The 10 conflicts to watch in 2023

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Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Iran, Yemen, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes, Sahel, Haiti, Pakistan, Taiwan. According to the NGO International Crisis Group these 10 countries represent the crisis to be monitored more carefully in 2023.

L’icgheadquartered in Brussels, is one of the leading non-governmental organizations dealing with conflict prevention. The staff, made up of members of the academic world, civil society, diplomacy and the media, covers around 70 real and potential conflicts, and each year draws up the ranking of the 10 to be monitored most closely in the world. In 2023 there are many crises that the group will follow more closely, working for “prevent, manage and resolve deadly conflicts”, writes Crisis Group.

The first conflict to look out for is the one in Ukraine, almost a year since February 24, 2022. When the Kremlin began its invasion, it “apparently expected to overthrow the Ukrainian government and install a more flexible regime. He miscalculated. Ukraine’s resistance was as ferocious as Russia’s planning was inept,” writes theicg. 1 in 3 Ukrainians have been forced to flee in the last year, and it seems that neither Kyiv nor Moscow wants to back down: “Neither side shows a genuine appetite for peace talks”, prolonging a war it created, probably , “the highest risk of nuclear confrontation in the last 60 years”.

The second crisis to monitor is the one between Armenia and Azerbaijan: at the center of the dispute between the two countries located in the Caucasus region, straddling Asia and Europe, is Nagorno-Karabakh, which could engage them in a new war “shorter but no less dramatic than the 6-week conflict in 2020” which resulted in the deaths of more than 7,000 soldiers.

The third conflict is, invariably, theIran: here, where massive protests against the regime that “posed the most lasting and determined threat to the Islamic Republic’s authority since the Green Movement of 2009” have been continuing since the end of September, the talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal “they are now frozen”.

Then there’s it Yemennow “in limbo”: the Huthi rebels and the internationally recognized government are preparing to return to war. The UN-brokered truce represented an unexpected lull in an 8-year conflict, but the long period of peace came to an end after the non-renewal of the “ceasefire” agreement. The risk of a new war, he warns icgis “uncomfortably high”.

The conflict in Ethiopiaone of the “deadliest of 2022”, with over 600,000 civilian dead and 2.5 million displaced people in and around the Tigray region, has, for now, been interrupted. The civil war began in 2020, when the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which ruled in the northeastern region of the country, attacked the military bases of the federal government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Even though an agreement was signed between the parties on November 2, “the calm is fragile”.

The sixth crisis to be monitored closely is that of Democratic Republic of Congo and of the region of the Great Lakes: a few days ago the Government of Kinshasa, capital of the DRC, asked the international community to assume its responsibilities, sanctioning the Rwandan authorities and the leaders of the M23 who continue to violate international law and human rights in Eastern Congo. The Congolese people have decided to finally put an end to insecurity and violence, with or without international support. The March 23 Movement, the Rwandan insurgent group – known as M23, holds numerous cities and is wreaking havoc in the east of the country, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. The conflict threatens to destabilize the entire continent.


In the Sahelthe 8,500 km long “edge of the desert” that crosses 12 states, Islamist insurgencies are gaining the upper hand and Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger they show no sign of wanting to reject them. In Burkina Faso, jihadist groups control almost two thirds of the territory, in Northern Mali the state is practically absent, after the two coups in 2020 and 2021, while Niger seems to be in better condition, but still worrying.

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It follows Haitiimmersed in the Caribbean Sea and paralyzed by the political deadlock following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, in July 2021, and by the rampant violence perpetrated by criminal gangs, which control more than half of the country, hit by a wave of cholera.

The Pakistansubmerged by devastating floods during 2022, could face another political crisis, in a country where “20.6 million people still need humanitarian aid”, writes the ‘icg.

To close, there is Taiwan, “the biggest flashpoint between the US and China” which “seems increasingly unstable”. Since this summer, when the then Speaker of the United States House Nancy Pelosi visited the capital Taipei, the situation has worsened. And the risk of it happening again is high.


by Chiara Manetti
4 min read


by Caterina Tarquini
3 min read

The article is in Italian

Tags: conflicts watch

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