDP Onset and UCDP Peace Agreements Datasets. All new UCDP products are available on our downloads page for free.


Please feel free to contact us via ucdp@pcr.uu.se if you have any questions, suggestions, or comments.


Magnus Öberg

UCDP Director

Click here for higher resolution version

Mert Can Yilmaz, Uppsala Conflict Data Program

The war in Ukraine continued in May 2022 and intense fighting resumed in eastern Ukraine, causing over 4000 fatalities.


While the trends in Europe dominated the figures on the fatalities due to armed organized violence, we noted a downward trend in Asia and Africa when compared to April 2022. Meanwhile, the intensity of organized violence in the Americas remained at a similar level, whereas the number of fatalities increased in the Middle East.


The five deadliest state-based conflicts in May were Russia – Ukraine, Burkina Faso: Government, Ukraine: Novorossiya, Turkey: Kurdistan, and Afghanistan: Government.


The non-state violence in May 2022 was dominated by the conflict between the Jalisco Cartel New Generation and various other cartels in Mexico. The non-state violence between IS and MSA in Mali was also noteworthy during this month.


DR Congo and Nigeria were significantly affected by one-sided violence in May 2022. IS's one-sided attacks in DR Congo, Nigeria, Mali, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Niger, Iraq and Burkina Faso caused over 330 fatalities in total during this month. One-sided violence by the government forces in Myanmar should also be noted.

Click here for the 2021 page of the UCDP Encyclopedia

Therese Pettersson, Uppsala Conflict Data Program

New data from the UCDP show that at least 119 000 people died in organized violence in 2021. This is an increase of 46 per cent compared to the previous year, and the highest number since 2015.


The number of active conflicts remains at a historically high level. UCDP registered 54 different conflicts where a state was involved on one or both sides during 2021. However, most conflicts are minor. Only five of the 54 active conflicts reached the intensity level of war, meaning that they caused at least 1000 battle-related deaths during the year.


In recent years, UCDP has noted a regional shift from the Middle East to the African continent, a trend that continued in 2021. Moreover, the situation in Asia got worse as a consequence of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Myanmar. In Europe, violence remained on a low level in 2021, despite the increasingly tense situation leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022.


A decisive factor in many contemporary conflicts has been the access to military UAVs for surveillance and attacks. Technical developments have made drones a relatively cheap and popular weapon in recent conflicts. The United States used to dominate the picture, but in the last few years several different states, as well as non-state groups such as IS, have made use of military drones. Since 2001, armed drones have been involved in lethal conflict events in at least 26 different countries and in 46 different conflicts, according to UCDP data. Most of the strikes took place in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Israel and Syria.


Check out the JPR article to learn more about the recent trends in organized violence.

The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) is the world’s main provider of data on organized violence and the oldest ongoing data collection project for civil war, with a history of almost 40 years. Its definition of armed conflict has become the global standard of how conflicts are systematically defined and studied.


Uppsala Conflict Data Program