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 November 2006

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month October 2006

Improved Situations

Conflict in Focus

Thirteen actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated in October 2006, according to the new issue of CrisisWatch,* released today.

Conflict threatened to engulf much of the Horn of Africa, as instability in Darfur continued to spill across Sudan’s borders and Somalia’s civil war risked escalating into a region-wide war involving rivals Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Israeli incursions into Palestinian population centers intensified, while increasingly strained relations between Fatah and Hamas led to factional clashes in the Occupied Territories. Sectarian violence and insurgent attacks worsened again in Iraq, with U.S. forces sustaining their highest monthly death toll in two years. North Korea conducted its first nuclear test, raising fears of a new arms race in east Asia.

An interim government appointed in the lead-up to January elections in Bangladesh was met with violent protests, while there were fears of an imminent coup in Fiji. A constitutional referendum in Serbia prompted accusations of massive irregularities by opposition groups and observers. The situation also deteriorated in the Central African Republic, Chad, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Voting passed off mostly peacefully in the second round of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential elections, but serious concerns remain about the potential for violence when results are released in mid-November.

Two situations showed improvement in October. In Northern Ireland, three days of talks in St. Andrews resulted in a timetable for return to devolved power-sharing by March 2007. And the U.S. announced it would ease a 15-year arms embargo in Haiti, giving President Préval a vote of confidence. Kidnappings in the country declined this month and efforts to disarm gangs moved forward.

For November 2006, CrisisWatch identifies Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Fiji and Somalia as Conflict Risk Alerts, or situations at particular risk of new or significantly escalated conflict in the coming month.

CrisisWatch Digests


Joint mechanism to oversee implementation of ceasefire between government and FNL rebels launched 11 October, but FNL did not attend after delegation leader detained. FNL requested, with support of opposition FRODEBU party, release of 7 alleged September coup plotters, but court ruled against release 31 October. Government maintains release of political prisoners contingent on FNL combatants assembling at specified sites as part of 7 September ceasefire agreement. UN Security Council adopted resolution 25 October defining mandate and structure of UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB) to replace current peacekeeping mission (ONUB) at year-end.

Central African Republic

President Francois Bozize called for international military assistance along CAR-Chad-Sudan border after 30 October attack by armed rebels he claimed based in Sudan. Rebels reportedly seized northern town of Birao, saying would push on toward capital Bangui 800km south.

Democratic Republic of Congo