Conflict threatened to engulf much of the Horn of Africa, as instability in Darfur continued to spill across Sudan’s borders and Somalia’s civil war risked escalating into a region-wide war involving rivals Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Israeli incursions into Palestinian population centers intensified, while increasingly strained relations between Fatah and Hamas led to factional clashes in the Occupied Territories. Sectarian violence and insurgent attacks worsened again in Iraq, with U.S. forces sustaining their highest monthly death toll in two years. North Korea conducted its first nuclear test, raising fears of a new arms race in east Asia.
An interim government appointed in the lead-up to January elections in Bangladesh was met with violent protests, while there were fears of an imminent coup in Fiji. A constitutional referendum in Serbia prompted accusations of massive irregularities by opposition groups and observers. The situation also deteriorated in the Central African Republic, Chad, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
Voting passed off mostly peacefully in the second round of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential elections, but serious concerns remain about the potential for violence when results are released in mid-November.
Two situations showed improvement in October. In Northern Ireland, three days of talks in St. Andrews resulted in a timetable for return to devolved power-sharing by March 2007. And the U.S. announced it would ease a 15-year arms embargo in Haiti, giving President Préval a vote of confidence. Kidnappings in the country declined this month and efforts to disarm gangs moved forward.
For November 2006, CrisisWatch identifies Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Fiji and Somalia as Conflict Risk Alerts, or situations at particular risk of new or significantly escalated conflict in the coming month.
OCTOBER 2006 TRENDS
Deteriorated SituationsBangladesh, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Fiji, Iraq, Israel/Occupied Territories, North Korea, Philippines, Serbia, Somalia, Sri Lanka
Improved SituationsHaiti, Northern Ireland (UK)
Unchanged SituationsAfghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Basque Country (Spain), Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Burundi, Chechnya (Russia), China (internal), Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Georgia, Guinea, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iran, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Macedonia, Mali, Moldova, Montenegro, Myanmar/Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Caucasus (non-Chechnya), Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somaliland (Somalia), Sudan, Syria,
Taiwan Strait, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Western Sahara, Zimbabwe
NOVEMBER 2006 WATCHLIST
Conflict Risk AlertsBangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Fiji, Somalia
*NOTE: CrisisWatch indicators - up and down arrows, conflict risk alerts, and conflict resolution opportunities - are intended to reflect changes within countries or situations from month to month, not comparisons between countries. For example, no "conflict risk alert" is given for a country where violence has been occurring and is expected to continue in the coming month: such an indicator is given only where new or significantly escalated violence is feared