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CrisisWatch is our 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 March 2023

Conflict Risk Alerts

Resolution Opportunities

Trends for Last Month February 2023

Improved Situations

CrisisWatch warns of one conflict risk alert in March. 

  • Deadly clashes erupted between Somaliland forces and local militias in Las Anod, the administrative capital of the contested Sool region. Violence could escalate further if fighting spreads beyond Las Anod or draws in other actors.

Our monthly conflict tracker highlighted eight deteriorations in February.

  • Back-to-back jihadist attacks in Burkina Faso left scores of military personnel dead; similar large-scale attacks in the past contributed to the ouster of former Presidents Kaboré and Damiba.
  • Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists launched their deadliest attack in Togo to date, killing dozens of civilians and indicating that the group has durably implanted itself in the country’s north.
  • In Israel-Palestine, violence soared in the West Bank as Israeli forces conducted their deadliest raid in years, Israeli settlers rampaged the town of Hawara and Palestinians staged attacks, leaving dozens of Palestinians and seven Israelis dead.
  • Tunisian President Saïed’s comments drawing links between migrants and criminality unleashed a wave of violence against sub-Saharan Africans, while authorities carried out the farthest-reaching arrest campaign in decades targeting opposition figures.
  • Tensions spiked in Sri Lanka after the government claimed a funding shortfall, forcing the election commission to indefinitely postpone local polls scheduled for March. Police cracked down on pro-election protests, killing an opposition politician.
  • Relations between Moldova and Russia sharply deteriorated amid allegations of Russian plans to topple the pro-European government in Chișinău, Russia’s accusations of provocation in the breakaway region Transnistria and its violation of Moldova’s airspace. 

Aside from the conflict situations we usually cover, we tracked notable developments in Benin and Indonesia.

CrisisWatch Digests

Our CrisisWatch Digests offer a monthly one-page snapshot of conflict-related country trends in a clear, accessible format, using a map of the region to pinpoint developments.

For our most recent CrisisWatch Digests, please follow these links for EthiopiaLebanon and Somalia.

Latest Updates

Middle East & North Africa


Amid rifts within army and security apparatus regarding rapprochement with West, Algerian-French relations suffered setback.

Tensions flared again between Algeria and France. Algerian-French rights activist Amira Bouraoui early Feb left Algeria for Tunisia while under house arrest and 6 Feb found refuge in France. Algiers 8 Feb accused French diplomats and other personnel of participating in Bouraoui’s “illegal and secret evacuation” from Al-gerian territory, denouncing “violation of national sovereignty”, and same day recalled Algerian ambassador to Paris for consultations. Authorities 14 Feb arrested nine people suspected of involvement in case including Algerian-Canadian senior analyst for NGO Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, Raouf Farrah, who was later charged with “spreading classified information and documents” and “receiving foreign funding”.

Authorities discussed military and economic cooperation with U.S., Russia. U.S. Africa Command commander, Gen. Michael Langley, 8 Feb met with President Tebboune and army chief of staff, Gen. Saïd Chengriha, during two-day visit to Algeria to discuss opportunities for U.S.-Algerian military partnership. U.S. newspaper The Wall Street Journal 6 Feb revealed U.S. oil company Chevron in talks with Algiers about shale gas exploration in Algeria. Tebboune and Chengriha 27 Feb met with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in capital Algiers to discuss strengthening military cooperation.

Tensions with Morocco remained high over Western Sahara. During African Union (AU) summit held 18-19 Feb in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, divisions between Morocco, on one hand, and Algeria and self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, on the other, blocked appointment of North African country representative as VP of AU bureau.


Economic situation remained fragile, security continued to improve in Sinai Peninsula, and tensions emerged between Cairo and Riyadh.

Economy stabilised temporarily, but vulnerabilities persisted. After exchange rate devaluation last month, overall economic situation in Feb stabilised with foreign investors resuming purchase of govt treasury bills, and exchange rate remaining steady at around 30 Egyptian pounds to $1. Country remained vulnerable to shocks, however. Central Bank 2 Feb kept interest rate unchanged at 16.75%, surprising most economists and drawing criticism from foreign investors. Ratings agency Moody’s 7 Feb downgraded Egypt’s credit score from B2 to B3, pushing bonds further into junk status, expressed concern about social and political impact of adjustment.

Jihadist activity reached new low in Sinai Peninsula. Tribal sources in Sinai 9 Feb reportedly informed military that locals have noticed movements of Islamic State (ISIS)-affiliated Sinai Province operatives in mountainous areas of central Sinai Peninsula. Army in following days began searching for ISIS elements. Improvised explosive device around 14 Feb wounded 12-year-old girl on outskirts of Sheikh Zuweid town in North Sinai.

Relations with Saudi Arabia deteriorated, top diplomat travelled to Türkiye. Amid tensions over delayed handover of Egypt’s Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia, several Saudi Arabian commentators and journalists late Jan-early Feb criticised Egypt’s profligate fiscal practices and inefficient economy marked by army interference with business (see Saudi Arabia). Comments came after Saudi Finance Minister Mohamed al-Jadaan in Jan announced Riyadh would change financial aid policy and require reforms in exchange for money, in likely reference to Egypt. In response, Egyptian journalist Abdel Razek Tawfiq 1 Feb lashed out at Riyadh’s perceived arrogance on Cairo24 and al-Gomhuria websites. President Sisi 9 Feb however attempted to mend ties with Riyadh, calling on Egyptians to remember support received from their “brothers”. In following days, Cairo24 and al-Gomhuria websites removed Tawfiq’s article. In first visits by top Egyptian diplomat in a decade, FM Sameh Shoukry 27 Feb travelled to Türkiye and Syria to show solidarity after devastating earthquake.


Political deadlock persisted one year after Libya split into two rival govts.

East-based parliament continued to chart unilateral path out of political crisis. Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) 7 Feb approved constitutional amendment that could be used as basis for elections. Amendment calls for simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections to take place within 240 days of adoption of election laws by joint committee of HoR and Tripoli-based advisory High State Council (HSC) members. Tripoli-based critics of HoR, including some HSC members, accused body of seeking to buy time, notably opposing open timeline for drafting election laws and obligation to have presidential election. In another unilateral move, HoR President Aghela Saleh 16 Feb proposed formation of 45-member committee – including HoR, HSC and independent members – to decide on new executive to replace two govts now in place.

UN Libya envoy proposed new initiative to break stalemate. In briefing to UN Security Council, Special Representative for Libya Abdoulaye Bathily 27 Feb criticised HoR’s constitutional amendment as “controversial”, underscoring that it does not stipulate clear roadmap, including timeline, for holding elections in 2023. Instead, Bathily proposed formation of high-level steering committee composed of representatives of political and security institutions, and other political, tribal and civil society leaders to facilitate adoption of legal framework and time-bound roadmap to enable elections in 2023.

UN welcomed coordination mechanism for withdrawal of foreign fighters. UN Support Mission to Libya 8 Feb said officials from Libya’s 5+5 Joint Military Commission – which brings together representatives of armed forces from eastern and western Libya – as well as liaison committees from Sudan and Niger, approved “coordination mechanism” for “withdrawal of mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libya” during two-day meeting in Egypt. Mechanism unlikely to affect presence of Turkish forces alongside Tripoli govt or Russian Wagner contractors alongside eastern forces.

Energy deal with Italian company ENI sparked controversy. Opponents of Tripoli-based PM Abdelhamid Dabaiba, including his own oil minister and HoR members, early Feb criticised as “illegal” $8bn agreement struck late Jan between National Oil Corporation and Italian state-owned oil company ENI, arguing it required HoR buy-in; investment plan notably outlines steps to increase Libya’s oil and gas export capacity.


President Saïed’s comments unleashed wave of violence against sub-Saharan Africans, and authorities carried out spectacular arrest campaign targeting critics and opposition figures.

Unprecedented violence targeted sub-Saharan Africans. Police mid-Feb arrested sub-Saharan African migrants across country, reportedly detaining around 300 people. President Saïed 21 Feb said influx of irregular sub-Saharan migrants aimed at changing country’s demographic make-up and must be stopped, linking migrants to violence and criminality. African Union 24 Feb expressed “deep shock and concern at the form and substance of the statement”. Incidents of mob violence against Black people in following days reportedly left dozens injured across country.

Authorities went on arrest spree of political and media figures. Security forces 11-13 Feb arrested influential businessman and former confidant of ousted President Ben Ali, Kamel Eltaïef; senior leaders of Islamist-inspired An-Nahda party, Abdelhamid Jlassi and Noureddine Bhiri; fierce opponent of Saïed, Khayam Turki; former Judges Taïeb Rached and Béchir Akremi; and general director of private radio station Mosaïque FM, Noureddine Boutar. Leaders of opposition coalition National Salvation Front, Issam Chebbi, Jahwar Ben M’Barek and Chaima Issa, also detained 22-23 Feb. Saïed 14 Feb accused those recently detained of conspiring against state security, saying “traitors who seek to fuel the social crisis” are responsible for rising prices of food commodities. Civil society and foreign partners condemned crackdown. Thousands 18 Feb joined main workers’ union UGTT for protests in eight cities across country, accusing Saïed of stifling basic freedoms including union rights. UN human rights office 14 Feb urged Tunis to “release immediately all those arbitrarily detained” including “in relation to the exercise of their rights to freedom of opinion or expression”.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) rescue program still under discussion. As unspecified G7 countries pledged to prevent Tunisian default, IMF continued to insist on steps needed to approach IMF’s Board for approval of four-year, $1.9bn loan program.

Western Sahara

President Ghali reshuffled govt, while tensions remained high between Morocco and Algeria over status of disputed territory.

Cabinet reshuffle removed political heavyweights. President of self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Brahim Ghali, 14 Feb reshuffled cabinet, notably replacing long-time FM Mohamed Ould Salek with Mohamed Sidati, former Polisario Front independence movement representative in Paris; Ghali also appointed Sahrawi-Algerian citizen Meriem Salek Hamada as new interior minister. Bechir Mustapha Sayed, who in Jan ran against Ghali to become Polisario Front secretary general, removed from his position as presidential adviser.

Algeria and Morocco remained at loggerheads over Western Sahara’s status. Responding to written questions from MEPs, European Union (EU) Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell 17 Feb said EU “does not have information on potential collaboration between Polisario Front and terrorist groups” in Sahel region and “has not detected any evidence” of diversion of humanitarian aid provided to Sahrawi refugees. Algerian and pro-Polisario media outlets immediately welcomed statement as evidence that Morocco’s longstanding allegations are baseless. During African Union (AU) summit held 18-19 Feb in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, divisions between Morocco, on one hand, and Algeria and SADR, on the other, blocked appointment of North African country representative as VP of AU bureau.

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