Countries at Risk

Genocide Watch has three levels of Genocide Alerts.

A Genocide Watch is declared when early warning signs indicate the danger of mass killing or genocide.

A Genocide Warning is called when politicide or genocide is imminent, often indicated by genocidal massacres.

A Genocide Emergency is declared when genocide is actually underway.


Recent Alerts

Genocide Emergency: Syria

Genocide Watch has issued a Genocide Emergency alert for the continuing crisis in Syria. Both the Syrian state and at least three other groups are committing genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes daily. All four entities must be defeated militarily and their leaders should be tried for their crimes. The four warring forces include: the al-Assad regime and its allied militias; the Free Syrian Army; Jabhat al-Nusra; and ISIS, sometimes called the Islamic State.


Genocide Emergency: Sudan

Genocide Watch has issued a Genocide Emergency for the regions of South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur in the Republic of Sudan. Similar to Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile have suffered from long-term political and economic marginalization.Genocide and other atrocities in these regions are the result of the Sudan regime’s policy to transform Sudan into an Islamic Arab State. The conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile is between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) The conflicts in South Kordofan and Blue Nile have left 1.2 million people internally displaced since June 2011, and another 246,500 have taken refuge in South Sudan and Ethiopia. The most recent genocide in Darfur began in 2003, when the Sudanese government and Arab militias (Janjaweed) destroyed over 400 villages, allegedly in response to two opposition groups: the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The genocide in Darfur has killed at least 450,000 people since 2003.


Genocide Emergency: Iraq

Genocide Watch has issued a Genocide Emergency for Iraq. IS fighters, who have already driven out Christians from their ancestral homes in northern Iraq – including Zumar — have been especially targeting the Yazidis. The United Nations has called the situation in Shingal and other parts of Nineveh province “a humanitarian disaster.” The Yazidis are the latest victims of the brutal advance by the Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, whose Sunni Muslim fighters have been targeting Iraq’s Christians and other minority groups, as well as Shiite Muslims. ISIS has captured the primarily Yazidi towns of Sinjar and Zumar, killing nearly 2,000 and forcing 200,000 to flee into the nearby mountains without food and water. More than 50 children have died from dehydration since August and hundreds more children and elderly are at risk. Other atrocities include beheadings, rapes, and being sold into slavery, according to a member of Iraq’s Parliament, lawmaker Vian Dakhil.

Genocide Emergency: Somalia

Genocide Watch has issued a Genocide Emergency for Somalia. Complex civil conflicts, along with devastating periods of drought over the past two decades have left the Republic of Somalia a failed state. The UNDP deems Somalia the world’s “worst humanitarian disaster.” Somalia’s instability has led to mass atrocities and human rights violations against the civilian population, being committed by all major parties involved in the conflict, especially by Al-Shabaab insurgents, Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces, and intervening Ethiopian military forces. Therefore, Genocide Watch places Somalia at Stage 9 on the 10 Stages of Genocide and issues a Genocide and Mass Atrocities Alert.

Genocide Emergency: Central African Republic

Genocide Watch has issued a Genocide Emergency for the Central African Republic. Continuing violence between Christian majority (anti-Balaka) and Muslim minority (Seleka) militias, has been genocidal because victims are targeted for their religious identity.  Seleka militias that began the killing when Michael Djotodia seized power have now been driven back by French and African Union forces.  Djotodia has fled.  Muslims are escaping to Chad, but are being pulled from vehicles by Christian anti-Balaka gangs.  Hundreds of thousands of people have been driven from their homes.  The shortage of adequate food, water, and shelter has created a humanitarian crisis. Peacekeeping forces must remain in the country until people can return to their homes, with security provided by a transitional government. 

Genocide Emergency: Myanmar: Rakhine

The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority of one million people that has lived in Rakhine state for centuries, but they face systematic religious and ethnic discrimination there. The Rohingya are not a recognized ethnic minority and are, therefore, robbed of the rights inherent in citizenship. During 2012, violence increased against Rohingya and other Muslims in the Rakhine State, and the Pullitzer Center on Crisis Reporting said the Rohingyas have become one of the most oppressed ethnic groups in the world. Genocide Watch has issued an updated Genocide Emergency for the Rakhine State of Myanmar.

Genocide Emergency: Myanmar: Kachin

Fighting in Myanmar’s Kachin state pits the Kachin Independence Army and its majority Christian population against the Burmese Buddhist government.  Ethnic Shan in Kachin State have also been displaced. In June 2011, a 17 year peace agreement was shattered and fighting between the KIA and Burmese government has been non-stop since. Human Rights Watch estimates that since the fighting began again, over 75,000 Kachin have been displaced, and attacks include raids on villages, rapes, and murders. A January 19, 2013 ceasefire agreement was broken by the government, and February 2013 peace talks were also unsuccessful at ending the violence. Genocide Watch has issued a Genocide Emergency for the Kachin State of Myanmar.

Genocide Emergency:
 Nigeria: Boko Haram, Borno State

Boko Haram (literally translated as “Western Education is a Sin”) is a genocidal criminal movement led by an Islamist extremist, Abubakar Shekau, who has vowed to destroy every Christian school in Nigeria, and to carry out terrorist attacks on Nigerian government police and government officials. It kidnapped over 200 girls from a Christian school in April 2014 and despite the Nigerian government’s efforts, none have been found. Last year, Boko Haram killed an estimated 2,000 people in its jihad to expand its self-declared Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria, an area with a heavy Muslim population. On January 7th 2015, it killed 2,000 Nigerian civilians by burning down the town of Baga in the north-eastern state of Borno. While Boko Haram, which has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State, are actively learning from the tactics of it, allowing them their scope and level of brutality, it is now believed that Boko Haram controls up to six times more territory than the Islamic State. In addition, Boko Haram has spread the rule into a part of Cameroon, Niger, and Chad recently.

Genocide Watch: Burundi

Since its independence from Belgium in 1962, there have been sporadic bursts of ethnic violence between the Hutu majority and Tutsi minority in Burundi. Civil unrest erupted in Burundi this year, following the 26th of April announcement by the ruling party Conseil National Pour la Défense de la Démocratie – Forces pour la Défense de la Démocratie (CNDD-FDD) that President Pierre Nkurunziza would run for a third term in the 2015 elections. Opposition parties in Burundi claim that this is a direct violation of the 2000 Arusha Peace Agreement and Burundi Constitution, which limits presidents to two terms in office. While the current conflict is primarily political in nature, there is risk of it reigniting pre-existing ethnic cleavages. 


Download the complete Genocide Watch 2012 report on Countries at Risk here. 



Genocide Watch has launched its 2016 Report on Countries at Risk using its new Ten Stages of Genocide model of the genocidal process. 

Click on the countries below to learn more about the country’s current events and history.



10 Stages



Countries at Risk of Genocide, Politicide, or Mass Atrocities:

 2016 Countries at Risk Report: PDF

 2012 Countries at Risk Report: Word.doc & Map

2011 Countries at Risk Report: Word.doc & Map

– 2010 Countries at Risk Report: Word.doc

– 2009 Countries at Risk Report: Word.doc

– 2008 Countries at Risk Report: PDF



Minority Rights Group’s Peoples Under Threat:

Peoples Under Threat 2015

 *Minority Rights International is a member of the International Alliance to End Genocide.
 Other resources:





1 Comment

  • - Street Level Pundit

    Oct 04, 2014

    […] genocides taking place that barely get mentioned in the news.  On the website Genocide Watch, the list of current genocide emergencies includes, besides Iraq:  Somalia, Central African Republic, Myanmar, and Nigeria.  Why […]