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 2013

Conflict Risk Alerts

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month December 2012

Improved Situations

Conflict in Focus

In the Central African Republic a new rebel alliance seized key towns in the north and east, including Sibut, only 185 kilometers from capital Bangui, and currently controls about a third of the country. Chadian troops arrived mid-month to help contain the rebels, and regional leaders later announced the deployment of additional troops. The UN has begun evacuating staff, and the U.S. government has called for its citizens to leave. The security situation is precarious as the rebels warned they may enter Bangui, despite agreeing late month to talks with the government.

CrisisWatch Digests

Violence escalated in Syria's civil conflict, with reports of spiralling civilian death tolls and displacement. Fighting reached new levels of intensity in Damascus, particularly in southern suburbs where regime airstrikes and clashes between regime and opposition forces in Palestinian-dominated Yarmouk left scores dead and prompted tens of thousands to flee. Violence also increased in Hama province as rebels launched a new offensive. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria warned that the conflict was escalating and becoming increasingly sectarian.

The dispute between China and Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands escalated as China sent surveillance aircraft into airspace over the disputed islands. Japan responded by sending eight fighter jets, and made a formal diplomatic protest. Its defence minister said this was the first intrusion of Japanese airspace by China since 1958. Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to take a tough line and said there is "no room for negotiation".

North Korea launched the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 satellite into orbit on 12 December, violating UN Security Council resolutions that prohibit it from using ballistic missile technology. The U.S., the UN Security Council and Russia condemned the launch. China expressed regret and called on North Korea to abide by UN Security Council resolutions.


Opposition Democratic Alliance for Change (ADC- Ikibiri) 5 Dec rejected new electoral commission, approved 4 Dec by National Assembly and Senate. President Nkurunziza 22 Dec announced postponement of Truth and Reconciliation Commission bill, will now be tabled early 2013.


Cameroon and Nigerian govts 17 Dec agreed to start process for demarcation of land-based areas yet to be identified in Bakassi peninsula; Nigeria expressed concern at reported cases of maltreatment of its citizens in Bakassi. Soldier 27 Dec reportedly shot at President Biya’s motorcade in failed assassination attempt. Court 14 Dec sentenced opposition leader Enoh Meyomess, arrested Nov 2011 for alleged coup attempt, to 7 years jail on charges of aggravated theft, illegal sale of gold.

Central African Republic

Resurgence of rebel activity in north under new Seleka coalition early Dec threatened Bozizé regime. Rebels made swift gains in north and east: 11 Dec captured Ndele town, 18 Dec seized central mining town Bria, 29 Dec seized Sibut, 114 miles from capital Bangui; rebels currently control approximately a third of country. Estimated 400 Chadian soldiers deployed 18 Dec in Sibut and Damara cities to contain rebels, prevent fall of Bangui. Rebels 26 Dec called on troops to stand down, said did not intend to march on capital, but later warned they may enter Bangui, despite 28 Dec agreeing to talks with govt starting early Jan. Regional presidents 21 Dec met with President Bozizé, called for deployment of regional peacekeepers, negotiations under aegis of regional organisation (ECCAS); ECCAS 29 Dec announced deployment of additional troops. AU chair Boni set to discuss crisis with Bozizé end-month. UN late month began evacuation of staff, U.S. evacuated embassy and urged citizens to leave. Bozizé 27 Dec appealed for U.S., French intervention. Hundreds late Dec demonstrated, stoned French embassy, criticised France for failing to intervene; French president Hollande said French military will protect embassy and French citizens, will not interfere in domestic affairs.