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 November 2023

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month October 2023

Improved Situations

Conflict in Focus

Our monthly conflict tracker highlights five conflict risk alerts and one resolution opportunity related to the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war on 7 October following Hamas’s unprecedented attacks (see this month’s Conflict in Focus).

  • In Israel-Palestine, Israel’s bombardment and ground operations could raze Gaza, kill thousands more Palestinians and compound the humanitarian catastrophe facing 2.3 million people. Qatari mediation offers a slim hope for talks.
     
  • Israel’s Gaza campaign also risks igniting a regional conflagration. Deadly border clashes between Hizbollah and Israeli forces, which have killed dozens of militants and several Israeli soldiers, could open another front in Lebanon.
     
  • The U.S. said dozens of attacks targeted its forces in Syria and Iraq. Iran-backed armed groups in both countries could escalate such strikes, as well as cross-border attacks into Israel from Syria.
     
  • The Houthis in Yemen launched long-range missile and drone attacks targeting Israel and vowed more such strikes, which could further expand the Israel-Hamas war.

We also spotlight five other alerts in November in Africa and Asia. Notably:

  • Military authorities could launch an offensive in northern Mali in the coming days or weeks to take control of the town of Kidal, a stronghold of the 2015 peace deal signatories.
     
  • The Rapid Support Forces captured Sudan’s South Darfur state, marking a major turn in the war, and could seek to push forward in Darfur and Kordofan in the coming weeks.
     
  • Election-related tensions grew further in Somalia’s Puntland state, raising the prospect of an armed confrontation between rival security forces in the lead-up to the polls planned for early 2024.
     
  • In Myanmar, an ethnic Kokang armed group, alongside its allies, in Shan state in the north launched one of its largest offensives in years to retake lost territory, which may provoke further clashes with the regime in November.

CrisisWatch identified twelve deteriorations in October. Notably:

  • Large-scale fighting between M23 rebels and government forces resumed in DR Congo’s North Kivu after six months of precarious calm, fuelling tensions with Rwanda. Meanwhile, the political climate remained heated ahead of the December elections.
     
  • The ruling Awami League in Bangladesh intensified repression of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) ahead of the January 2024 elections, as clashes between opposition supporters and the police turned deadly.
     
  • Our tracker also assessed two improved situations. In Colombia, the government struck a ceasefire agreement with a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dissident faction, while in Venezuela, the government and the opposition reached a deal to improve electoral conditions ahead of 2024 polls, leading to substantial U.S. sanctions relief.

Aside from the scores of conflict situations we regularly assess, we tracked significant developments in Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Gabon, Guatemala, Jordan, Lesotho, Madagascar, Moldova, Nile Waters and Togo.

Cameroon

Anglophone regions observed general strike on self-proclaimed independence anniversary, as separatists redoubled efforts to reduce internal wrangling and come closer to Nigerian separatists.

Anglophone conflict continued. Anglophone regions 1 Oct went silent on anniversaries of British Southern Cameroons’ 1961 reunification with Francophone Republic of Cameroon and 2017 unilateral declaration of independence by now-detained Anglophone leader Sisiku Ayuk Tabe. Most residents 30 Sept-2 Oct stayed indoors as businesses closed and transportation halted. Some administrators in South West regional capital Buea sanctioned businesses observing general strike. Low-level violence persisted: Ambazonia Defence Forces 4 Oct killed two men they accused of spying for govt forces in Batibo town (North West region), and govt forces 12 Oct killed six suspected separatist rebels in Akwaya subdivision (South West). Meanwhile, Anglophone separatist groups 5-8 Oct met in Canada to draw up plans to reduce internal wrangling and splintering of movement. Ayaba Cho Lucas’ Ambazonia Governing Council and Nigerian separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) factional leader Simon Ekpa 21 Oct signed cooperation agreement in Finland’s capital Helsinki, pledging mutual assistance in their respective separatist struggles. Following petition by 30 U.S. Congress members, U.S. President Biden 6 Oct extended Temporary Protected Status for Cameroonians for additional 18 months on account of thousands of people fleeing Anglophone conflict.

Jihadist and intercommunal violence persisted in Far North region. Authorities in Mayo-Sava division 3 Oct enforced night curfew in Mora and Kolofata towns in response to increasing jihadist violence. Boko Haram militants 4 Oct killed two vigilante members in Grea village, Mayo-Sava. Unidentified jihadist group same day kidnapped local chief and two staff members from multinational company in Bargaram locality, Logone-et-Chari division. Meanwhile, Kotoko farmers and Choa Arab herders 6 Oct clashed in Makary, Logone-et-Chari, with one killed and four injured.

Unknown assailants launched rare mass kidnappings in North region. Unidentified gunmen 21 and 23 Oct kidnapped at least 50 people near Touboro town in North region.

Central African Republic

Rebel groups continued low-intensity attacks in hinterland amid military operations by govt forces and allies.

Rebel activity persisted across country despite operations by govt forces and allies. In Bamingui-Bangoran prefecture, alliance of major rebel groups Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) 2 Oct attacked gold mine near Birbatouma village, prompting riposte from military, with fighting reported next day near Ndélé town; govt forces and Russian paramilitary Wagner Group 30 Oct launched search operation in same area. In Haute-Kotto prefecture, reinforced presence of UN mission (MINUSCA) peacekeepers around Ouadda town in Oct led elements of Gen Mohamed Moussa’s Party of the Rally of the Central African Nation and other CPC-affiliated groups to leave Ouadda and relocate further north to Sam-Ouandja area in Vakaga prefecture, while other fighters returned to Bria-Yalinga-Nzacko triangle in southern Haute-Kotto. Meanwhile, as influx of Sudanese refugees toward Am Dafok and Birao towns in Vakaga prefecture continued, armed elements allegedly belonging to paramilitary Rapid Support Forces of Gen Mohamed “Hemedti” Hamdan Dagalo reportedly engaged in opportunistic crimes around Birao.

Agropastoral conflicts continued to claim lives. After herder-farmer violence in Sept affected Miamani area in Bamingui-Bangoran prefecture, several similar incidents reported in Oct in Ouham-Pendé prefecture. Notably, armed Fulani herders 10 Oct clashed with group of armed individuals in Bossemptélé sub-prefecture, and violence 12 Oct broke out between armed herders and residents in Bézéré village, leading to deaths of three soldiers who had been deployed to area; armed elements of CPC-affiliated 3R rebel group late Oct abducted a dozen individuals near Bohong village over accusations of cattle theft. In Lobaye prefecture, transhumant herders armed with assault rifles 22 Oct shot one farmer dead and wounded another.

UN urged Bangui to launch inclusive dialogue ahead of 2024 local elections. Valentine Rugwabiza, UN Special Representative and head of MINUSCA, 26 Oct presented Sec Gen’s report on Central African Republic to UN Security Council ahead of vote on mandate renewal expected in Nov. Rugwabiza highlighted govt’s progress in advancing peace process, and urged Bangui to engage in inclusive dialogue with political opposition and armed groups ahead of local elections scheduled for Oct 2024.