CrisisWatch =?unknown?q?N=B056=2C_1?= April 2008


International Crisis Group
April 1 2008

Eight actual or potential conflict situations around the world
deteriorated in March 2008, and four improved, according to the new
issue of CrisisWatch released today.

Early results of Zimbabwe’s 29 March presidential, parliamentary and
municipal elections were strongly disputed, underlining the risk that
escalated repression and unrest may follow but also highlighting
the possibility of positive change. As CrisisWatch went to press,
reports suggested President Mugabe was under pressure from close
associates to resign and/or negotiate a transfer of power.

Protests in Tibet turned violent on 14 March and unrest spread to
Tibetan-populated areas of neighbouring provinces, prompting the
deployment of thousands of police. Casualty numbers were difficult
to verify after foreign media access was heavily restricted; Beijing
said there were 22 deaths, while the Tibetan government in exile
said over 140. In Kosovo, violence in Mitrovica and Belgrade’s push
for partition underscored the fragility of the post-independence
situation. Hundreds were killed in Iraq after the government mounted
a major operation against Shiite militias operating in Basra, with
serious clashes also in Baghdad and cities across the south.

The situation also deteriorated in Armenia, Democratic Republic of
Congo, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), North Korea, and Somalia.

The situation improved in Cyprus as President Christofias and Turkish
Cypriot leader Talat met in Nicosia for the first time, where they
agreed to open the Ledra border crossing and begin preparations for
formal reunification talks. In Pakistan, new Prime Minister Yousaf
Raza Gilani ordered the release of several members of the judiciary,
including former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, amid a relatively
peaceful political transition after February’s elections. In the
Comoros Islands, the government, backed by African Union troops,
restored control over rebel-held Anjouan island quickly and with
little resistance. The situation also improved in the Taiwan Strait
following the election of Ma Ying-jeou as President, who pledged to
improve relations with China.

For April 2008, CrisisWatch identifies Zimbabwe and Nepal as both
Conflict Risk Alerts and Conflict Resolution Opportunities. It also
identifies Cyprus and Uganda as Conflict Resolution Opportunities.


Deteriorated Situations Armenia, China (internal), Democratic Republic
of Congo, Kosovo, Iraq, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), North Korea,

Improved Situations Comoros Islands, Cyprus, Pakistan, Taiwan Strait

Unchanged Situations Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola,
Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Basque Country (Spain), Belarus, Bolivia,
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic,
Chad, Chechnya (Russia), Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Egypt,
Ethiopia/Eritrea, Georgia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India
(non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iran, Israel/Occupied Territories,
Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Macedonia, Mali,
Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar/Burma, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria North Caucasus
(non-Chechnya), Northern Ireland (UK), Peru, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia,
Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somaliland (Somalia), Sri Lanka,
Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan,
Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zimbabwe


Conflict Risk Alerts Nepal, Zimbabwe

Conflict Resolution Opportunities Cyprus, Nepal, Uganda, Zimbabwe

*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.


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