Factbox: Under-reported conflicts in 2015

By Alex Whiting LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The wars in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine are getting wide coverage in Western media, but there are at least 30 other conflicts in the world that are likely to go largely unnoticed this year and keep millions of people in crisis. Here are a few of them: DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO Fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo's east displaced 770,000 people in 2014 alone. Overall 2.7 million people are displaced within Congo. Civil war ended for much of the country with a 2002 peace deal, but the fighting continues in the eastern provinces. People live in fear of being attacked by militias and national soldiers. In just one province - North Kivu - there are more than 20 armed groups. An estimated 7 million people across the country need aid, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Elections next year will be pivotal as the violence in the east is largely a symptom of the government's poor governance, says the International Crisis Group (ICG). SUDAN The civil war that tore Sudan apart, leading to the formation of South Sudan in 2011, did not end after a 2005 peace deal. Fighting continues in western Darfur region, and the southern states bordering South Sudan. The conflict in Darfur used to be primarily between rebels and government forces but has now fragmented, and rebels are fighting each other as well as government forces. In Darfur, more than 450,000 people fled their homes in 2014, most of them moving to overcrowded displacement camps hosting some 2 million people. The government restricts the access and movement of aid agencies and U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur, and has pressured the U.N. to reduce its force protecting civilians there, despite a surge in violence. In South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in the south, hundreds of thousands of people in opposition-held areas are cut off from aid because of government operations against rebels. SOUTH SUDAN Civil war here is entering its second year, bringing the country to the brink of bankruptcy and famine. Despite ceasefires, the violence displaced 1.9 million people in 2014. Fighting has worsened people's ability to grow or buy food in parts of South Sudan, with aid agencies warning of famine in 2015. Cereal prices in conflict-affected Upper Nile state are three to four times higher than in the rest of the country. In December, many displaced families and their hosts ran out of food, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) said. More than 4 million people will need aid to survive in 2015, OCHA says. The government has brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy to pay for the war, according to ICG. SOMALIA Although civil war here has eased a little, it has not ended. African Union peacekeepers and the Somali army last year forced al Shabaab rebels out of their strongholds in central and southern Somalia. However, the rebels still control many rural areas and carry out attacks on the capital Mogadishu and other towns, as well as semi-autonomous regions in the north. For the first time since the end of the devastating 2011 famine, the humanitarian situation deteriorated last year. More than 3 million people, out of a population of 9.8 million, urgently need aid in what is one of the most dangerous places for aid agencies to operate. Funding shortages meant U.N. agencies had to scale down or stop providing food and healthcare. UNICEF stopped primary healthcare services for 2.5 million people in southern and central Somalia. YEMEN The most impoverished country in the Middle East faces an uncertain 2015. Clashes between Houthi rebels and presidential guards have prompted the president and government to resign. The Houthis swept into the capital in September last year and are now the dominant force in the country. Yemen is experiencing a major humanitarian crisis, affecting more than half the population. It has high levels of unemployment, rapid population growth, diminishing water resources, and is heavily dependent on dwindling oil supplies. Some other countries and regions with conflicts include Central African Republic, Libya, Pakistan, Nigeria, Myanmar, Kashmir, India - with its Naxalite conflict and conflict in Assam state - the North Caucasus region, and Ethiopia's Ogaden region. (Reporting by Alex Whiting, Editing by Alisa Tang.)

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