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.



Democratic Republic of Congo

Military stalemate persisted in North Kivu as security deteriorated in regional capital Goma; govt renewed scrutiny over supposed allies of rebels. 

Military front remained frozen but pervasive violence swept Goma city. Frontlines in North Kivu province stalled as govt forces held regional capital Goma but M23 rebels retained control of strategic areas near Sake town (25km north west of Goma) and foothills of Nyiragongo volcano; heavy gunfire continued, however, including 4 April mortar that killed three Tanzanian soldiers in Mubambiro area deployed as part of Southern African regional bloc (SADC) mission SAMIDRC, which Congolese army blamed on M23. Meanwhile, escalating insecurity gripped Goma with military and pro-govt Wazalendo militia groups blamed for surge in lawlessness that saw at least 22 civilians and one soldier killed in city during month; notably, alleged soldiers and Wazalendo members on motorbikes 10 April killed four civilians during armed robbery near provincial governorate building. Locals at times responded violently, leading to soldiers and Wazalendo casualties and raising tensions. In response, govt suppressed protests while also attempting to demonstrate accountability, including 15 April sentencing Republican Guard member to death for civilian shootings. Meanwhile, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa 24 April announced extension of troop contribution to SAMIDRC for unspecified time.

Govt continued to accuse former President Kabila of M23 support. Intelligence services 5 April released deposition video of Éric Nkuba, recently-arrested adviser to pro-M23 politico-military group Congo River Alliance, in which Nkuba implicated Kabila and several figures close to him as M23 supporters; next day, Kabila allies dismissed allegations and said Nkuba coerced into testimony.

Armed militias continued attacks against civilians in Ituri and North Kivu. In North Kivu, Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels 2 April killed ten civilians in Mangina commune, Beni territory. In Ituri province, ADF 7 April killed eight civilians in Otomabert village, Irumu territory while ethnic Lendu militia CODECO members 14 April ambushed and robbed convoy of humanitarian workers on road to Fataki town, Djugu territory. In attempt to address violence, Defence Minister Jean-Pierre Bemba 19 April oversaw signing of agreement for immediate cessation of hostilities by various armed groups including CODECO.


Democratic Republic of Congo

Ongoing clashes spread northward in North Kivu as ruling party head accused former President Kabila of supporting insurgents; Angola continued DRC-Rwanda diplomatic efforts.

Clashes between govt-allied forces and M23 rebels in North Kivu continued. As front froze west of provincial capital Goma despite sporadic mortar exchanges, M23 6 March expanded assault northward; rebels posed increasing threat to Lubero town and seized control of several others including Nyanzale 6 March, despite resistance from pro-govt Wazalendo militia groups. Fighting triggered further displacement with UN official 13 March saying violence had displaced 250,000 in one month. Strategic town Sake (25km north west of Goma) remained under Wazalendo and army control, although largely deserted; military blamed Rwandan troops for 16 March mortar shell that wounded eight UN peacekeepers in Sake town. Meanwhile, after 28 March meeting in Rutshuru in which several people linked to political movement of former President Kabila appeared alongside Corneille Nangaa, head of pro-M23 politico-military group Congo River Alliance, ruling party chief Augustin Kabaya accused Kabila of supporting insurgents, claiming former president had fled country.

Angola attempted to induce DRC-Rwanda de-escalation of crisis. Angolan President Joao Lourenço 11 March hosted Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Angola’s capital Luanda to discuss crisis, mirroring Congolese counterpart President Tshisekedi’s Feb trip to Angola; later, FMs from all three countries 21 March convened in Luanda, reportedly attempting to organise future summit between Kagame and Tshisekedi.

Other armed groups continued to take heavy toll on civilians in Ituri and North Kivu. In Ituri, clashes between CODECO militia, which claims to defend interests of Lendu ethnic group, and ZAIRE militia from rival Hema people 5 March claimed seven lives in Djugu territory. In North Kivu, according to military authorities Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces militants 23-24 March killed at least thirteen civilians in twin attacks on Sayo district of Beni city, setting houses ablaze. 

In other important developments. Constitutional Court 12 March passed verdicts on electoral disputes from Dec parliamentary election, invalidating over 40 results, and predominantly benefiting pro-Tshisekedi ruling coalition. Govt 13 March announced resumption of executions citing need to combat perceived treachery and treason amid M23 conflict, spurring international condemnation.


Democratic Republic of Congo

Advance of M23 rebels on strategic town of Sake in North Kivu caused mass displacement amid major uptick in fighting involving sophisticated weapons.

Rebels surrounded strategic town of Sake, considered last barrier before Goma. In North Kivu’s Masisi territory, M23 early Feb engaged in fierce fighting with Congolese army and allied Wazalendo militiamen, supported by foreign security contractors and Southern African bloc (SADC) troops, around Sake town (25km north west of Goma), which came under attack 7 Feb. Fighting also reported in villages south of Sake, notably Shasha, Kirotshe and Bweremana, with reports of M23 and allied forces deploying armoured vehicles equipped with surface-to-air missiles. After brief lull, violence 25 Feb resumed on outskirts of Sake. Army and allies late Feb retained control of Sake, while rebels occupied surrounding hills and controlled access, except for road to Goma. NGO Médecins sans Frontières late Feb said fighting and shelling had triggered displacement of 180,000 civilians toward Goma and Minova town in South Kivu province since 7 Feb. Tensions with Kigali remained high, with Congolese military saying Rwandan drone attack 17 Feb targeted Goma International Airport.

Kinshasa continued to track down M23 allies. Amid concerns of broader opposition alignment with M23, Kinshasa intensified efforts to arrest individuals suspected of ties to former head of electoral commission Corneille Nangaa, who in Dec 2023 created pro-M23 politico-military group Congo River Alliance. Notably, military intelligence 13 Feb arrested three National Intelligence Agency officials and military governor’s spokesman in North Kivu for alleged complicity with M23.

Civilians continued to face other armed groups’ attacks notably in Ituri province. Suspected Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militants around 5 Feb allegedly killed eighteen people in Mambasa territory, and 17-18 Feb killed at least thirteen people in Badibongo Siya groupement, Irumu territory. CODECO militia, which claims to defend interests of Lendu ethnic group and often targets people from rival Hema tribe, 14 Feb killed twelve people and 17 Feb killed another fifteen in Djugu territory.

In another important development. PM Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde 20 Feb resigned, prioritising his new mandate as MP in Kasenga constituency in compliance with legal requirement against dual-office holding.


Democratic Republic of Congo

President Tshisekedi inaugurated for new term as his coalition swept legislative and provincial elections; eastern provinces saw fierce M23 conflict and attacks on civilians by other groups. 

Tshisekedi sworn in as his coalition scored big in elections. Constitutional Court 9 Jan confirmed Tshisekedi’s victory in presidential election with 73% of vote, rejecting two legal challenges to provisional results. Tshisekedi sworn in 20 Jan after Moïse Katumbi and Martin Fayulu, second and third respectively in presidential contest, 18 Jan condemned decision but declined to call protests on inauguration day, citing security risks. Fayulu 20 Jan turned down Tshisekedi’s offer of official opposition spokesman position. Electoral commission (CENI) 14, 22 Jan published legislative and provincial election results, giving Tshisekedi’s coalition comfortable majorities. Earlier in month, CENI 5 Jan cancelled legislative and provincial elections results in two constituencies citing irregularities and disqualified 82 candidates for legislative, provincial and municipal elections over suspected fraud. 

M23 conflict persisted in North Kivu province. Pro-govt Wazalendo militia around 16 Jan clashed with M23 rebels on Karuba-Mushaki road in bid to capture Mushaki town (Masisi territory). After Wazalendo and army around 22 Jan launched offensive to take Mweso town (Masisi) from M23, bombing of civilian homes 25 Jan left at least nineteen dead. Fighting also reported in and around Sake town (Masisi), where bomb 27 Jan killed one civilian. Army drone strike 16 Jan killed two M23 commanders in Kitshanga town, which straddles Rutshuru and Masisi territories. Meanwhile, army 17 Jan claimed three Congolese soldiers killed or captured by Rwandan army previous day had crossed border “inadvertently” (see Rwanda). 

Other armed groups continued to wreak havoc in eastern provinces. In Ituri province, Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) 8 and 12 Jan killed seven people in Irumu territory; 14 Jan killed eight in Mambasa territory. Group 23-30 Jan killed 26 in attacks across Beni territory (North Kivu). CODECO association of ethnic Lendu militias attacked Djugu territory settlements (Ituri), with eight people killed 1-2 Jan and three others 4 Jan. 

In another important development. Adam Chalwe, former leader of ex-president Joseph Kabila’s party, 6 Jan joined Alliance du Fleuve Congo, newly created politico-military group allied with M23.


Democratic Republic of Congo

Opposition rejected presidential election results giving victory to President Tshisekedi, amid widespread logistical issues and reports of irregularities; former election commission chief launched political-military alliance including M23, vowing to oust Tshisekedi.

Electoral commission declared Tshisekedi presidential winner, opposition cried foul. Electoral commission 20 Dec extended voting for general elections by one day amid widespread reports of voting stations unable to operate properly due to missing equipment, voter registers or other paperwork. Four opposition candidates, including Martin Fayulu and Denis Mukwege, 20 Dec denounced breach of electoral law and uneven playing field, calling for rerun. Former President Kabila’s political party same day issued strong statement, implicitly threatening destabilisation. Banned opposition protest 27 Dec left several people wounded in capital Kinshasa, with some protesters throwing stones at security forces who fired tear gas and stormed Fayulu’s campaign headquarters. Election observers from DR Congo’s Protestant and Catholic churches 28 Dec reported “numerous cases of irregularities likely to affect the integrity of the results”. Electoral commission 31 Dec said Tshisekedi re-elected with over 73% of vote. Moïse Katumbi and Fayulu, who came second and third respectively, denounced election as sham and rejected result outright.

Fighting continued between M23 rebels and govt-aligned forces in east. In North Kivu province, M23 maintained pressure on govt forces and allies especially around Sake town in Masisi territory. Fighting reported 4-7 Dec near Mushaki and Kilolirwe towns as M23 reportedly attempted to take over Mushaki. U.S.-sponsored 72-hour ceasefire 11 Dec entered into force, but M23 reportedly used pause to reinforce positions around Sake, allegedly with major reinforcements from Rwanda. M23 around 26 Dec moved closer to Sake and attempted breakthrough toward mining town of Rubaya, further west. East African regional force 21 Dec completed withdrawal after mandate expired.

Political-military coalition, allied to M23, created in Kenya. In Kenya’s capital Nairobi, former head of Congolese electoral commission Corneille Nangaa 15 Dec presented new political-military alliance with M23 and other groups. Kinshasa next day summoned Kenyan ambassador and recalled its own ambassador to Nairobi in protest. Nangaa, speaking from M23 stronghold of Rutshuru territory, 31 Dec vowed to march on Kinshasa to oust Tshisekedi from power.


Democratic Republic of Congo

Distrust in electoral process continued to mar prospects for peaceful vote on 20 December; M23 rebels stepped up offensive, threatening key cities in North Kivu province.

Electoral preparations progressed haltingly as opposition discussed coalition. Constitutional Court 18 Nov validated all 26 presidential candidacies for 20 Dec election, and electoral campaign started next day. Six opposition candidates, including heavyweights Martin Fayulu and Denis Mukwege, 24 Nov filed complaint against head of electoral commission, Denis Kadima, and Interior Minister Peter Kazadi, accusing them of manipulating electoral process. EU 29 Nov cancelled election observation mission, citing security and technical reasons. Meanwhile, opposition representatives 13-17 Nov met in South Africa, and three candidates 19-20 Nov withdrew from presidential race to back Moïse Katumbi; neither Fayulu nor Mukwege followed suit.

M23 captured positions in east around North Kivu’s provincial capital Goma. Amid ongoing tensions between Kinshasa and Kigali (see Rwanda), Rwanda-backed M23 rebels continued offensive in North Kivu, with intense fighting in Masisi, Nyiragongo and Rutshuru territories. M23 from late Oct reoccupied most positions they had ceded to East African regional force and repelled army and loyal militias, formerly known as Wazalendo, on Sake-Kitshanga axis and Goma-Rutshuru axis. Notably, M23 14 Nov took control of Kishishe village, Rutshuru territory, 22 Nov captured Mweso city, Masisi territory. Clashes between M23 and army 26 Nov intensified around Kilolirwe village; several thousand households took refuge in Sake town, last stop before Goma. Responding to resurgent M23 threat, UN peacekeeping force (MONUSCO) 3 Nov launched operation with army to reinforce security around Goma; plans for mission’s withdrawal continued unhindered, as MONUSCO and govt 21 Nov agreed on timeline for complete disengagement. East African regional force, whose mandate is set to expire on 8 Dec, largely stayed out of fight. President Tshisekedi 17 Nov signed agreement on Southern African regional force, confirmed deployment “in the coming days”.

ADF continued to wreak havoc in eastern provinces. Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels 7 Nov killed at least 12 civilians in three localities of Irumu territory, Ituri province; 12 Nov reportedly slaughtered up to 42 people in Watalinga chiefdom, Beni territory, North Kivu.


Democratic Republic of Congo

Large-scale fighting between M23 rebels and govt forces resumed in North Kivu after six months of precarious calm, fuelling tensions with Rwanda; political climate remained heated ahead of December elections.

Ceasefire between M23 and govt collapsed in North Kivu province. Wazalendo coalition of pro-govt armed groups 9 Oct seized strategic town of Kitshanga in Masisi territory from M23 rebel group after intense fighting, and around 11 Oct drove M23 from their stronghold of Bwiza (Bwito chiefdom) in neighbouring Rutshuru territory. Violence 15 Oct flared in Bwito’s Tongo and Bishusha groupements, and M23 overnight 22-23 Oct reportedly killed over 50 civilians in several villages of Tongo. Fighting also reported around 21 Oct in Masisi, with M23 regaining control of Kitshanga. Direct clashes between M23 and govt forces 24 Oct resumed at Kibumba town in Nyiragongo territory, about 20km north of provincial capital Goma. M23 rebels 25-26 Oct opened new front, seizing Bambo town in Rutshuru territory, 60km from Goma. Kinshasa 23-24 Oct released drone footage purportedly showing Rwandan army incursion into DR Congo in support of M23. Meanwhile, UN regional envoy 17 Oct said risk of “direct confrontation” between Kigali and Kinshasa is “very real” (see Rwanda).

Presidential election candidates engaged in heated rhetoric. Electoral commission 19 Oct published list 24 candidates registered for 20 Dec presidential election, pending Constitutional Court confirmation expected 18 Nov. Harsh rhetoric continued between candidates. Notably, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Denis Mukwege 2 Oct called current leadership “inconsistent, irresponsible and incompetent”, while incumbent President Tshisekedi 7 Oct warned against “candidates from abroad” in thinly veiled reference to Mukwege. Opposition seemed unable to build electoral alliance to rally behind single candidate against Tshisekedi. Fuelling divisions, prominent candidate Martin Fayulu 10 Oct said he was only candidate fit for the role and dismissed other candidates as “thieves”.

In other important developments. Suspected Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces 23 Oct killed at least 26 civilians in Oicha town, Beni territory in North Kivu. Tshisekedi 12 Oct announced easing of state of siege (akin to martial law) in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, notably lifting curfew and allowing peaceful demonstrations, with military remaining in charge at provincial level.


Democratic Republic of Congo

Civic space restrictions and armed group violence in eastern and western provinces continued to bode ill for general election due in December.

Political climate remained tense ahead of December general elections. Authorities 8 Sept arrested journalist Stanis Bujakera, later charged him with “forgery” and “spreading falsehoods”, prompting condemnation from Committee to Protect Journalists. Court of Cassation 13 Sept sentenced President Tshisekedi’s former ally, Jean-Marc Kabund, to seven years in prison for “insulting the Head of State and the institutions of the Republic” and “propagation of false rumours”. Opposition heavyweight Martin Fayulu 30 Sept confirmed presidential candidacy.

Fallout of Goma massacre loomed large. Authorities 5 Sept put on trial six soldiers, for “crimes against humanity” in relation to 30 August killing of over 50 people protesting foreign forces’ perceived inaction in North Kivu province’s capital Goma. Tshisekedi 18 Sept replaced North Kivu military governor with another army general, de facto extending unpopular state of siege. At UN general assembly, Tshisekedi 20 Sept advocated starting withdrawal of UN mission (MONUSCO) in December instead of next year.

M23 returned to prominence in North Kivu province. Marking shift from recent low-profile strategy, M23 18 Sept proclaimed takeover of Kiwanja town (Rutshuru territory), nominally controlled by East African Community (EAC) troops, and 22 Sept organised large rally in strategic Kibumba town (Nyiragongo territory), from which they supposedly withdrew last Jan. M23 around 20 Sept also clashed with pro-govt armed groups between Kitshanga and Mweso villages in Masisi territory. Meanwhile, EAC 5 Sept extended mandate of regional force in eastern DR Congo by three months.

Other violence continued in eastern provinces. Maï-Maï militia group 7 Sept attacked Balingina village in Ituri province, killing 18 civilians. Also in Ituri, suspected CODECO militia, which gathers various ethnic Lendu armed groups, 31 Aug-8 Sept killed at least 15 civilians in Mahagi and Djugu territories. Congolese and Ugandan forces throughout month reported gains against Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in Ituri (see Uganda).

Mobondo militia continued to extend attacks in western provinces. Govt reported Mobondo rebels 11 Sept killed 19 people in village raid in Kongo Central province. Fighting between Mobondo militia and army 17 Sept left 15 soldiers and three Mobondo fighters dead in Kwango province.


Democratic Republic of Congo

Ahead of elections set for December, crackdown on dissent and civil liberties escalated as security forces killed over 40 anti-UN protesters in eastern province of North Kivu.

Anti-MONUSCO protest turned deadly. Govt forces 30 Aug stopped religious group from holding demonstration against UN mission (MONUSCO) in North Kivu’s provincial capital, Goma; crackdown reportedly left at least 43 people dead and 56 wounded, while over 150 people were arrested. Repression sent chilling message across country over space for free speech and dissent in lead-up to general elections due in late 2023.

Armed group violence continued in eastern provinces, mainly targeting civilians. In Ituri province, Islamist militia Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) 19-21 Aug killed over 50 people in Irumu territory. Also in Ituri, Cooperative for the Development of the Congo (CODECO), which gathers various ethnic Lendu militias, 15 Aug killed 11 civilians in two attacks in Irumu territory, and 27-28 Aug killed 30 people in Djugu and Aru territories. Amid fragile truce with govt, Rwanda-backed M23 rebels continued to fight with local armed groups for territorial control in North Kivu. Notably, clashes between M23 and Democratic Forces for the liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) 6 Aug killed at least two FDLR combatants and ten civilians in Marangara and Ruzanze villages, Rutshuru territory. Meanwhile, participants to President Tshisekedi-sponsored roundtable held 14-16 Aug in capital Kinshasa called for immediate lifting of so-called “state of siege” declared in May 2021 in Ituri and North Kivu provinces, citing lack of conclusive results in fight against armed groups.

In other important developments. In likely bid to strengthen control of security apparatus as elections near, Tshisekedi 1 Aug appointed new heads of National Intelligence Agency and National Security Council. Electoral commission 11 Aug published provisional list of candidates for National Assembly, and 27 Aug completed registration of candidates for provincial and municipal elections; political heavyweights Joseph Kabila and Martin Fayulu boycotted registration process. Electoral commission 22 Aug restricted municipal election on 20 Dec to communes located in provincial capitals, citing customary power conflicts in rural areas; elections projected in 2024 in remaining municipalities.


Democratic Republic of Congo

Tensions escalated further ahead of general elections set for December, while civilians continued to bear the brunt of violence in eastern provinces.

Pre-electoral tensions turned violent. Unidentified gunman 13 July killed Chérubin Okende, MP and spokesman of Moïse Katumbi’s opposition party, Together for the Republic, in capital Kinshasa. Small anti-govt protests same day broke out and President Tshisekedi urged judiciary to “shed light on this case”. Adding to turmoil, electoral commission 10 July dismissed all opposition’s demands ahead of general elections set for December, including independent audit of electoral register. In response, opposition leader Martin Fayulu 12 July vowed to block “fraudulent” elections. Electoral commission 23 July closed registration of candidacies for legislative elections, with Fayulu and former President Joseph Kabila’s parties choosing to remain out of the race.

M23 ceasefire remained fragile in North Kivu province. Local sources said M23 armed group 5-16 July killed at least 11 civilians in Bukombo village and another eight in Bungushu village, both Rutshuru territory. Congolese military 27 July claimed to have pushed back incursion by Rwandan army north of North Kivu’s capital Goma. Rwandan army next day rejected accusations, accused Kinshasa of seeking pretext to launch attack on Rwandan territory. European Union 28 July sanctioned nine Congolese and Rwandan individuals responsible for serious human rights violations and/or for fuelling armed conflict in eastern DR Congo, including several armed group members and a Rwandan military officer.

Other armed groups continued to terrorise civilians in East. In Ituri province, association of various ethnic Lendu militias CODECO 3 July raided Pabon village, Mahagi territory, killing two; Islamist militia Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) 12 July killed at least 16 people in Eloke-Nord and Apesiko villages, Mambasa territory. In North Kivu province, ADF next day killed two including one army officer in Mapobu village, Beni territory. Following 16 June school attack in Uganda, Ugandan and DR Congo forces stepped up operations against ADF cell in Mwalika Valley, Beni territory (North Kivu), reportedly killing 16 militants, including several leaders, by mid-July.

In other important developments. As conflict between Yaka and Teke communities persisted in western provinces, armed forces 3 July reportedly arrested 50 Yaka “Mobondo” militiamen.

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