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 March 2005

Conflict Risk Alerts

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month February 2005

Conflict in Focus

Fourteen conflict situations around the world deteriorated in February 2005, according to the new edition of CrisisWatch,* released today. In Nepal, the situation has turned increasingly grim since King Gyanendra's 1 February coup: violence increased, a state of emergency has been declared, politicians arrested, and total censorship imposed on the media. The possible deployment to Somalia of a peacekeeping force composed of troops from Somalia’s neighbours risked destabilising its fragile transitional government.

Cote d'Ivoire's rebels declared mediation efforts "dead and buried" after a pro-government militia attacked them across the supposedly demilitarised "zone de confiance". And there was heavy fighting in Colombia as FARC insurgents struck several regions of the country simultaneously. Situations in DR Congo, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, North Korea, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, the Philippines, Tajikistan and Thailand also worsened in February.

Seven conflict situations improved in February. In the Middle East, outrage over the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri sparked huge protests in Beirut against Syria's military presence and political role in Lebanon, leading the pro-Syrian government to resign; Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak unexpectedly announced a constitutional change to allow for multi-candidate presidential elections; and Saudi Arabia held reasonably successful municipal elections. The situations in Bolivia, Burundi, Kashmir, and across the Taiwan Strait also showed improvement last month.

For March 2005, CrisisWatch identifies Nepal as a Conflict Risk Alert, or a situation at particular risk of new or significantly escalated conflict in the coming month. The only Conflict Resolution Opportunity identified for March is Uganda.

CrisisWatch Digests

Burundi

First democratic vote in 12 years - to approve power-sharing constitution - passed off peacefully 28 February. President Domitien Ndayizeye quashed speculation he would attempt last-minute changes to draft constitution, saying would not run in presidential elections. Most parties (but not Tutsi- dominated UPRONA) agreed to accept result of referendum. Three Tutsi-dominated parties, including UPRONA, recommended “no” vote, but “yes” vote appeared on course. Sole remaining rebel group, Forces nationales de libération (FNL), said it would not disrupt vote; peace negotiations believed imminent. FNL rejected possible role for South African Deputy President Zuma - Burundi’s principal peace mediator - preferring UN Special Representative Carolyn McAskie.

Central African Republic

Eleven presidential candidates signed electoral code of conduct and accepted Mixed Independent Electoral Commission for March parliamentary and presidential elections, formalising January Libreville agreement.

Chad

Embattled PM Faki resigned and several ministers were replaced 4 February amidst civil servant strikes. Chad continued mediation efforts on Darfur with 18 February meeting N’djamena; over 200,000 Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad.

Democratic Republic of Congo