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 May 2014

Conflict Risk Alerts

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month April 2014

Deteriorated Situations

Improved Situations

Conflict in Focus

The crisis in Ukraine deepened as pro-Russian separatists seized control of over a dozen towns and cities in the east. Several people were killed in clashes with Ukrainian troops as Kyiv failed to reassert control, amid continuing allegations that Russian security forces are assisting separatists – claims that Russia denies. Police in several major regions refused to take orders from the central government. An agreement reached between the U.S., the EU, Russia, and Ukraine to de-escalate the crisis quickly broke down. At the month’s end acting President Olexander Turchynov announced that the government no longer controlled large parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. There are increasing fears that violence will spread and that central control over key areas of the country will continue to shrink, further complicating prospects for elections scheduled for 25 May.

CrisisWatch Digests

In South Sudan peace appears increasingly distant amid fears the conflict is taking on an increasingly ethnic dimension: both the government and SPLM in Opposition (SPLM-IO) continued to accuse each other of violating the current ceasefire, and thus far attempts at talks have secured little progress. The killing of over 200 people during the SPLA-IO’s capture of Bentiu town drew international condemnation and allegations that civilians had been targeted on the basis of their ethnicity, and the UN rapidly threatened sanctions. Scores were also killed mid-month in an attack on an UNMISS base in Jonglei that was sheltering nearly 5,000 displaced civilians. (See our recent report and video series on the conflict.)

Al-Shabaab retaliatory attacks gathered momentum as the joint military operation led by AMISOM and Somalia’s army (SNA) progressed. Al-Shabaab also began to leverage its control over much of rural south-central Somalia to blockade government-controlled towns, a move which will only increase humanitarian needs and further challenge the government’s attempts to stabilise the country.

Violence escalated in northern Nigeria. Over 500 were killed in attacks by Boko Haram Islamist militants during the first half of April, and over 200 schoolgirls abducted in an attack in Borno state. Security concerns were further heightened when a bomb blast struck a bus station on the outskirts of the capital Abuja, killing over 70. (See our recent report on Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgency.)

Security forces in Lebanon started implementing a security plan agreed by the country’s main political factions to stem worsening violence, including checkpoints and patrols, arrests, weapons seizures and raids on militiamen. Thus far the plan has been successful, however a security-based approach is unlikely to offer a sustainable solution while socio-economic grievances mount, sectarian divisions deepen, and political representation remains unaddressed. There are also concerns about the fragility of the political truce underpinning the plan, perceptions of an anti-Sunni bias, and reports that members of the political elite have helped protect favoured militia leaders.

Burundi

UN mission BNUB internal report containing allegations that ruling CNDD-FDD is arming “Imbonerakure” youth league leaked early April. Govt demanded evidence or retraction of allegations, accused UN of spreading unfounded rumours, 17 April expelled BNUB security chief Paul Debbie. U.S. ambassador to UN and UK Foreign Office under sec state 8 April met President Nkurunziza, warned of risk of civil war, said those responsible for violence would face international prosecution. Parliament 25 April adopted new electoral code by consensus; opposition satisfied, civil society applauded but warned tension still high; BNUB commended as significant step forward. Opposition Alliance of Democrats for Change (ADC-Ikibiri) chairman arrested 20 April for sending letter criticising govt to UNSG. Govt 10 April banned 15 political parties; UNSC expressed concern over political tensions, restrictions on press and civil liberties. Ruling CNDD-FDD 17 April voted to launch commission on truth and reconciliation; coalition partners UPRONA and FRODEBU boycotted vote, civil society groups expressed concerns over commission com- position. Agathon Rwasa called on his FNL party to reunite 2 wings ahead of 2015 elections.

Cameroon

Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram (BH) suspected of kidnapping 2 Italian priests, 1 Canadian nun in Far North Diamaré district 4 April. Security forces deployed to area; 3 alleged BH members killed 14 April in Amchidé. BH believed to be actively continuing recruitment in Far North; 60 suspected BH arrested. At least 20 reported dead and thousands displaced 24 April following clash between local farmers and Nigerian herders in Menchum district, NW.

Central African Republic

UNSC 10 April authorised stabilisation mission “MINUSCA”; deployment of 11,800-strong peacekeeping force planned for 15 Sept. EU 2 April formally launched military mission EUFOR-RCA, deployment expected June. Chad withdrew its 830-strong MISCA contingent following allegations troops late-March opened fire on anti-balaka and civilians. Security in Bangui stabilised despite sporadic violence including 7 reportedly killed during clash with French soldiers 25 April, and continued anti-balaka attempts to block remaining Muslims’ departure. 2 killed 27 April in anti-Balaka attack on international force convoy escorting 1,300 Muslims from capital to north, authorities voiced concern exodus encouraging partition. Sectarian clashes continued in provinces: 30 killed in Dekoa 8 April; 22 in Grimari 14 April; several killed near Bozoum 10 April; hundreds of Muslims trapped in Boda in west. Chadian soldiers escorting remaining 540 Muslims from Bossangoa to Chad attacked by local militia 11 April. 22 killed 26 April in attack by suspected Seleka sympathisers on hospital in Nanga Boguila, NW. Seleka 22 April took control of Bouca in north. 2 MISCA soldiers injured in Bria 10 April during clash with Seleka. Seleka internal dissent led to creation of new movement Organisation de la résistance musulmane centrafricaine (OMRC). UNSG and U.S. ambassador to UN early April visited Bangui, denounced human rights violations, called for national reconciliation.