CrisisWatch

Tracking Conflict Worldwide

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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

Asia

India-Pakistan (Kashmir)

Militant activity remained at low ebb in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), while mandate of grassroots body of representatives expired as new regional elections remained in doubt. 

Militant attacks and security operations remained at low ebb due to winter. Security forces and militants 3 Jan engaged in gun battle in Kulgam district. Security forces 4 Jan arrested Hizbul Mujahideen militant from New Delhi. Security forces 5 Jan killed alleged Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militant in Shopian district. Authorities 21 Jan arrested juvenile harbouring militants. During annual press conference, India’s army chief 11 Jan claimed “increase in terrorism” in last five-six months in J&K’s Rajouri and Poonch districts, describing it as “one area our adversaries have been active in”; he claimed security forces killed 45 militants in last three years in area, while militants killed seven soldiers in Kashmir valley and twenty in Rajouri-Poonch area in same period. Security forces 27 Jan busted module of cross-border arms smuggling and arrested five militant associates in Kupwara district. 

Terms of grassroots political representatives expired. Mandate of 28,000 grassroots representatives elected in 2018 to first-ever three-tier system of representation in J&K officially ended on 9 Jan after completion of five-year term, bringing end to last semblance of political representation in region; calls continued for regional assembly election to be held this year, last of which was held in 2014, but no date has been set. 

Govt banned two separatist organisations. Ministry of Home Affairs 27 Dec declared Muslim League Jammu Kashmir “an unlawful association” for five years under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, accusing it of seeking to establish “Islamic rule in J&K”. Ministry 31 Dec declared Tehreek-e-Hurriyat unlawful for five years under same law, alleging “terror activities to fuel secessionism in J&K”. 

In other important developments. India’s Border Security Force 20 Jan seized consignment of arms and ammunition smuggled by drone, allegedly from Pakistan, in Punjab district. India 13 Jan protested UK High Commissioner to Islamabad’s visit to Pakistan-administered Kashmir, asserting “such infringement of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is unacceptable”. Pakistan’s FM 25 Jan claimed “credible evidence” of links between Indian agents and 2023 killings of two Pakistanis in Pakistan; India rejected allegation.

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