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 January 2006

Conflict Risk Alerts

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month December 2005

Conflict in Focus

Eleven conflict situations around the world deteriorated in December 2005, according to the new issue of CrisisWatch,* released today. A surge of violence in Sri Lanka raised fears of a return to full-scale civil war. Internal divisions within the ruling Fatah party helped hardline Hamas win major West Bank cities in municipal elections casting a shadow over the scheduled January general election. Nuclear negotiations with North Korea returned to stalemate after five months of apparent progress. In Colombia, despite an optimistic start to government talks with leftist ELN rebels, the Revolutionary Armed Forced of Colombia (FARC) killed 37 in two of the worst attacks in years against security forces. In Egypt, the final round of parliamentary elections was marred by arrests, obstruction and violence as 12 were killed in the 7 December run-off vote. And in China police killed up to 20 rural protesters demonstrating against land seizures for state projects. The situations also deteriorated in Bangladesh, Chad, Lebanon, Pakistan and Peru.

Four conflict situations improved in December 2005. The Democratic Republic of Congo held its first democratic vote in four decades as an overwhelming majority of the population approved a draft constitution. In Afghanistan, the first elected parliament in 30 years was inaugurated by President Karzai. Bolivia saw the election of its first indigenous head of state in a free and fair poll. And in Côte d’Ivoire, after months of political deadlock, all parties accepted Charles Konan Banny as interim prime minister.

For January 2006, CrisisWatch identifies Ethiopia/Eritrea, Nepal and Sri Lanka as Conflict Risk Alerts, or situations at particular risk of new or significantly escalated conflict in the coming month. No new Conflict Resolution Opportunities are identified for January.

CrisisWatch Digests

Burundi

UN Security Council extended peacekeeping mission (ONUB) until July 2006, but authorised “temporary redeployment” of some ONUB personnel to DR Congo. Bujumbura requested UN soldiers leave by mid-2006. Mozambique UN peacekeepers began withdrawal 28 December; ONUB and Burundi’s military to develop drawdown plan for remaining troops. Negotiations between government and rebel Front National de Libération (FNL) remained stalled but splinter group argued for talks. Army continued campaign against FNL: since October 120 rebels killed, 600 captured.

Central African Republic

Unidentified armed groups in north may be preparing major offensive, according to new AU report. UN Security Council extended mandate of UN peacebuilding mission through to end 2006, in line with CAR government request. Dispute continued between government and civil servants: police prevented rally of civil servants protesting almost 4 years’ wage arrears.

Chad

Security and relations with Sudan deteriorated as rebel group Rally for Democracy and Liberty attacked Chadian forces in Adre near Sudanese border 18 and 19 December, with estimates of over 100 killed. Chad and Sudan continued to trade accusations over support to each other’s rebel movements. Chad blamed Khartoum for clashes and declared “state of belligerence” against Sudan. President Deby faced increasing dissension within army and government, and defections from inner circle of advisers to new Zaghawa- dominated rebel movement SCUD.

Democratic Republic of Congo