Cameroon, Nigeria and South Sudan are all on the list of conflicts that bear watching in 2019, according to the International Crisis Group.
“The international order as we know it is unraveling, with no clear sense of what will come in its wake,” said Robert Malley, CEO of the organization based in Europe and the United States. “The danger may well lie less in the ultimate destination than in the process of getting there. As the following list of 10 Conflicts to Watch in 2019 amply illustrates, that road will be bumpy, and it will be perilous.”
Cameroon is on the verge of escalating into civil war, Malley said. That’s after more than two years since the country’s lawyers, doctors and teachers first began peaceful protests over grievances tied to inequalities in the West African nation’s English-speaking regions.
“Fighting has already killed nearly 200 soldiers, gendarmes, and police officers, with some 300 injured, and killed more than 600 separatists,” he added. “At least 500 civilians have died in the violence. The UN counts 30,000 Anglophone refugees in Nigeria and 437,000 internally displaced in Cameroon.”
While the release of 289 Anglophone prisoners in December was a welcome development, hundreds still remain behind bars. Nearly 10 separatist militias are fighting government forces.
In South Sudan, there are real concerns on whether the September peace deal signed by President Salva Kiir and rival Riek Machar will deliver a lasting peace. Among other things, developments in neighboring Sudan may add to the instability.
And as Nigeria faces its February elections, they come amid high levels of political tension, crime and conflict. “Nigerian elections are traditionally violent affairs, and conditions this time around are particularly combustible,” Malley warns.
To see the complete list and analyses, which include Yemen, Syria and China-United States tensions, check this link.