This week, people took to the streets, to barricades and to fortifications to protest and fight in Central African Republic, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela. Those were the most notable violence venues; in some cases, smaller uprisings, battles and confrontations received little media attention, and in others, including Thailand and South Sudan, the week brought an intermission from conflicts the week before.
Most eyes were on Ukraine, and in particular, Crimea, where Russian military incursions threaten to explode into war of unknown proportions.
Members of a pro-Russian self defense unit stand in formation as they take an oath to the Crimea government in Simferopol, March 10, 2014. Russian forces consolidated their hold on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, taking over a military hospital and a missile base as officials geared up for a referendum on the region's future. Photo: REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
Meanwhile, violence continues in Venezuela, where supporters and foes of President Nicolas Maduro held rallies after a month of deadly unrest.
An anti-government protester jumps through a window after setting fire to an office during the looting of a public building in Caracas on March 12, 2014. Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
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Anti-government protesters throw stones at the police during a protest at Altamira Square in Caracas on March 10, 2014. So far, violent protests show no signs of toppling President Nicolas Maduro. The country's worst civil unrest in a decade has killed at least 20 people, including supporters of both sides and members of the security forces. Photo: REUTERS/Jorge Silva
National police transport an anti-government protester detainee during a protest against Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, March 13, 2014. Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Unrest in the countries of the Arab Spring continued from Egypt to Libya and Syria, where governments that formed following the toppling of autocratic rulers and rebel groups fighting existing regimes were embroiled in deadly conflicts.
A student supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi poses for a cell-phone photo by making the sign for "Rabaa," or "Four," in front of a burning car during a protest inside Cairo University, in Cairo, March 9, 2014. Photo: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Anti-government protesters run as police fire tear gas to push back thousands of demonstrators close to central Taksim Square in Istanbul on March 12, 2014. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan criticized protesters who took to the streets of cities across the country after the funeral of a 15-year-old boy wounded in anti-government clashes last summer. Photo: Reuters/Murad Sezer
In Libya, disputes between rival militias threaten to undermine the government that succeeded the late despot Moammar Gadhafi, with armed militias battling over cities, towns, rural areas and the Mediterranean port where a North Korean-flagged oil tanker was fired upon by pro-government militias seeking to prevent it from departing a rival militia-held area. In Benghazi, people protested to demand the return of the militia that helped topple Gadhafi, saying the army and police have been unable to protect them against bombings and assassinations in the city, and they believe the militia will be able to provide better security. Continuing unrest caused the country's parliament to vote Prime Minister Ali Zeidan out of office.
Demonstrators set fires along a street during clashes outside the headquarters of a militia group in Al Bayda on March 9, 2014. Protesters attacked the headquarters of the militia group after a member of the group killed a man during a disagreement on Saturday, a witness said. Hospital medical sources said two were killed and 13 injured in the clashes. Photo: Reuters
After three years of uprising-turned-civil-war, Syria remains the most intractible battlefield, with a bewildering array of rebel groups -- some affiliated with al Qaeda -- battling the troops of President Bashar Assad, who are accused of using chemical weapons on their fellow citizens.
A man carries his injured brother at a site hit by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's al-Sakhour district, March 12, 2014. Photo: REUTERS/Hosam Katan
One particularly deadly conflict, in the Central African Republic, has received far less media coverage than conflicts elsewhere. There, Christian anti-balaka (“anti-machete”) militias have killed hundreds of Muslims, and former members of a Muslim rebel alliance that overthrew the government retaliated against Christians.
A girl sits at the back of a truck as she prepares to flee sectarian violence with other Muslim families in a convoy escorted by African Union peacekeepers toward the border with Cameroon, in the town of Bouar, west of the Central African Republic on March 9, 2014. Photo: REUTERS/Siegfried Modola