CrisisWatch

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.

Global Overview

Outlook for This Month April 2024

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month March 2024

Improved Situations

Conflict in Focus

Our monthly conflict tracker highlights three conflict risks in April. 

  • Israel killed thousands more Palestinians in Gaza, bringing the death toll since 7 October to over 32,700. The strip’s north is facing the world’s worst famine, relative to population size, of the past few decades. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly reiterated the threat to invade Rafah, which could kill or again displace a huge proportion of the 1.5 million people seeking refuge there.
     
  • Lebanon continued to face the spectre of all-out war as Israel and Hizbollah engaged in deadly cross-border hostilities. Tensions between Palestinians and Israel during the remainder of Ramadan in April, including at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade, could provoke further violent actions by Hizbollah or Palestinian armed groups.
     
  • Tensions spiked between Bosnia and Herzegovina’s High Representative Christian Schmidt and Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik over proposed changes to the national election law, with Dodik threatening to paralyse state-level decision-making.

CrisisWatch identified nine deteriorated situations in March. Notably:

  • Violence escalated in Haiti after the country’s two largest gang coalitions launched coordinated attacks across the capital Port-au-Prince to deter an international security mission from deploying. Gangs targeted critical sites, freed over 4,700 inmates and forced tens of thousands to flee.
     
  • Electoral authorities in Venezuela blocked the opposition coalition from registering their banned candidate María Corina Machado or her replacement, in an apparent bid to strengthen President Maduro’s hand in the lead-up to July elections. 
     
  • Political tensions rose in Somalia, where the government of Puntland state suspended its recognition of the Mogadishu-based federal government over a review of the constitution, one of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s priorities.
     
  • Pakistan launched its first acknowledged airstrikes in Afghanistan since the Taliban’s takeover in 2021 in response to a deadly militant attack on an army post in a border district. The Taliban retaliated with cross-border fire, underscoring the risk of armed conflict between the two sides.
     
  • Strained relations between China and the Philippines soured further over maritime incidents in the South China Sea

Our tracker also assessed three improved situations

  • Following a constitutional crisis over a delay to the original February voting day, Senegal held peaceful presidential elections that saw the victory of opposition candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye. 
     
  • Somaliland passed an electoral law, removing a source of tension between the government and opposition ahead of November elections.
     
  • In Papua New Guinea, after tribal clashes killed dozens of people in the restive Highlands Region in February, the two warring factions struck a temporary ceasefire. 

Aside from the scores of conflict situations we regularly assess, we tracked significant developments in Cuba, Gabon, Jordan, Moldova, South Africa and Togo.

Burundi

Main opposition party faced disarray amid contention over leadership and govt-instigated fragmentation; reports emerged of ruling party youth wing receiving further military training.

Govt-sponsored efforts ousted leader of main opposition party. Opposition fell into disarray as faction of National Congress for Freedom (CNL) removed party head Agathon Rwasa, with govt recognising parallel leadership. Interior Minister Martin Niteretse denied Rwasa permission for 2 March extraordinary congress, instead allowing ten govt-backed CNL dissidents to convene one in Ngozi province 10 March while Rwasa was not in country. Delegates chose Nestor Girukwishaka, senior executive allegedly close to ruling party, as new CNL head, while Niteretse 18 March officially recognised him as party’s President. Police, intelligence services and ruling-party youth wing Imbonerakure barred pro-Rwasa MPs from attending meeting, with human rights group Ligue Iteka reporting 42 CNL members arrested during day. CNL described congress as “masquerade” while Rwasa said govt had worked with “political mercenaries” from party as ploy to sideline him ahead of 2025 legislative elections; govt interference left CNL adrift with two separate leaderships under Girukwishaka and Rwasa. 

Imbonerakure continued to bolster force with alleged paramilitary training. Locals 6 March reported Imbonerakure members, predominantly from western provinces, undertook military-style training in Cibitoke province, with reports of gunshots and armed parades. Defence ministry said exercises were military training for soldiers but local sources suggested events were paramilitary drills for ruling party youth wing. 

In another important development. Police 17 March discovered decapitated body in Bukinanyana commune in Cibitoke province and arrested four Imbonerakure members as suspec