CrisisWatch

Tracking Conflict Worldwide

Loading Map

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 February 2024

Conflict Risk Alerts

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month January 2024

Improved Situations

Conflict in Focus

Our monthly conflict tracker highlights five conflict risks, four of which underscore the threat of a major conflagration in the Middle East, and one resolution opportunity in February.

  • Israel’s relentless attacks on Gaza – which have killed more than 27,000 people in four months – continued unabated and could wreak further death and destruction unless mediation efforts deliver a ceasefire. A truce could offer respite and aid for the almost two million displaced Gazans fending off famine and disease. 
     
  • The U.S. and UK began a bombing campaign against Yemen’s Houthis, risking a wider escalation. The U.S. “terrorist” designation of the group could compound the humanitarian crisis and hamper the peace process. Meanwhile, front lines in several regions displayed signs of a possible return to conflict (see this month’s Conflict in Focus). 
     
  • Hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah continued at high intensity as Israel stepped up pressure to push back the group’s fighters deployed along the border, highlighting the risk of all-out war engulfing Lebanon and the region. 
     
  • The U.S. looks set to launch retaliatory strikes in Syria or elsewhere after a Tehran-backed group likely operating from Syria killed three U.S. service members in Jordan – the first deadly attack on U.S. forces in the region since Israel’s war in Gaza began. 
     
  • With Haiti’s acting Prime Minister Ariel Henry due to step down on 7 February but unlikely to stick to his pledge, a former rebel leader rallied support for protests to topple him, raising the risk of instability in coming weeks.

CrisisWatch identified twenty deteriorated situations – a remarkably high number – in January. Notably:

  • Junta leaders in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso announced their immediate withdrawal from the regional bloc Economic Community of West African States, marking a major setback for regional integration.
     
  • Somalia reacted furiously to a memorandum of understanding between Ethiopia and Somaliland on sea access. The diplomatic row could weaken Mogadishu’s anti-Al-Shabaab campaign and further undermine regional stability.
     
  • Burundi’s diplomatic spat with Rwanda over the latter’s alleged support for RED-Tabara rebels intensified with Burundi’s border closure, which came amid escalating rhetoric and reports of a troop build-up along the frontier.
     
  • In Venezuela, the Supreme Court reaffirmed a decision banning the opposition’s presidential candidate María Corina Machado from standing for office, dealing a blow to prospects for a competitive 2024 election.
     
  • President Noboa declared an “internal armed conflict” for the first time in Ecuador’s history after criminal groups unleashed a wave of violence in prisons and cities nationwide.
     
  • North Korea fired barrages of artillery near a South Korean island and formally dropped the goal of unification with the south, signalling Pyongyang’s intention to stoke tensions on the Korean Peninsula in 2024.

Our tracker assessed one improved situation in Guatemala . The transfer of power took place as planned, with Bernardo Arévalo assuming the presidency after months of relentless efforts to block the August election result and a turbulent inauguration.

Aside from the scores of conflict situations we regularly assess, we tracked significant developments in the Comoros, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Papua New Guinea.

Latest Updates

Africa

Sudan

Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) advanced south into Sennar, White and Blue Nile states, and began consolidating power in Darfur region; RSF leader’s diplomatic tour continued.

RSF advanced south and began consolidating power in Darfur. Following RSF’s Dec advance toward central-eastern Sudan and subsequent capture of Gezira state capital, army early Jan began arming civilians in Gezira; RSF 18 Jan threatened to continue offensives into eastern Gedarif, Kassala and Port Sudan states if civilian recruitment continues. In south, RSF early Jan surrounded Sennar city, Sennar state, and advanced toward White and Blue Nile states, triggering formation of new militias that support army. Meanwhile, RSF stepped up efforts to form civil administration and security structures in parts of Darfur region it controls. Notably, in West Darfur state it appointed new governor and pursued peace deals with local actors; in North Darfur state, it worked to de-escalate tensions with Darfuri armed groups, most of whom are Juba Peace Agreement signatories, and forged alliances to bolster security presence in state capital El Fasher. 

Fighting fuelled ethnic conflict in Kordofan region. In South Kordofan state, RSF 8 Jan attacked army position around Dilling town, leading to skirmishes with rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (al-Hilu) due to group’s ethnic affiliation with army; confrontation turned into ethnic-based conflict between non-Arab Nubian SPLM-N (al-Hilu) and RSF-affiliated Misseriya and Hawazma Arab militias. In West Kordofan state’s Babanusa town, RSF-army clashes 22-24 Jan reportedly killed and injured dozens.

Army stepped up offensives. Army renewed aerial offensives in capital Khartoum, as well as South Darfur and Gezira states; 27 Jan launched ground attacks in Khartoum’s north and south east amid offensive in sister city Omdurman. Addressing troops in Kassala state, Burhan 30 Jan announced shift in strategy, directing army and allies to launch full-scale offensive against RSF.

RSF leader continued diplomatic engagement. RSF leader Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti” continued regional tour, 18 Jan attended Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit in Uganda, prompting army 20 Jan to suspend Sudan’s membership in setback for IGAD mediation effort. Hemedti 2 Jan signed declaration with civilian coalition TAQADDUM, agreeing to ceasefire talks with army; army leader 5 Jan rejected declaration. 

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.