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 June 2011

Conflict Risk Alerts

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month May 2011

Improved Situations

Conflict in Focus

Amid mounting tensions between North and South Sudan over the disputed border area of Abyei, clashes broke out between the two sides at the beginning of the month. Northern Sudanese forces invaded Abyei on 20 May and asserted control in breach of existing peace agreements. Tens of thousands are reported to have fled south. The attacks threaten renewed conflict and weaken confidence between North and South as critical post-referendum arrangements remain unresolved.

CrisisWatch Digests

Tensions also increased over military control and the presence of armed forces in the transitional areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, and CrisisWatch identifies a conflict risk alert for North Sudan for the coming month.

Violence escalated further in Yemen, where military forces loyal to President Saleh battled on several fronts, renewing fears that the continued political stalemate could erupt into civil war.

Saleh reneged on signing a political transition plan for the third time, despite months of anti-regime protests. In the capital Sanaa, loyalist forces clashed with anti-regime tribesmen, while in the southern city of Taiz security forces cleared the site of the country's largest anti-regime sit-in, killing dozens. Government forces shelled the coastal town of Zinjibar after it was seized by Islamic militants emboldened by the growing security vacuum. CrisisWatch identifies a conflict risk alert for Yemen for the coming month.

President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria continued to use troops and tanks to violently suppress the ongoing revolt, with hundreds of protesters feared killed, thousands detained, and widespread reports of torture. The international community condemned the violence, with the EU and U.S. both expanding sanctions against the regime. The government maintains that the uprising is the work of Islamic extremists and armed gangs.

In Pakistan, the U.S. killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad at the beginning of the month again raised questions about the military's possible involvement with jihadist groups. Despite strong denials from the army leadership, intelligence service and the government of any knowledge of bin Laden's whereabouts, the incident has worsened already tense relations with the U.S., and undermined the state's credibility domestically. Following the killing, the Taliban launched a string of high-profile attacks that have killed hundreds, including an assault on Karachi's Mehran naval base on 22 May.

Local elections in Albania on 8 May proved even more troubled than anticipated as the race for the Tirana mayor's seat ended deep within the margin of error. Uncertainty over the outcome, and a controversial recount which saw incumbent mayor Edi Rama of the opposition Socialist Party stripped of his initial lead in favour of the ruling party candidate, fuelled tensions between the sides.

In Guatemala, the Mexican Los Zetas cartel killed and decapitated 27 farm workers in the northern Petén department. The incident caused the government to declare a state of siege and send troops into Petén, and has again highlighted the growing influence of Mexican drug gangs in the country.

In Serbia, war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military leader accused of commanding the Srebrenica massacre and the siege of Sarajevo during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, was arrested after 16 years on the run. He was extradited to The Hague, where he will stand trial for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. His arrest was welcomed across the Balkans and internationally as a major step towards post-war reconciliation and integration for the region, and removes a major obstacle to Serbia's progress on EU accession.

In Colombia, the Senate approved the Victims Law on 25 May, with full ratification expected shortly. The law provides land or financial compensation to more than four million victims of violence at the hands of paramilitaries, guerrillas or state security forces, and was hailed by the full political spectrum as a major step towards peace and reconciliation.

The situation also improved in Honduras, where a deal allowing the return of former President Manuel Zelaya, ousted in the 2009 coup, raised hopes of ending the country's international isolation.

Burundi

President Nkurunziza 18 May pledged to end ongoing rural violence by end-June, 2 May promised inquiry into 2010 electoral violence and killings in recent months. UN human rights representative 20 May expressed concern over alleged extrajudicial killings March-Apr of former rebel National Liberation Forces. At least 9, including 3 soldiers, killed 26, 28, 30 May by unidentified men in Bujumbura rural district. In meeting with UN HCHR 3 May, officials promised truth and reconciliation commission to begin work by Jan 2012, will investigate events since 1972. Court 16 May acquitted journalist charged with treason for criticising security services. Security forces 12 May detained Gabriel Nduwayo, chief suspect in 2009 killing of deputy chair of corruption watchdog OLUCOME. Splits emerged in opposition UPD 24 May, as party president dismissed secretary general, executive secretary, suspended consultative council in apparent attempt to prevent leadership challenge.

Cameroon

Opposition Social Democratic Front 13 May said it will disrupt planned Oct presidential poll, citing govt repression, electoral tampering; 18 May promised to support any popular political unrest against ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM). Former CPDM member Esther Dang 17 May announced candidacy for presidency, second ex-ally of incumbent President Biya to do so.

Central African Republic