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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 June 2020

Deteriorated Situations

LebanonSaudi ArabiaYemen

Improved Situations

none

Outlook for This Month July 2020

Conflict Risk Alerts

Israel/PalestineLibya

Resolution Opportunities

none

Contributor

President & CEO
Rob_Malley

In his introduction to this month’s edition of CrisisWatch, our President Robert Malley reflects on critical crossroads for protracted conflicts in Libya and Afghanistan, and a possible turning point in the Nile Waters dispute.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

6 Jun 2020
With the US Caesar Act coming into force, doing business with Syria will become even more difficult and risky. Arab News

Heiko Wimmen

Project Director, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon
29 Apr 2020
Depriving Tehran from having access to the arms market will compel Iran to double down on its support for proxies and its ballistic missiles program. Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
28 Apr 2020
What appears to be an unprecedented government-sanctioned Russian media campaign against Bashar al-Assad may reflect frustration in Moscow over Assad's obstinacy at a time when Syria is a lesser priority. The Hour

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
20 Apr 2020
[...] here we have three crises -- economic, political and the virus -- potentially converging at a time when the population is still highly mobilized and trust in the [Algerian] state is low. Bloomberg

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa
15 Apr 2020
The Iranians are keen on demonstrating to the U.S. that the COVID crisis has neither debilitated them nor has altered their strategic calculus. Time

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
14 Apr 2020
The prospect of the coronavirus spreading in Yemen offers a moment and indeed a humanitarian imperative to revive a political process. Reuters

April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa

Latest Updates

Video / Africa

Reducing tensions as Ethiopia Moves to Fill its Blue Nile Dam

With rains swelling the Blue Nile, Ethiopia is just weeks away from beginning to fill the massive dam it is building. Egypt and Sudan demand that it not do so without an agreement. All three countries urgently need to make concessions for a deal.

Iraq: Fixing Security in Kirkuk

Federal forces now patrol Kirkuk, the diverse, oil-rich province disputed between the central and Kurdish regional governments. The arrangement is unsettling communal relations, with Kurds feeling excluded. With outside help, Baghdad and Erbil should design a joint security mechanism including a locally recruited multi-ethnic unit.

Also available in العربية

Lebanon is on the Brink of Economic Collapse

The accumulation of crises is driving ever greater numbers of Lebanese into absolute poverty. While the COVID-19 lockdown is gradually easing, the loss of jobs and purchasing power triggered new protests that are turning violent and may prefigure the disintegration of state capacity and institutions.

The Fragility of Northern Syria

A full-blown COVID-19 outbreak may trigger a greater human catastrophe in northern Syria, where ISIS activity persists and Idlib’s peace remains ever-fragile. In this excerpt from the Spring Edition of our Watch List 2020 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to support a stronger ceasefire in Idlib and increase assistance to health and governance structures to keep COVID-19 and ISIS in check.

Our People

Elham Fakhro

Senior Analyst, Gulf States
elhamfakhro

Lahib Higel

Senior Analyst, Iraq
LahibHigel

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

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
AliVaez

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Arab-Israeli Conflict
OferZalzberg