List of rebel groups that control territory
This is a list of active rebel groups that control territory around the world whose domains may be subnational, transnational, or international. A "rebel group" is defined here as a polity that uses armed conflict in opposition to established government (or governments) for reasons such as to seek political change or to establish, maintain, or to gain independence. Groups that "control territory" are defined as any group that hold any populated or inhabited town, city, village, or defined area that is under the direct administration or military control of the group. Such control may be contested and might be temporary or fluctuating, especially under the circumstance of conflict.
It does not include the governments of stable breakaway states or other states with limited recognition.
List of groups that control territory
Within stateRebel groupConflictControl
Territory controlledNotesLeaderHeadquarters
Al-QaedaMali War
Somali Civil War
Yemeni Civil War
Parts of central and northern Mali[1]
Parts of southern and eastern Somalia[2]
Parts of Hadhramaut Governorate and Abyan Governorate[3]
Ayman al-ZawahiriTinzaouaten (Mali)[4]
Jilib (Somalia)[5]
The Islamic State
War in Afghanistan
Boko Haram insurgency
Somali Civil War
Limited territorial control in Afghanistan near Pakistan border
Dozens of villages in the Lake Chad area[6][7]
Several villages in Bari region[8]
Designated a terrorist organization by the United Nations[9]Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-QurashiUnknown
War in Afghanistan1996
40% of Afghanistan[10][11][12]
Taliban-controlled territory is also shared with Uzbek IslamistsHibatullah AkhundzadaQuetta[13]
 Ambazonia – (Red Dragon)
Anglophone Crisis2019Several villages in Lebialem department of Southwest Province in Cameroon[14]Ambazonia declared independence on 1 October 2017, the Red Dragon militia controlling parts of Lebialem is nominally loyal to the Interim Government of AmbazoniaLekeaka OliverUnknown
 Central African Republic
Coalition of Patriots for Change[15][16]
Central African Republic Civil War2020Parts of Central African Republic[15]Coalition of multiple groups,[16] including anti-balaka,[15] 3R and MPCFrançois Bozizé (alleged)[15][16]Unknown
Front for Change and Concord in ChadNorthern Chad offensive2021Parts of Northern Chad[17][18]Mahamat Mahdi AliFezzan, Libya
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mai-MaiKivu conflict2015Parts of north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo[19]Various groupsVarious leadersDepending on group
Nduma Defense of Congo-Renouveau
Big parts of North Kivu province[20]Shimiray Mwissa GuidonPinga
Tigray People's Liberation Front
Tigray War2020Parts of Central Zone in Tigray Region[21]Regional government until 2020Debretsion GebremichaelUnknown
 AzawadMali War2012Parts of northern Mali[22]Bilal Ag AcherifKidal[23]
Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities
Chiapas conflict1994Parts of northern Chiapas[24]Established various de factoautonomous socialist regionsMultiple leadersOventik[25]
Ansar al-SunnaInsurgency in Cabo Delgado2020Parts of Cabo Delgado Province[26]Considered to be part of ISIS by some, but disputed by others[26][27][28]UnknownMocímboa da Praia[26][27][28]
Kachin Independence ArmyKachin conflict2011Parts of Kachin State in northern Myanmar[29]Military wing of Kachin Independence OrganisationN'Ban LaLaiza
National Democratic Alliance ArmyInternal conflict in Myanmar1989Mongla area of Shan State[30][31]In control of the area since 2011 ceasefire with Burmese governmentSai Leun[31]Mong La Township[30][31]
United Wa State Army
Internal conflict in Myanmar1989Northeastern Myanmar; Wa Self-Administered Division[30][32]Military wing of the United Wa State PartyBao YouxiangPangkham[33]
Sudan Revolutionary Front
Sudan–SRF conflict2011Parts of South Kordofan state and Blue Nile state[34]Abdelaziz al-HiluKauda[35]
Hayat Tahrir al-ShamSyrian Civil War2017Large portion of Idlib Governorate in North West Syria[36]Faction within the Syrian Civil War that is in opposition to the Syrian governmentAbu Mohammad al-JulaniIdlib[36]
Revolutionary Commando Army
2016Small pocket in the Syrian Desert adjacent to the Jordanian border and the Iraqi border[37][38]Faction within the Syrian Civil War that is in opposition to the Syrian government and in alignment with the United StatesAl-Tanf[38]
2011Territories in the north and east of Syria, mostly north of the Euphrates RiverFaction within the Syrian Civil War that is allied to the Syrian government and opposed by TurkeyÎlham Ehmed, Mansur SelumQamishli
Syrian National Army
2017Border areas of Northern Syria[39]Faction within the Syrian Civil War that is in opposition to the Syrian government and in alignment with TurkeyAnas al-AbdahAzaz[40]
 Donetsk People's Republic
War in Donbass2014Parts of the Donetsk region in Eastern Ukraine[41]Declared independence on 7 April 2014; recognition of this group as an independent state has been granted by the partially-recognised state of South Ossetia[42]Denis PushilinDonetsk
 Luhansk People's Republic
Parts of the Luhansk region in Eastern Ukraine[41]Declared independence on 12 May 2014; recognition of this group as an independent state has been granted by the partially-recognised state of South Ossetia[43]Leonid PasechnikLuhansk
Southern Movement
Yemeni Civil War2017Some of the territory in South Yemen[44][45][46]Aidarus al-ZoubaidiAden
Houthi movement2004Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen, consisting of most of former North Yemen, including the capital Sana'a, and some minor parts of South YemenThe Houthi movement controls the capital of Yemen[47] through the administration of the Supreme Political Council,[48] which is largely unrecognized by the international community as the legitimate government of YemenMahdi al-MashatSa'dah
See also
  1. ^ "Speaking with the "Bad Guys": Toward Dialogue with Central Mali's Jihadists" (PDF). 28 May 2019. While the Malian army controls towns and their immediate vicinity, the jihadists rule the countryside, erecting checkpoints on rural roads and patrolling rivers
  2. ^ Evan Centanni (31 May 2013). "War in Somalia: Map of Al Shabaab Control (June 2013)". Political Geography Now. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  3. ^ Al-Haj, Ahmed (22 August 2015). "Yemen Officials Say Al-Qaida Seizes Key Areas of Aden". ABC News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 22 August 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  4. ^ Pellerin, Mathieu (November 2019). "Armed violence in the Sahara" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Somalia: Al-Shabaab Leaders Split Over Funds Control". AllAfrica. 27 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Economics of terrorism in Lake Chad Basin". 10 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Several killed in fight between Boko Haram, ISWAP members". 20 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Letter dated 1 November 2019 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia addressed to the President of the Security Council" (PDF). 1 November 2019. p. 84. ISIL-controlled town of Shebaab
  9. ^ "Security Council Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Amends Entry". United Nations. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Quarterly report" (PDF). www.sigar.mil. 2017.
  11. ^ Harooni, Mirwais. "Afghan forces try to push back Taliban from Kunduz city".
  12. ^ "Zarb-e-Azb: 90% area recovered, 1198 terrorists killed". dunyanews.tv. 14 November 2014. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  13. ^ "ISIS active in south Afghanistan, officials confirm for first time". CBS. AP. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Cameroun/Sécurité au NoSo : l'étau se resserre autour de Field Marshall". ActuCameroun.com. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  15. ^ a b c d "CAR says ex-president attempting 'coup' as rebels form coalition". 19 December 2020.
  16. ^ a b c "François Bozizé: CAR accuses former president of 'attempted coup'". BBC.co.uk/News. BBC. 19 December 2020. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  17. ^ Chadian Crisis: Front Claims Control Of Former Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti Prefecture, 18 April 2021
  18. ^ Chadian army battles rebels in northern town, 29 April 2021
  19. ^ [1][dead link]
  20. ^ "NDC-R: Congo's Contract Militia Which "Killed" FDLR's Gen Sylvestre Mudacumura". 15 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Situation Report EEPA Horn No. 59 – 18 January 2021" (PDF). Europe External Programme with Africa. Retrieved 18 January 2021. Reported that 90% of the Central Zone of Tigray now controlled by Tigray regional forces
  22. ^ "Mali government seeks to assert control over restive north, to send troops to Kidal". 7 February 2020.
  23. ^ "A Tuareg soldier guards the Azawad Movement's headquarters in Kidal, northern Mali". Yahoo News. 5 June 2015.
  24. ^ Tucker, Duncan (1 January 2014). "Are Mexico's Zapatista rebels still relevant?". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 18 August 2014. Today the rebellion remains a work in progress. Having established complete political and economic autonomy, the Zapatistas govern and police their own communities across five regions of Chiapas.
  25. ^ "Caracoles y Juntas de Buen Gobierno". Archived from the original on 28 July 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  26. ^ a b c Centanni, Evan; Djukic, Djordje (17 August 2020). ""Islamic State" in Mozambique? Control Map & Timeline of the Insurgency". PolGeoNow.com. Political Geography Now. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  27. ^ a b Bowker, Tom (25 August 2020). "Battle looms in Mozambique over extremists' control of port". APNews.com. Associated Press. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  28. ^ a b MacDonald, Andrew (24 August 2020). "Mozambique: Sophistication of Islamic insurgency threatens LNG plans". TheAfricaReport.com. Groupe Jeune Afrique. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  29. ^ "Burma attack breaks Kachin truce near China border". BBC. 20 January 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2014. The rebels are seeking greater autonomy within Burma for ethnic Kachins who have had de facto control over a part of northern Burma for more than 50 years.
  30. ^ a b c Kramer, Tom (July 2009). "Neither War Nor Peace The Future of the Cease-fire Agreements in Burma" (PDF). TNI.org. Transnational Institute. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  31. ^ a b c Deck, Danny (14 August 2014). "Another wrong turn in Mong La". DVB.no. DVB Multimedia Group. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  32. ^ Gerdes, Luke (8 February 2009). "Constructing Terror: How Issues of Construct Validity Undermine the Utility of Terror Databases and Statistical Analyses of Terrorism". All Academic Research. Retrieved 18 August 2014. The best such example comes from the United Wa State Army (UWSA), an armed ethnic organization that has established de facto control over a portion of Northeastern Burma.
  33. ^ Moe, Wai (17 April 2009). "UWSA Leader Calls for 'Solid, United' Wa State". irrawaddy.org. Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  34. ^ "Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF)" (PDF). Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA) for Sudan and South Sudan. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2014. Corresponding to the SPLM-N's dominant role, the SRF's locus of control resides in its bastion in Kaoda, and the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan. Military activity is most prevalent in South Kordofan but extends to Blue Nile and into South Sudan's border states.
  35. ^ Sudan’s PM visits rebel stronghold on peace mission
  36. ^ a b Ali, Zulfiqar (18 February 2020). "Syria: Who's in control of Idlib?". BBC.co.uk/News. BBC News. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  37. ^ Seligman, Lara (2 July 2019). "Fears Rise of an ISIS Comeback". ForeignPolicy.com. Graham Holdings. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  38. ^ a b Snow, Shawn (16 February 2020). "Iran-backed group launches attack near small garrison in Syria housing American special operators". MilitaryTimes.com. Sightline Media Group. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  39. ^ Tsurkov, Elizabeth (27 November 2019). "Who Are Turkey's Proxy Fighters in Syria?". NYBooks.com. The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  40. ^ Lister, Charles (31 October 2017). "Turkey's Idlib incursion and the HTS question: Understanding the long game in Syria". WarOnTheRocks.com. War on the Rocks. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  41. ^ a b Smith, Geoffrey (23 May 2014). "Putin coy over accepting Ukraine vote result". Fortune. Retrieved 18 August 2014. The separatists who have taken de facto control of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have already proclaimed their independence and said they won't allow the vote to take place.
  42. ^ "South Ossetia recognizes independence of Donetsk People's Republic". TASS.
  43. ^ "South Ossetia Recognizes 'Luhansk People's Republic'". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty​.
  44. ^ The New Arab. "GCC: Aden-based Southern Transitional Council 'doomed to fail'". alaraby.co.uk. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  45. ^ The New Arab. "Banished Aden governor forms independent "South Yemen" council". alaraby.co.uk. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  46. ^ Saudi Research & Marketing (uk) Ltd. "Thirty Southern Figures Reject Transitional Council in Aden – ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English". english.aawsat.com. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  47. ^ Al-Haj, Ahmed (2 June 2015). "Houthi Rebels Take Over Yemen's Government". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  48. ^ "Yemen rebels form rival government". Qantara.de. Deutsche Welle. 5 October 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
Last edited on 29 April 2021, at 15:05
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