Civilians Bear the Brunt of World's Conflicts

ROME, NOV. 30, 2004 ( Fully 93% of the victims of the world’s war are civilians, a Caritas-Italy study shows.

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«From the Forgotten Conflicts to the Timeless Wars» is the title of the report, produced by Caritas-Italy in cooperation with the Italian magazines Famiglia Cristiana and Il Regno. Publication of the report is expected in early 2005.

A preview of its content was presented Friday, at the local headquarters of the Catholic charity.

The report warns that, in addition to the 19 high-profile armed conflicts — including Algeria, Burundi, Colombia, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, and Sudan — there is rampant violence in many other countries, such as Afghanistan, Congo, Nigeria and Pakistan.

The report also notes the relationship between armed conflicts and poverty, as 90% of the conflicts take place in the less-fortunate countries. The report estimates there are 35.5 million refugees, as well as 300,000 minors who are being used in conflicts.

Caritas-Italy also said that the study sees signs of improvement in trouble spots, such as Ethiopia, Eritrea, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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