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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 70 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 December 2018

Deteriorated Situations

SyriaLibya

Improved Situations

Yemen

Outlook for This Month January 2019

Conflict Risk Alerts

Yemen

Resolution Opportunities

Yemen

President's Take

Out with the Old Year, Omens for the New

Contributor

President & CEO
Rob_Malley

In his introduction to this month's edition of CrisisWatch, Crisis Group's conflict tracker, our President Robert Malley sees indicators of escalation in Somalia, Sudan and Syria, and possible signs of conflict mitigation in Afghanistan, Armenia and Yemen.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

21 Jan 2019
The risk is that the more the Trump administration succeeds in squeezing the Iranian economy, the less risk-averse Iran will become in the region. The Wall Street Journal

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
16 Jan 2019
President Trump said the U.S. would withdraw from Syria, but apparently spontaneously, without prior planning or coordination inside the U.S. government or with Turkey. Bloomberg

Sam Heller

Senior Analyst, Non-state Armed Groups
10 Jan 2019
In Libya, there is a view that outsiders are meddling and hence Libyans can’t reach solutions. The Financial Times

Claudia Gazzini

Consulting Analyst, Libya
26 Dec 2018
The fight against corruption in Iran has always been subjective and used as a political football. The system is starting to perceive endemic corruption as existential threat and is seeking to at least contain it. The Wall Street Journal

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
21 Dec 2018
[U.S. withdrawal from Syria] basically means you throw the Kurds under the bus. The only thing the Kurds can do is throw themselves into the arms of the regime. TIME

Heiko Wimmen

Project Director, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon
18 Dec 2018
But it’s important to note that the deal [struck in Stockholm] is quite specific in saying that this is not part of a wider peace process: It’s an agreement made for humanitarian rather than political reasons. Associated Press

Peter Salisbury

Consulting Senior Analyst, Yemen

Latest Updates

Making Yemen’s Hodeida Deal Stick

On 17 December, the UN announced a ceasefire in the contested governorate of Hodeida. Thus far, after some initial wobbling, it has held. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s senior Yemen analyst Peter Salisbury unpacks the ceasefire and assesses its prospects.

Reviving UN Mediation on Iraq’s Disputed Internal Boundaries

The fallout is settling after the Iraqi army’s seizure of territories disputed between Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish region. More conflict over these areas, particularly oil-rich Kirkuk, is predictable. The UN should take advantage of today’s quiet to explore negotiations on the contested lands’ status.

Also available in العربية

A Way Forward for Sinjar

Sinjar, the Iraqi district that was the site of the Yazidi genocide in 2014, still carries the wounds of that horrible time. But today a confluence of national and international interests holds the promise to revitalise the area and deliver it to local governance.

Also available in العربية

After Progress in Sweden, Yemen Needs a UN Security Council Resolution

Talks in Sweden between the warring parties in Yemen may be yielding positive results. But the UN Security Council should not wait for an outcome to applaud. It should pass a new resolution now protecting the key port of Hodeida to ward off approaching famine.

The Iran Nuclear Deal and the U.S.-Iran Standoff

Crisis Group’s Middle East and North Africa Program Director Joost Hiltermann presented this paper on the history of U.S.-Iran relations and the status of the Iran Deal at an 8 November conference organised by the Israeli-European Policy Network (IEPN) in Herzliya, Israel.

Our People

Peter Salisbury

Consulting Senior Analyst, Yemen
peterjsalisbury

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
JoostHiltermann

Issandr El Amrani

Project Director, North Africa
boumilo

Michaël Béchir Ayari

Senior Analyst, Tunisia

Maria Fantappie

Senior Adviser, Iraq (Consulting)

Claudia Gazzini

Consulting Analyst, Libya

Nathan Thrall

Project Director, Arab-Israeli Conflict
nathanthrall

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
AliVaez