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.
Papua New Guinea
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.
CrisisWatch identified twenty deteriorated situations – a remarkably high number – in January. Notably:
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.
Constitutional Court ruled Move Forward Party’s lèse-majesté stance unconstitutional, Court of Appeals handed activist 50-year prison sentence, and govt signalled talks with main southern separatist group may resume in Feb.
Constitutional Court ruled on cases concerning future of Move Forward Party. After stunning victory in May 2023 general election, Move Forward Party’s leader Pita Limjareonrat was suspended from MP duties due to allegations he broke election law by holding shares in media company during election campaign. Constitutional Court 24 Jan ruled Pita did not violate election regulations. Constitutional Court 31 Jan ruled that Move Forward Party’s efforts to amend Section 112 of Criminal Code – the lèse-majesté law – violate constitution and must cease; verdict will likely trigger legal proceedings to dissolve party.
Court sentenced activist to 50 years for lèse-majesté conviction. Court of Appeals in Chiang Rai 18 Jan found Mongkol “Busbas” Thirakot, a 30-year-old activist, guilty of eleven counts of lèse-majesté associated with 27 Facebook posts, for which he was sentenced to three years imprisonment on each count, which combined with earlier convictions marked record sentence of 50 years. Bangkok criminal court 17 Jan convicted attorney Arnon Nampa of lèse-majesté for three Facebook posts from Jan 2021, sentencing him to four years imprisonment.
Govt signalled potential return to southern dialogue amid militant attacks. Deputy PM Somsak Thepsuthin 10 Jan met with Malaysia’s General Zulkifli Zainal Abidin, facilitator of peace dialogue with main southern separatist armed group Barisan Revolusi Nasional; talks have been in abeyance for almost one year but govt’s chief negotiator said he expected talks to resume in Feb. Meanwhile, four motorcycle-borne militants 10 Jan opened fire on Border Patrol Police (BPP) vehicle in Bannang Sata district, Yala province, injuring two officers. Militants next day ambushed BPP vehicle in Rueso district, Narathiwat province, killing lieutenant. IED attack 16 Jan damaged BPP vehicle in Sri Sakhon district, Narathiwat province, but caused no injuries.
Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.