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 December 2010

Conflict Risk Alerts

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month November 2010

Improved Situations

Conflict in Focus

Nine actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and one improved in November 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch released today.

CrisisWatch Digests

Tensions surged on the Korean peninsula as two South Korean civilians and two marines were killed when North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at Yeonpyeong Island, where South Korea was conducting military drills. The North Korean attack was condemned by the international community. Seoul announced new rules of engagement with Pyongyang and troop increases on islands close to the North, and began combined military exercises with the U.S. in the Yellow Sea.

Haiti ’s late month presidential elections ended in confusion, as several opposition candidates called for the vote to be annulled amid reports of fraud, and thousands of people took to the streets in protest. International observers from the OAS called the vote valid despite “serious irregularities”, but tensions remain high. Meanwhile, the cholera epidemic continued to worsen and spread to half the country’s districts including the capital Port-au-Prince. There have been almost 2,000 fatal cases since the start of the outbreak in October.

Ivory Coast saw deadly pre-election clashes on the streets of the capital Abidjan between rival supporters of the two presidential candidates, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. The tightly contested 28 November run-off and delays in announcing the preliminary results has led to heightened tensions between the two camps and fears of further violence.

In Guinea, preliminary results declaring opposition leader Alpha Condé winner of the 7 November second round presidential election sparked three days of violence resulting in at least four deaths and dozens injured. The UN and rights groups expressed concern over security forces’ excessive use of force against civilians.

CrisisWatch also noted deteriorated situations in Burundi, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Egypt and Western Sahara.

In Niger, the situation improved as results from the 31 October referendum showed 90 per cent of voters in favour of the new constitution, paving the way for January 2011 elections and a return to civilian rule.

Once again this month CrisisWatch describes violence against civilians in North and South Kivu provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The military strategy agreed in 2008 by the Congolese and Rwandan presidents Joseph Kabila and Paul Kagame to defeat militias and reclaim land and resources has failed. Two years of military campaigns have seen the humanitarian situation deteriorate and conflicts over land, inter-ethnic clashes and other incidents of extreme violence proliferate. The ongoing crisis in Congo’s eastern provinces risks leading to the disintegration of the Congolese national army and dangerous regional destabilisation (See also Crisis Group Africa Report N°165, Congo: No Stability in Kivu Despite Rapprochement with Rwanda, 16 Nov. 2010).


Concern as govt crackdown on journalists, opposition, civil society continues to increase, rejuvenated National Liberation Forces (FNL) rebellion armed and active in Democratic Republic of Congo. Following Oct reports that former rebel FNL leader Agathon Rwasa rearming in DRC, FNL early Nov engaged in fighting in Congo’s South Kivu province (see DRC). Govt continued to deny reports new rebellion forming. Human Rights Watch 23 Nov released report claiming govt crackdown during and after troubled May-Sept local and national elections including torture, arbitrary arrests. Security forces 22 Nov killed 4 “unidentified” gunmen in 2 separate incidents in south. Gun- men in military uniforms 3 Nov killed FNL local leader Leonard Ndayishimye in Bujumbura Rural province; fourth local opposition leader killed in province since Oct. Parliament 12 Nov approved high-ranking ruling party member Mohamed Rukara as ombudsman with 80% majority, prompting sharp exchange between ruling CNDD-FDD and opposition UPRONA who claim Rukara not qualified for post.

Central African Republic

Rebel Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP) 24 Nov attacked Birao, key town in NE Vakaga prefecture, forcing govt troops to retreat; at least 4 soldiers, 2 civilians killed. Rebels occupied town as well as nearby airbase formerly controlled by MINURCAT until mission’s 9 Nov withdrawal from area. Supporting CAR govt, Chad 25 Nov conducted airstrikes in area surrounding Birao. Govt 26 Nov claimed army had retaken town, CPJP 30 Nov said Chadian troops forced rebels to evacuate. After election commission (CEI) Oct brought forward to 8 Nov deadline for candidate applications for 23 Jan 2011 presidential election, 4 candidates applied in time, including incumbent President Bozizé and former president Ange-Felix Patassé. After opposition protest, Bozizé asked CEI to reopen process; CEI 18 Nov accepted candidacies of main opposition MLPC leader Martin Ziguélé and RDC’s Raymond Nakombo. International Criminal Court (ICC) 22 Nov commenced trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba, former Congolese VP and leader of rebel group turned political party Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes for alleged failure to prevent his forces’ violence against civilians 2002-2003 during Bozizé rebellion against Patassé.