Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, a tool designed to help decision-makers prevent deadly violence by keeping them up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace.

Global Overview

Outlook for This Month January 2017

Conflict Risk Alerts

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month December 2016

Improved Situations

December saw fighting worsen between rival forces in Libya, including over oil facilities, which could escalate in January and upset the precarious political and economic balance. Turkey’s security deteriorated further following a series of violent attacks on civilians and security forces, including a twin bombing in Istanbul, claimed by an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Ankara responded by intensifying its crackdown on alleged PKK supporters. In Russia’s North Caucasus, Islamic State (IS)-affiliated militants and police were killed in clashes in the Chechen capital, while in Burkina Faso a deadly attack on security forces reflected worsening insecurity in the north. In Macedonia and Gambia, elections led to heightened political tensions. In East Asia, Pyongyang’s announcement that preparations are at an advanced stage for an inter-continental ballistic missile test-launch deepened international concern over North Korea’s weapons and nuclear programs.

CrisisWatch Digests

In Libya, fighting between Misratan-led forces, nominally loyal to the internationally recognised Presidency Council (PC), and forces loyal to eastern strongman General Haftar escalated throughout December, risking worse clashes around Sirte, Jufra or Tripoli in January. In early December Misratan-led forces took full control of Sirte from IS, but rifts over governance of the city quickly emerged between the PC-supported city council, Misratan militias and the east-based government. Moving west towards Tripoli, factions loyal to Haftar took control of a military base from Misratan forces in Brak Shati, 200km south of Sirte and anti-Haftar forces launched unsuccessful offensives to retake control of oil export terminals. As we warned mid-December, new fighting over oil facilities threatens “a dangerous economic meltdown”. Beyond security assistance, international actors must urgently prevent any further escalation in the Gulf of Sirte, and help stabilise the economy.

In Turkey, the conflict between the state and PKK militants deepened further. PKK affiliate Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) claimed responsibility for twin bomb attacks in central Istanbul on 10 December, which killed 36 police and eight civilians. After the attack counter-terrorism police detained more than 900 people on charges of PKK membership and terrorist propaganda, some for posts on social media, and the government intensified its crackdown on Kurdish political representatives. TAK also claimed a suicide attack on a bus carrying off-duty soldiers in Central Anatolia on 17 December, killing fourteen. In another incident in Istanbul, an IS-claimed attack left at least 39 dead, including 24 foreign nationals, during New Year celebrations.

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