Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.




Conflict in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state continued to drive unrest in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps as civilians caught in crossfire fled, searching for refuge.

Rohingyas sought to leave Myanmar as fighting in Northern Rakhine intensified. Arakan Army 16 June warned “all residents to evacuate” Maungdaw, predominantly Rohingya town in Rakhine state. With thousands of civilians believed to be caught in violence, Bangladesh’s commissioner for refugees 22 June said “…our stand is that not a single more Rohingya will enter our land”; at UN Human Rights Council Bangladesh 18 June reiterated Rohingya repatriation was “only durable solution” to forced displacement. Despite govt pledges, rising number of Rohingyas continued to find ways across, either by boat or land. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan 20 June warned Myanmar and AA against cross-fire, threatening retaliation if cross-border shooting persisted. Myanmar 12 June had moved two military ships into Naf River close to Bangladesh territory; Bangladesh 6-14 June suspended vessel movement between Teknaf and St Martin’s Island due to fighting. 

Situation in Rohingya refugee camps remained tense but armed group recruitment slowed. Three Rohingya refugees 10 June died after clashes between Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) and Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA); Rapid Action Battalion 10-13 June arrested six ARSA members including two commanders. RSO forced recruitment in the camps declined significantly from late May, likely due to international pressure on govt and pushback from refugees. Bangladesh 9 June repatriated 134 Myanmar security forces as Myanmar repatriated 45 Bangladeshis. 

Opposition announced major reshuffle, final voting of district chairs completed. Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) 15 June reorganised 39 executive positions and dissolved multiple city committees, widely seen as unilateral move by chairman Tarique Rahman to consolidate power within party. Election Commission 5 June completed final round voting to elect district chairs; low voter turnout of just 34% was attributed to BNP boycott; despite ruling Awami League’s directive, 77% of winning chairs were relatives or associates of sitting AL lawmakers. 

In other important developments. PM Hasina 21-22 June visited India calling it “short but very fruitful”. Police 12 June recovered body of alleged Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) member killed in combat. 



Conflict in Myanmar’s Rakhine state fuelled recruitment drive by Rohingya armed groups in Bangladesh’s refugee camps, raising prospect of greater spillover to come. 

War in Myanmar reverberated in Bangladesh’s refugee camps. In Myanmar, Arakan Army (AA) continued advance in northern Rakhine state after months-long campaign against regime and allegations of abuses against Rohingya community, including extrajudicial killings, torching villages and forced relocations (see Myanmar). In response, Rohingya armed groups – notably Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) – stepped up mostly forced recruitment in refugee camps in Bangladesh, including potentially several thousand young men and children as young as 14, with some refugees reportedly transferred to Myanmar military for training. Forced recruitment triggered wave of panic across camps; since 17 May, refugees staged nightly gatherings to oppose recruitment, in some cases beating RSO members. Fighting in Rakhine likely to escalate, forcing larger numbers of Rohingya across border or sparking wider conflict between AA and Rohingya armed groups as latter build up their forces further to curtail AA’s advance. Meanwhile, turf war in refugee camps between RSO and rival Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) resurged, with five killings reported mid-May. 

Insecurity persisted in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in south east. Security forces continued operations targeting Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) – which claims to represent six Kuki-Chin subgroups, largest of which is Bawm. Security forces 17 May announced detention of chief coordinator of KNF’s women’s wing in Bandarban’s Sadar district. Shootout 23 May killed two KNF members in Sadar. Human rights group Amnesty International 22 May said over 100 Bawm had been arbitrarily detained amid anti-KNF crackdown. PM Sheikh Hasina 23 May claimed there was international conspiracy to establish “Christian state” in CHT. Govt official in India’s Mizoram state mid-May said 127 Bangladeshis fled into Mizoram in previous week due to anti-KNF operation; state now hosts 1,368 refugees from CHT. 

Opposition boycotted local polls. Authorities 8 May held first phase of local polls for districts known as upazila parishad, which saw voter turnout of 36% – lowest since voting was introduced in 2009; opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party boycotted vote and claimed people had rejected election.



Surge in ethnic armed group attacks in south east prompted major security operation and derailed fledgling peace talks; opposition announced boycott of local polls in May, as country felt spillover of Myanmar’s conflict. 

In Chittagong Hill Tracts, ethnic armed group stepped up raids and attacks. Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) – which claims to represent six Kuki-Chin subgroups, largest of which is Bawm – 2-3 April attempted three bank robberies in Bandarban district, two of which were successful; group 4 April reportedly fired on police station in Thanchi upazila and 5 April attacked checkpoint in Alikadam upazila; hundreds of KNF militants took part in operations across towns 20-30km apart, suggesting growing operational capacity. In response, security forces 5 April launched major operation against KNF, arresting in subsequent days up to 100 suspected members, including alleged KNF key leader; further raids 22 and 28 April killed three KNF members. KNF robberies and attacks derailed peace talks between group and govt delegation, which were scheduled for 22 April; some community leaders in Chittagong Hill Tracts called for renewed dialogue with KNF.

Main opposition party announced boycott of local elections in May. Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) 15 April opted to boycott upcoming local elections, which will take place in 150 of 495 upazilas (sub-districts) on 8 May; delayed decision signalled likely internal BNP divisions, with some activists seeking to participate to revitalise grassroots mobilisation. BNP refrained from launching major anti-govt activities since end of Ramadan in mid-April.

War in Myanmar spilt over border, raising prospect of new refugee influx. Heavy fighting in Myanmar’s Rakhine state – where Arakan Army continued its offensive against military – prompted increasing numbers of military personnel and Rohingya civilians to cross border into Bangladesh. Bangladesh 25 April repatriated 288 regime officials, mainly Border Guard Police members, to Myanmar. Additionally, communal tensions rose significantly between Rakhine and Rohingya communities over military’s alleged forced recruitment of Rohingya and collaboration with Rohingya armed groups Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army and Arakan Rohingya Army, both of which are predominately based in refugee camps in Bangladesh (see Myanmar). 



Govt faced mounting economic challenges as opposition activity remained in lull, Myanmar’s conflict continued to spill over border, and peace talks in Chittagong Hill Tracts resumed with ethnic armed group.

Economic hardship persisted as opposition mobilisation remained subdued. Activity of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its allies remained at low ebb due to difficulties of mobilising during Ramadan, although BNP may attempt to resume large-scale anti-govt demonstrations from late April or May, potentially prompting renewed crackdown. Govt meanwhile faced challenges of high inflation and rapidly increasing food prices: PM Sheikh Hasina 6 March instructed Rapid Action Battalion to intensify campaigns against food hoarders and 15 March fixed prices for 29 agricultural products. Due to depleted foreign currency to pay for energy imports, power shortages continued and could increase in summer amid higher temperatures. 

Hostilities in Myanmar spilt over border, raising prospect of new refugee influx. Myanmar’s military 5 March carried out airstrikes close to border, causing panic among Bangladeshi residents. Over 175 Myanmar Border Guard Police members 12 March crossed into Bangladesh’s Bandarban district to escape Arakan Army’s offensive in Rakhine state (see Myanmar). Conflict continued to raise prospect of new influx of Rohingya fleeing violence as hundreds, possibly thousands, gather in boats along Naf River; Dhaka, however, insisted no new refugees will be accepted and detained over 400 Rohingya. Authorities 1 March relocated 1,141 Rohingya from Cox’s Bazar to Bhasan Char island, which now hosts 30,000. Rohingya continue to die at sea trying to flee: boat carrying estimated 150 Rohingya 20 March capsized off Indonesia’s Aceh, with only 75 rescued.   

Peace talks resumed in Chittagong Hill Tracts in south east. Govt delegation and Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) – which claims to represent six Kuki-Chin subgroups, largest of which is Bawm – 5 March held face-to-face talks after first round in Nov. KNF issued six demands, including establishing Kuki-Chin territorial council; two sides reportedly agreed to meet in April, while KNF pledged to refrain from conducting attacks in meantime. If govt rejects KNF’s demands, communal tensions between Bawm and Marma communities could escalate, risking deadly clashes and further involvement of army or other armed groups. 



Political tensions appeared to ease following Jan election, signs of communal conflict surfaced in Chittagong Hill Tracts, and conflict in Myanmar imperilled border and displaced more Rohingya. 

Authorities released two senior opposition leaders. Court 15 Feb released two senior Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) officials on bail more than three months after they were detained, possibly signalling softer position from ruling Awami League (AL) toward opposition after it dominated parliament following 7 Jan flawed election. Internal fighting continued to wrack AL as rival factions of Chittagong University branch 14-16 Feb clashed, injuring four including police officer. 

Tensions rose in Chittagong Hill Tracts in south east. Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) – which claims to represent six Kuki-Chin subgroups, largest of which is Bawm – 7 Feb briefly detained six Marma minority group residents in Bandarban’s Ruma Upazila. Marma leaders accused KNF of shooting Marma man in Ruma Upazila on 13 Feb; local Marma protests next day turned against several Bawm people-owned homes and shops in Ruma. KNF accused rival insurgent group Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) of being behind protests, raising prospect of clashes. 

Hostilities in Myanmar spilt over border, Rohingya refugees faced violence in camps. As Arakan Army consolidated control along Myanmar-Bangladesh border (see Myanmar), shells crossed border and 6 Feb killed two civilians, prompting evacuation of hundreds. Conflict could force more Rohingya to flee. Govt 14 Feb rejected UN request to permit entry to 900 refugees. As of mid-Feb, thousands of Rohingya waited in small boats on Myanmar side of Naf River, with security forces pushing back hundreds who attempted to cross. Meanwhile, Rohingya in refugee camps continued to endure high levels of violence. Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army 6 Feb killed member of rival Rohingya Solidarity Organisation. Ten masked men 11 Feb shot dead Rohingya refugee, with another stabbed to death 17 Feb. Security forces 6 Feb detained 23 armed Rohingya at border in Cox’s Bazar’s Ukhiya district. Refugees sought to flee camps: authorities 14 Feb voluntarily transferred 1,500 to Bhasan Char island in Bay of Bengal, marking largest transfer since March 2022.



Ruling Awami League won fourth consecutive election marred by low turnout and boycott by main opposition party, while insecurity and hardship continued in Rohingya refugee camps. 

Awami League secured massive majority in largely uncontested election. Awami League 7 Jan secured 222 of 300 elected seats in national parliament, awarding PM Sheikh Hasina another five-year term that marks her fourth consecutive and fifth overall election victory; Awami League members who ran as “independent” won additional 61 seats. Poll, however, was uncompetitive as main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) boycotted vote following arrest of most of its party leaders since Oct. Officials claimed turnout was 42%, although many suspected real figure was as low as 28%. Voting on 7 Jan passed without major incident, although violence occurred between supporters of official Awami League candidates and those standing as independents. Potential arson on train in capital Dhaka 5 Jan killed four, which govt blamed on BNP, while police arrested Awami League youth leader after he 15 Jan allegedly hacked to death BNP supporter in Mymensingh city. After vote, U.S., UK and Canada said poll fell short of democratic standards, while India, China and Russia enthusiastically supported its outcome; threat of U.S. sanctions appeared to recede. Hasina now faces challenge of navigating crisis of declining foreign currency reserves and high inflation. While election marks major blow to BNP, party announced plans to hold “black flag” processions countrywide on 30 Jan to coincide with first session of new parliament; although party was able to reopen head office in Dhaka, Hasina before poll hinted at further crackdowns, including possible deregistration of party. 

Insecurity and hardship continued in Rohingya refugee camps. Newly-appointed FM Hasan Mahmud 14 Jan signalled support for proposed repatriation pilot project to return 3,000 refugees to Myanmar’s Rakhine state; heavy fighting in Rakhine, however, cast doubt over returns (see Myanmar). Meanwhile, police said armed and criminal violence 4-16 Jan killed four refugees. UN 23 Jan reported at least 569 Rohingya dead or missing in attempts to flee Bangladesh/Myanmar in 2023, highest toll since 2014. Following election, national newspapers displayed growing anti-Rohingya sentiment.



Amid govt crackdown on opposition, country braced for potentially chaotic, violent and disputed general election in January 2024.

Govt continued crackdown on opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Ruling Awami League-controlled courts convicted at least 1,600 BNP leaders and activists since 1 Aug, while authorities reportedly arrested up to 25,000 BNP members since late Oct, with most leaders in prison and many members in hiding. Having formally boycotted 7 Jan general election by refraining from registering any candidates before 30 Nov deadline, BNP continued campaign of demonstrations, blockades and “hartals”: party members 10 Dec formed human chains countrywide to draw attention to human rights situation. BNP 16 Dec organised its largest rally since late Oct crackdown, with tens (possibly hundreds) of thousands demonstrating in capital Dhaka. BNP reportedly sought to assemble political parties not participating in vote into single platform. In attempt to lend credibility to vote, ruling Awami League struck series of seat-sharing deals to give impression of opposition participation. While Awami League appeared set to win with large majority, it remained unclear whether it can successfully project image of credible election amid risks of voting descending into chaotic violence between rival supporters within ruling party or so-called opposition parties, as well as clashes involving BNP; if voter turnout proves low, officials could resort to rigging ballots.

Violence and insecurity continued in Rohingya refugee camps. Security forces 15 Dec broke up Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) meeting in camps, arresting four following shootout. Separate attacks 21 Dec killed three refugees – at least one linked to rival group Rohingya Solidarity Organisation. Dire conditions in camps prompted growing numbers of refugees to flee to Indonesia’s Aceh province, bringing total to 1,500 since mid Nov: Indonesian authorities signalled patience was wearing thin, while some locals refused to provide assistance and demanded deportation of refugees.

Chittagong Hill Tracts remained restive. Dialogue between govt and Kuki-Chin National Front was postponed until 2024. Armed group formed by Bengali settlers 11 Dec reportedly killed four activists from armed organisation United People’s Democratic Front in Khagrachari; three others were abducted in attack.



Govt crackdown on opposition continued ahead of Jan elections, protests by garment workers turned deadly and Rohingya refugees fled country amid dire conditions and rampant insecurity.

Govt continued pressure on opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). After security forces broke up BNP’s “grand rally” in capital Dhaka on 28 Oct, opposition claimed authorities subsequently arrested at least 13,200 activists and leaders. In response to crackdown, BNP organised series of “blockades” and “hartals” throughout Nov aimed at inflicting economic damage to pressure govt to give way to neutral govt ahead of vote, leading to confrontations between police and opposition supporters that killed paramilitary officer and several civilians. Ruling Awami League dispatched stick-wielding supporters to keep roads opens and employed harsh rhetoric: PM Sheikh Hasina 4 Nov instructed supporters “burn the hands of those who are out to set vehicles on fire”. U.S. ambassador Peter Haas 13 Nov sought political dialogue between main parties but govt rejected offer, claiming “the ship has sailed”. With BNP certain to boycott poll, Awami League is trying to entice or pressure wavering parties to participate and enhance election’s credibility.

Garment workers staged protests, leading to deadly clashes. Tens of thousands of garment workers starting late Oct demanded higher wages to meet rising living costs, forcing hundreds of factories to close; garment sector accounts for 80% of exports. Near-daily clashes between police and protestors killed four before protests 14 Nov ended amid police crackdowns, threats from employers and govt pressure.

Prospects of Rohingya refugee repatriation appeared dim. Resumption of heavy fighting in Myanmar’s Rakhine state mid-Nov dashed govt’s hopes for repatriation (see Myanmar). Rohingya continued to flee dire conditions in camps and pay people smugglers to flee across Bay of Bengal: five vessels carrying 866 people 14-19 Nov landed on Indonesia’s Aceh province after two months at sea. UN estimated over 3,500 refugees took the perilous journey in 2022, up from 700 year before.

Dialogue resumed in Chittagong Hill Tracts. Militant group Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) and govt’s Peace Establishment Committee 5 Nov held first face-to-face meeting and first dialogue since July ceasefire; KNF reiterated demands for greater autonomy ahead of further talks in Dec.



Govt intensified repression ahead of Jan 2024 elections as opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) held large rally in capital Dhaka, leading to clashes that killed several civilians and police officer.

BNP held large-scale rally in defiance of govt crackdown. As party sought to mobilise supporters ahead of Jan 2024 elections, BNP 28 Oct held “grand rally” in Dhaka to build momentum for demanding caretaker govt ahead of Jan 2024 polls, with estimated 200,000 BNP supporters in attendance despite efforts to stop them gathering. Sporadic clashes, mainly between BNP supporters and police, prompted police to break up rally, firing rubber bullets and tear gas. Street fighting subsequently erupted across city, leaving one police officer and one civilian dead, and hundreds more injured. Violence was also reported in other major cities, with several civilians killed and scores injured. Awami League govt 29 Oct arrested de facto BNP leader and around 100 others, including senior officials, charging them with police officer’s murder; BNP claimed nearly 3,000 party officials were arrested 21-29 Oct. BNP and other opposition forces announced nationwide “hartal”, shutting down streets across Dhaka on 29 Oct, and three-day shutdown 31 Oct-2 Nov, making further clashes likely.

Financial strains persisted. Media 18 Oct reported Central Bank’s net foreign exchange reserves fell to below $17bn, equivalent to around three months of imports, and are declining by as much as $1bn per month. Govt 19 Oct reached staff-level agreement with International Monetary Fund (IMF) to proceed with disbursement of additional $681mn (still subject to IMF board approval).

Violence continued in Rohingya refugee camps. Paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion 2 Oct detained “financial coordinator and personal assistant” of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) chief. Gunfight with armed group 4 Oct killed member of ARSA. Suspected member of rival Rohingya Solidarity Organisation 9 Oct killed two ARSA members. Paramilitary forces 5 Oct arrested local council member in Cox’s Bazar for allegedly trafficking drugs from Myanmar and 15 Oct arrested alleged ARSA member for suspected murder of Rohingya leader in Sept 2021. Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Refugees 17 Oct requested more funding for Rohingya response to avert looming disaster.



Opposition continued campaign to force PM’s resignation, govt’s human rights record fuelled international criticism and insecurity persisted in Rohingya refugee camps.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) mobilised against ruling Awami League. Ahead of elections in Jan 2024, BNP continued to organise mainly peaceful rallies, marches and sit-ins to demand PM Sheikh Hasina’s resignation, albeit at slower pace and with no sign of demonstrations reaching tipping point to bring country to standstill and dislodge govt; worsening economic crisis, resurgence of Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami or death of detained BNP leader Khaleda Zia, however, could escalate tensions, or BNP could resort to violent tactics in coming months. Notably, rival supporters and police 1 Sept clashed in at least four districts, injuring more than 120, while attacks by Awami League supporters in Natore district 19 Sept injured 30 BNP members. Court 26 Sept ordered arrest of senior BNP member Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu and his wife.

Concerns persisted over govt’s human rights record. Govt 8 Sept fired Deputy Attorney General Imran Ahmed Bhuiyan after he told reporters that Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus – who faces almost 200 charges in case widely seen as govt retribution – is subject to judicial harassment. Court 14 Sept sentenced two members of human rights group Odhikar to two years imprisonment for report published ten years ago on alleged police massacre of members of Islamic organisation Hefazat-e-Islam; European Parliament same day expressed concern over deterioration of human rights, referencing sentencing.

Violence in Rohingya camps continued as govt sought repatriation. Gunmen 11 Sept shot dead man in camp 2. Clashes between Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army and Rohingya Solidarity Organisation in camp 7 killed two on 14 Sept. Armed Police Battalion 17 Sept engaged in gunfight with criminal gang. Meanwhile, govt 4 Sept sent delegation to Myanmar’s capital Naypyitaw for talks with regime on “technical issues” related to Rohingya repatriation; while both sides agreed to start repatriation by Dec, few are expected to return absent guarantees for citizenship. UK 12 Sept announced £3mn in aid for refugee response, while U.S. 21 Sept announced $116mn in aid to support Rohingya in Myanmar, Bangladesh and region.

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.