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

Thailand

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.

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