The European Business Council for Africa

Four conflict trends as seen by Crisis Group analysts  

➤ Democratic Republic of Congo: A flare-up in deadly fighting, including inter-communal violence, in eastern Congo has killed at least 160 people, displaced more than 300,000 and complicated efforts to contain an Ebola outbreak. Crisis Group expert Nelleke van de Walle says despite President Félix Tshisekedi's avowed intent to restore peace and security to the DRC’s east, the recent uptick in violence demonstrates that serious challenges remain.

➤ Iraq: On Monday, a rocket hit Camp Taji – a base housing U.S. troops – and on Wednesday, another projectile struck near the headquarters of U.S. and foreign oil firms in Basra. Crisis Group expert Maria Fantappie says while the attacks remain unclaimed, if attributed to Iraqi paramilitary groups linked to Iran they could further heighten Gulf tensions and increase the risk of a regional escalation.

➤ Nigeria: In Borno state, thirty people were killed in multiple unclaimed suicide attacks on Monday and at least a dozen soldiers were killed in an assault on an army base by Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP) on Wednesday. Crisis Group expert Nnamdi Obasi says these attacks are among some of the deadliest this year, demonstrating that the jihadist insurgency retains considerable power, reach and influence in north-eastern Nigeria.

U.S.-Iran: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Thursday shot down a U.S. drone that it claimed had entered Iranian airspace, the latest in a string of incidents that have significantly ratcheted up tensions since early May. Crisis Group expert Ali Vaez says with growing frictions, a lack of communication and numerous potential flashpoints, we are edging closer to the brink of an inadvertent or deliberate military confrontation between Iran and the U.S. or their respective regional allies.

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