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Middle East & North Africa

CrisisWatch Middle East & North Africa

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 80 conflicts and crises, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace.

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Trends for Last Month January 2020

Improved Situations

none

Outlook for This Month February 2020

Conflict Risk Alerts

SyriaSaudi ArabiaYemen

Resolution Opportunities

Egypt

Contributor

President & CEO
Rob_Malley

In his introduction to this month’s edition of CrisisWatch, our President Robert Malley reflects on the Trump administration's "ignominious vision" for Israeli-Palestinian peace and growing instability in the Sahel. He also marks the 48th birthday of our colleague and friend Michael Kovrig, who spent it behind the walls of a Chinese prison.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

14 Feb 2020
Escalation is likely going to continue [in Syria] as long as Turkey and Russia cannot agree on a new cease-fire. NBC News

Berkay Mandıracı

Analyst, Turkey
12 Feb 2020
Damascus never budged in its desire to regain 'every inch of Syria.' Idlib is no exception to that. Bloomberg

Dareen Khalifa

Senior Analyst, Syria
9 Feb 2020
Despite their cooperation in several areas in Syria there are unfortunately many glaring communication issues between Ankara and Moscow. The Guardian

Dareen Khalifa

Senior Analyst, Syria
4 Feb 2020
For now, neither the Houthis nor the Saudis wish to abandon the talks, but the de-escalation process is under severe strain. Washington Post

— Crisis Group Alert

29 Jan 2020
There needs to be a serious exploration — not another empty threat from the president’s office — of what dismantling the [Palestinian Authority] looks like. New York Times

Tareq Baconi

Analyst, Israel/Palestine and Economics of Conflict
28 Jan 2020
[Trump's peace plan's] message to the Palestinians, boiled down to its essence, is: You’ve lost, get over it. Reuters

Robert Malley

President & CEO

Latest Updates

Arab Protests: A Wicked Dance Between Rulers and Subjects

A new wave of popular protests has jolted an already deeply unsettled Arab world. Nine years ago, uprisings across the region signalled a rejection of corrupt autocratic rule that failed to deliver jobs, basic services and reliable infrastructure. Yet regime repression and the protests’ lack of organisation, leadership and unified vision thwarted hopes of a new order. As suddenly as the uprisings erupted, as quickly they descended into violence. What followed was either brutal civil war or regime retrenchment. Tunisia stands as the sole, still fragile, exception.

Originally published in Valdai Club

Tunisia Looks to Reset with the West

Tunisia’s new president risks heightened tensions and instability as he aims to tackle worsening socio-economic conditions. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2020 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU, as Tunisia’s main trading partner, to prevent strife by accommodating Tunisia’s will for greater economic self-determination. 

Honouring Commitments to End Libya’s Civil War

The war in Libya is at risk of escalating into a full-fledged proxy war. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2020 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to prompt UN action and press for the warring parties to keep their Berlin conference promises.

European Challenges in Confronting the Fate of ISIS Returnees

1,450 ISIS-affiliated European nationals are being held in camps in Syria, where they suffer from squalor and violence. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2020 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU member states to take responsibility for their nationals and bring them home – starting with children and women.

A Way Out of the U.S.-Iranian Impasse

U.S.-Iranian clashes have pushed the JCPOA to the brink of collapse. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2020 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to use their economic and diplomatic power to keep Iran in compliance with the JCPOA and prevent Iraq from being sucked further into the conflict.

Our People

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa
ricfabiani

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
JoostHiltermann

Michaël Béchir Ayari

Senior Analyst, Tunisia

Claudia Gazzini

Consulting Analyst, Libya

April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa

Nathan Thrall

Project Director, Arab-Israeli Conflict
nathanthrall

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
AliVaez

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Arab-Israeli Conflict
OferZalzberg