Violent deaths due to small arms show small decrease

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Independent research organisation Surveys Security Assessment bemoans the lack of official data available from northern African countries and those in the G5 Sahel making it difficult to assess the true extent of violent deaths in these regions.

This is one of the findings in its latest assessment on Global Violent Death Scenarios covering 2018. Data used to compile the report comes from the Small Arms Survey’s global violent deaths (GVDs).

For North Africa it finds the area’s violent death rate would remain “relatively stable” if the current situation, without specifying what it is, remains in place. On the opposite side of the ledger violent deaths in the Sahel would increase if “business as usual” was dominant.

Northern Africa and the G5 Sahel countries are jointly home to about 320 million people about 4.2% of the global populace. The countries of these two regions jointly experienced an estimated 20 600 violent deaths in 2018, which is 3.5 %of the global toll.

2018 was characterised by a decrease in lethal violence in several world hotspots, primarily due to de-escalation of armed conflict in Iraq, Myanmar, South Sudan and Syria according to the report. The homicide rate decreased marginally due to population growth outpacing a nominal increase in killings between 2017 and 2018. These trends jointly resulted in a modest positive change in the rate of violent deaths globally in 2018 which, at 7.8 violent deaths per 100 000 population is at its lowest since 2012.