Conflict Early Warning Report
August 2023

The ACLED Conflict Alert System (CAST) forecasts political violence up to six months into the future. Forecasts are made globally - at the national and sub-national levels - and can be disaggregated by event type (battles, explosions/remote violence, or violence against civilians). Every month, ACLED CAST produces a report highlighting key conflict developments and significant predictions for the coming months. This report reflects the August 2023 update of global forecasts.

According to CAST predictions, Haiti was expected to tally 43 events of political violence in July, all of which were gang related. In total, there were 38 events during the month, 27 of which were in Ouest department. After a drop in violence to only 1 event in June, activity increased in Artibonite department to 9 events in July, leveling towards the department's yearly norm (5 events).

While violence remains below the recent peak throughout the spring, when clashes between self-defense groups and gangs grew particularly severe, gang activity continues to be particularly dangerous in Haiti for civilians. Following failed calls for international intervention, Kenya agreed in late July to lead a multinational force to help the Haitian government improve the security situation (for more on gang violence and the international response in Haiti, see ACLED's July Latin America & the Caribbean Regional Overview).

CAST predictions for August total 43 events. About 60% of the predicted events are violence against civilians, while the remaining 40% are battles.

For more on violence in Haiti, see ACLED's Asia-Pacific Regional Hub.

Papua New Guinea
Political violence has tracked between 4-9 events per month in Papua New Guinea through 2023. In July, there were 9 events across the country, just 1 event above the CAST prediction. Of the 5 provinces with armed conflict events, Enga tallied the most activity, with 4 events in total, the majority of which were violence against civilians.

Identity militias were involved in all but one political violence event in July. These militias targeted civilians in 6 events, while 2 events were battles between militias. The armed clash between the Ambulin Tribal Militia and the Kaekin Tribal Militia on 25 July was particularly severe, with 15 reported fatalities among the groups.

The CAST prediction for August remains at 8 events of political violence, with 3 predicted events in Enga province and 2 in Morobe province. Violence in neighboring subnational regions registers as the most important predictor in the forecasts, responsible for about a third of the predicted violence. This suggests that geographic diffusion is a key indicator for early warning in the country.

For more on Papua New Guinea, see ACLED's Asia-Pacific Regional Hub.

Political violence has been relatively limited in Mozambique over the past few months. In Cabo Delgado province - the epicenter of conflict activity in the country - there were nearly 50 events per month during the summer of 2022. In June of this year, there were only 9 violent events. CAST predicted a similar degree of violence for July, though conflict activity escalated beyond this prediction, with 16 events throughout the month.

The increase in political violence in July came mostly from battles, where there were 7 events, about 3 times the forecast. Most of the battles in July involved the Islamist Militia and the Military Forces of Mozambique. Civilians were attacked in 9 events, 4 of which were attacks by the Islamist Militia. The Mozambique police and military forces, as well as the Military Forces of South Africa, were each responsible for an additional violence against civilians event.

For August, CAST predicts 13 events in Cabo Delgado, in line with recent variation. The CAST models weighted strategic developments in July as important drivers for predicted August activity. Among these developments included a replacement contingent of 2,000 Rwandan soldiers sent to the country (31 July) and the movement of South African soldiers to Cabo Delgado coastal areas in response to armed clashes (4 July).

For more on conflict in Mozambique, see ACLED's Africa Regional Hub and Cabo Ligado Mozambique Conflict Observatory.

Like other countries in the Sahel, Niger has sustained substantial political violence from jihadists over the last several years. Citing the security situation as part of a larger justification, the Presidential Guard overtook the government in a coup on 26 July 2023 and formed a military junta along with officers from the security and defense forces. Prior to the coup, there were between 30-40 events of political violence per month over the past 3 months, well below levels of activity a year ago.

There were ultimately 25 violent events in July, 15 events fewer than CAST predicted and slightly below recent trends. While there was no spike in violence immediately following the coup, there was a marked increase in social unrest, with multiple mass demonstrations both in support and in opposition to the junta.

Looking forward, CAST predicts 26 events in August, 46% of which are violence against civilians. However, this forecast comes with significant uncertainty, as the situation remains unstable and the junta has yet to consolidate power.

For more information on the evolving situation in Niger, see ACLED's Military Coup in Niger Fact Sheet and Africa Regional Hub.