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 May 2023

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month April 2023

Improved Situations

Conflict in Focus

Our global conflict tracker warns of three conflict risks and welcomes one conflict resolution opportunity in May. 

  • Fighting erupted in Sudan between the army and a powerful paramilitary force, killing hundreds, triggering a humanitarian crisis and fuelling fears of a protracted, all-out civil war.
     
  • Azerbaijan installed a checkpoint along the Lachin corridor that connects Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, prompting Yerevan and Moscow to condemn Baku for breaching the 2020 ceasefire agreement and raising concern that heightened tensions could escalate further.
     
  • As expectations for Ukraine’s long-awaited counteroffensive grew, Russian shelling killed and injured dozens; Moscow may deploy long-range weapons in the coming weeks, causing more civilian suffering.
     
  • In Yemen, the first diplomatic visit by Saudi Arabia in eight years and a prisoner swap injected momentum into talks between Riyadh and Huthi rebels, raising hope for a more comprehensive halt to hostilities.

CrisisWatch identified deteriorations in nine countries in April.

  • In Israel-Palestine, Israeli security forces’ brutality at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan triggered a multi-front escalation, including the largest cross-border rocket barrage from Lebanon since the 2006 war.
     
  • Thailand’s deep south witnessed a surge in militant attacks, casting a shadow over dialogue between the government and the main separatist armed group. 
  • Surges in criminal, herder-farmer and communal violence in Nigeria left hundreds of people dead across the country, with a particularly heavy toll among civilians.
  • Amid sustained fighting between government forces and jihadist groups in Burkina Faso since the government declared a “total war”, both sides conducted large-scale massacres of civilians.
     
  • Ecuador’s government declared terrorism a security threat amid a spike in gang violence, enabling the military to deploy in the streets to confront these groups without instituting a state of exception.

We also assessed one improved situation. 

  • Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates announced plans to restore diplomatic ties with Qatar, concluding the process of ending the almost six-year intra-Gulf rift.

Aside from the dozens of conflict situations we assess every month, we tracked significant developments in Benin, Indonesia and Moldova.

CrisisWatch Digests

Our CrisisWatch Digests offer a monthly one-page snapshot of conflict-related country trends in a clear, accessible format, using a map of the region to pinpoint developments.

For our most recent CrisisWatch Digests, please follow these links for EthiopiaLebanon and Somalia.

Kenya

Major points of contention persisted between govt and opposition despite positive steps toward de-escalating tensions; resource conflict fuelled by drought continued in northern counties.

Opposition entered fragile talks with govt but called for new protests. Opposition leader Raila Odinga 2 March suspended anti-govt protests after President Ruto same day agreed to form bipartisan committee to review selection process for election commissioners. Country’s top prosecutor next day dropped charges of unlawful assembly levelled in March at several opposition lawmakers; govt however refused to engage on other opposition demands, including cost of living and audit of Aug 2022 election servers. In attempt to increase pressure, Odinga 13 April announced protests would resume after holy month of Ramadan, and 23 April scheduled protest for 2 May. Bilateral talks 20 April kicked off but Odinga’s coalition 25 April suspended participation amid disagreement over composition of negotiating delegations and topics to be discussed.

Violence over cattle and land resources continued in north amid historic drought. Cattle theft and banditry continued in Rift Valley despite military operation. Notably, raiders believed to be from Turkana county 6 April killed five people and injured another in Lami Nyeusi village in West Pokot county, also stealing goats.

In other important developments. President Ruto’s senior economic adviser David Ndii 8 April suggested govt might need to take further austerity measures to avoid debt default and stabilise economy; govt is struggling to pay public