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 March 2004

Conflict Risk Alerts

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month February 2004

Conflict in Focus

This month's ICG bulletin on the world's conflicts noted deteriorating situations in ten countries in February. In particular, in Haiti, a rebel uprising caused President Aristide to resign and flee: the conflict has seen at least 80 killed since it began at the start of the month, and the UN Security Council has now resolved to send in peacekeepers. Nepal continued its downward slide in February, as the bitter power struggle between Maoist rebels, parliamentary political parties and King Gyanendra worsened. Fighting and slaughters intensified in Uganda as the rebel Lord's Resistance Army shot, burnt and hacked to death more than 200 civilians in refugee camps. Things also went backward in various ways in DR Congo, Guinea, Iran, Nigeria, Swaziland and Venezuela.

There were, by contrast, four crisis situations showing improvement. Peace talks got under way over Kashmir and resumed for North Korea. In Cyprus, long-awaited talks finally started between Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders, offering renewed hope that the north and south of the island could be united before Cyprus enters the EU in May. And Liberia enjoyed welcome news in February as the donors conference in New York exceeded expectations by raising U.S. $520 million in pledges for the country's reconstruction.

For the forthcoming month, CrisisWatch identified Sudan as both a Conflict Risk Alert and Conflict Resolution Opportunity; with Haiti also seen as being at particular risk of further conflict, and Cyprus as having a good chance of resolving it.

CrisisWatch Digests


Hutu rebel group FNL continued sporadic attacks on capital Bujumbura and surrounding areas, despite January peace talks – 1 civilian killed in mortar attack 6 February and thousands displaced after fighting 23 February. Former rebels continued returning from DR Congo under disarmament and reintegration program. Amnesty International issued report 24 February on increasing incidence of rape throughout country.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Rebel militias continued attacks on UN peacekeeping mission (MONUC) in Ituri and Kivus regions – one UN peacekeeper killed 12 February. Violence by Mai-Mai militias in southwest has killed some 100 this year, and displaced 15,000. Former ex-militia group, Rwandan backed RCD Goma, threatened to leave power sharing government after one of its regional commanders arrested 23 February. But President Joseph Kabila claimed security situation improving so fast that UN peacekeepers could leave later this year.

Republic of Congo

Disarmament and reintegration program proceeding slowly – estimated 37,000 former fighters yet to be reintegrated, and some 42,000 small arms still in circulation.