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 September 2011

Conflict Risk Alerts

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month August 2011

Deteriorated Situations

Improved Situations

Conflict in Focus

Anti-regime protests continued across Syria despite increased crackdowns on the major flashpoint cities. Security forces, including tanks, snipers and navy gunboats were mobilised against protests in Latakia, Daraa, Damascus, Homs, Deir el-Zour and elsewhere. Over two thousand deaths have been reported since the unrest erupted in mid-March.

CrisisWatch Digests

The UN Human Rights Commissioner recommended that the Security Council consider referring the situation to the International Criminal Court on the basis of possible crimes against humanity. The international community condemned the violence, with the U.S. and EU calling for President Bashar Assad to step down.

The month saw a breakthrough in Libya, where rebels have gained control of most of the west of the country. They seized key towns including Zlitan and Zawiya, took most of Tripoli on 21 August and launched an offensive towards the remaining regime stronghold of Sirte. The Transitional National Council reported hundreds killed during the battle for Tripoli. Evidence suggesting mass executions by pro-regime forces also surfaced.

In Turkey the Kurdish PKK rebel group launched a wave of attacks against security forces in the southeast of the country, killing some 30 security personnel over the month. In retaliation the Turkish military bombarded PKK bases in northern Iraq, claiming it killed more than 150 rebels. The government has vowed a hard line, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan saying “The time for words is over. Now is the time for actions”.

The situation remains tense in the north of Kosovo after the crisis that erupted in late July, when attempts by Kosovo special police to take control of two border gates with Serbia prompted a violent response from local Serbs. Kosovo’s government has promised further actions to enforce its sovereignty in the Serb-held north. Observers fear violent reprisals by local Serbs if Pristina attempts to impose its institutions without prior agreement. Violence in the north could provoke ethnic Albanian reprisals against Serb communities elsewhere in Kosovo. CrisisWatch identifies a conflict risk alert for Kosovo for the coming month.

In Nigeria’s capital Abuja, 23 people were killed and dozens injured in a car bomb attack on the UN headquarters on 26 August. Radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, which is behind an ongoing campaign of attacks on civilians and security forces in the north, claimed responsibility. Officials have named as a suspect a man with alleged links to al-Qaeda.

Violence escalated still further in Mexico. At least 52 people were killed in an arson attack on a casino in Monterrey on 25 August. Five suspected members of a drug cartel have been arrested in connection with the attack.


Sporadic attacks on security forces continued despite President Nkurunziza’s late June call for dialogue with opposition. Clashes 3-10 Aug between unidentified gunmen and police in Rumonge district and in capital left 5 gunmen, 1 police, 1 military officer dead. Main Tutsi party Uprona, currently part of coalition govt, said attacks bear hallmarks of new rebellion. President Nkurunziza 15 Aug met with Somali counterpart, agreed to send additional troops to AU mission in Somalia.


Social Democratic Front (SDF) leader and presidential candidate Ni John Fru Ndi 11 Aug declared SDF would participate in forthcoming elections scheduled for 9 Oct despite govt failure to implement called-for reforms. Other SDF elements maintained call for boycott. Ruling party convention (RDPC) scheduled for mid-Sept; President Biya expected to officially declare presidential candidacy.

Central African Republic

Ethnic tensions rose despite June peace deal with Convention of Patriots for Justice (CPJP) rebel group: clashes early Aug between Runga, leading tribe of the CPJP rebels, and Gula, dominant tribe in UFDR, in previously calm Bria town. Several people reported injured in machete attack. CPJP leader Mahamat Salle 27 Aug signed peace agreement with govt.