CrisisWatch

Tracking Conflict Worldwide

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CrisisWatch is our early warning and global conflict tracker, a tool designed to help decision-makers prevent deadly violence by keeping them up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace.

Global Overview

Outlook for This Month September 2023

Conflict Risk Alerts

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month August 2023

Improved Situations

Conflict in Focus

Our monthly conflict tracker highlights two conflict risk alerts in September.

  • Significant clashes broke out in Mali’s north between government forces and former rebels for the first time since the 2015 peace agreement. September could see more violence and the collapse of the peace process as the UN mission’s withdrawal continues.
     
  • The West African regional bloc ECOWAS continued to threaten the use of force in Niger to restore constitutional order following the coup in July. An intervention could trigger major pushback and put Niger and the wider region at risk of war.

CrisisWatch identified eleven deteriorated situations in August. Notably:

  • Military officers seized power from President Ali Bongo in Gabon moments after authorities announced his re-election for a third term.
     
  • In Syria, a major battle broke out between the regime and the northwest’s dominant rebel group Hei’at Tahrir al-Sham as Russia renewed airstrikes, while the Islamic State killed dozens as it stepped up attacks in the country’s centre.
     
  • President Lasso declared a nationwide state of emergency in Ecuador following a spate of political assassinations in the lead-up to the presidential election.
     
  • In Cyprus, violent skirmishes between Turkish Cypriots and UN personnel in the buffer zone injured multiple peacekeepers and Turkish Cypriot police officers and sparked a strong diplomatic rebuke. 

Our tracker also assessed two improved situations.

  • The Colombian government’s landmark ceasefire with the National Liberation Army guerrilla group took effect, marking an important step forward in President Petro’s “total peace” efforts.
     
  • Guatemala’s presidential election went ahead despite judicial and other interference, resulting in a landslide victory for centre-left candidate Bernardo Arévalo endorsed by the outgoing president.

Aside from the scores of conflict situations we usually cover, we tracked significant developments in Bahrain, Nile Waters and Senegal

Latest Updates

Europe & Central Asia

Russia (Internal)

Authorities confirmed Wagner chief’s death in plane crash amid speculation about Putin’s role; Ukraine intensified drone strikes on Russian territory.

Wagner boss killed in plane crash. Authorities 27 Aug confirmed that head of paramilitary Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin, who staged failed mutiny in June, was killed 23 Aug in plane crash outside capital Moscow alongside nine others. U.S. 24 Aug said explosion on board likely brought down plane as number of Western intelligence assessments suggested President Putin may have ordered his death, which Kremlin 25 Aug denied. Meanwhile, Putin 23 Aug sacked Gen. Surovikin, ally of Prigozhin who many believe knew about plans for June insurrection and possibly aided him.

Ukraine conducted near-daily drone attacks on Russia. Ukraine intensified strikes on Russian territory, with largest drone attack since Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine 29-30 Aug targeting seven regions. Among other notable incidents, aquatic drones 4 Aug struck Navy base in Black Sea port city of Novorossiysk; drones 19 Aug struck Soltsy airfield in northwestern Novgorod region; shelling in Belgorod region 23 Aug killed three; and shelling in Bryansk region left several people dead. Moscow targeted throughout month.

Rumours of possible mobilisation swirled. Bloomberg report 20 Aug revealed hardline members within Russia’s security apparatus are pushing for changes to army leadership (including dismissal of Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Valerii Gerasimov), declaration of martial law and introduction of full-scale mobilisation. Though Putin gave no indication he plans to take such steps, rumours of new mobilisation wave due to shortage of volunteers spread on social networks. Meanwhile, Putin 4 Aug signed into law measures to increase number of potential conscripts.

Crackdown on dissent continued, value of Russian ruble tumbled. Court 4 Aug sentenced imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny to 19 years in prison on extremism charges; authorities 17 Aug searched offices and homes of members of Golos movement, which monitors elections; and Moscow court 29 Aug sentenced in absentia investigator Ruslan Leviev and journalist Michael Naki to 11 years in prison for spreading disinformation or “fakes” about army. Meanwhile, Russian ruble 14 Aug hit 17-month low against dollar.

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