Friday, May 29, 2020

Libyan Civil War Map & Timeline - May 2020

This is a free edition of our Libya control map series. If you want access to our full collection of Libya maps, you can sign up for our conflict map subscription service.

Libya: Who controls what? A concise, professional map of who controls Libya now (May 2020). Shows detailed territorial control in the Libyan Civil War as of May 29, 2020, including all major parties (Government of National Accord (GNA); Tobruk House of Representatives, General Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), and allies; Tuareg and Toubou (Tebu, Tubu) militias in the south; and the so-called Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL)). Includes terrain, major roads, and recent locations of interest including Al-Watiyah Airbase, Tarhuna, Mizda, and more. Colorblind accessible.
Base map by Koen Adams of onestopmap.com, with territorial control by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic.
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Timeline by Djordje Djukic, with additional reporting by Evan Centanni


Mapping Control in Libya as Proxy War Escalates

Since the time of our previous Libya control map report last month, the country's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) has continued to gain ground in the west amid a major withdrawal of the rival Libyan National Army (LNA). The GNA's gains have been achieved with extensive support from Turkey, in the form of thousands of Turkish-allied Syrian rebel fighters as well as many Turkish-provided drones, in what the UN has called "the largest drone war in the world". Meanwhile, the LNA now has its own allied Syrian fighting force, brought in to support Russian private military contractors (PMCs), who are widely claimed to have the full support of Russia's government.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Bougainville Independence Update: Is Bougainville a Country Yet?

Where is Bougainville island located? Map of Bougainville's location within Papua New Guinea.
Bougainville (in red) is currently part of Papua New Guinea.
(Modified from a public-domain UN map)

Is Bougainville Independent Yet?

Late last year, the South Pacific island region of Bougainville voted overwhelmingly for independence from Papua New Guinea, in a carefully-planned and agreed-upon referendum.

So five months later, is Bougainville a country now? The short answer is no - at least not yet.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Yemen Control Map & Report: Separatist Conflict Expands - May 2020 (Subscription)

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Timeline by Djordje Djukic. Map by Evan Centanni, Djordje Djukic, and onestopmap.com

Map of what's happening in Yemen as of May 2020, including territorial control for the unrecognized Houthi government, president-in-exile Hadi and his allies in the Saudi-led coalition, the UAE-backed southern separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC), and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Includes recent locations of fighting and other events, including Hadibu, al-Labanat, al-Khanjar, Balhaf, Jufra base, and more.
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Since March, Houthi forces have continued advancing eastwards, while the conflict between the Hadi government and southern separatists has erupted into open warfare, expanding as far as the remote island province of Socotra.

See all this and more on the newest update to PolGeoNow's Yemen territorial control map, which includes a timeline of changes and important events since our previous Yemen map report in March.

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Exclusive report includes:
  • Up-to-date map of current territorial control in Yemen, color-coded for the pro-Hadi coalition, the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC), Houthi forces, and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Detailed indication of town-by-town control, including provincial boundaries, all major cities, and many smaller ones
  • Markers for recent areas of fighting, including Hadibu, al-Labanat, al-Khanjar, Balhaf, Jufra base, and more
  • Timeline of changes to the situation since March 29, 2020, with links to sources 

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

New & Improved: Somalia Control Map & Timeline - May 2020 (Subscription)

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Map by onestopmap.com, Evan Centanni, and Djordje Djukic

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Who controls Somalia? Map (May 2020). With states, regions, and territorial control. Best Somalia control map online, thoroughly researched, detailed but concise. Shows territorial control by Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), Al Shabaab, so-called Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), separatist Somaliland, and autonomous states Puntland and Galmudug, plus boundaries of federal states Jubaland, South West, and Hirshabelle. Now labels state capitals and disputed boundaries between Somaliland and Puntland. Updated to May 20, 2020. Colorblind accessible. Since December, Al Shabaab has lost control of some towns in Somalia, while disputes over governance in Jubaland and Galmudug states have erupted briefly into armed battles with the federal government. Meanwhile, the country is battling with a major outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

This edition of the map includes a number of improvements, including the addition of state capitals, more regional boundaries, and territorial claims by Somaliland and Puntland. City and town sizes have also been reviewed and overhauled based on better data.

See all this and more on the latest update to PolGeoNow's concise, professional Somalia control map, which includes a timeline of changes since our previous Somalia map report of December 2019, with sources cited.

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Exclusive map report includes:
  • Up-to-date illustration of current territorial control in Somalia, color-coded for the federal government coalition (including AMISOM peacekeepers), autonomous unionist forces, separatist Somaliland, Al Qaeda affiliate Al Shabaab, and fighters aligned to the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL). Areas of mixed or unclear control indicated separately. Colorblind accessible.
  • Boundaries and labels for Somalia's official regions and states, including the autonomous administrations of Somaliland, Puntland, and Galmudug as well as the federally-supported Jubaland, South West, and Hirshabelle states. 
  • New: State capitals, more regional boundaries in north, and border claims in Puntland and Somaliland's border disputes.
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control, including many relevant smaller towns and villages.
  • New: City and town sizes newly reviewed and overhauled based on better data.
  • Locations of recent fighting and other important events, including Janale, Lego, Belet Hawo, Dhusamareb, and more.
  • Detailed timeline of territorial control changes and key political developments since December 31, 2019, with sources cited. 
  • New: Timeline includes major events in Somalia's battle with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, an important background for the political events happening in the country.
  • Summary of the conflict situation and changes to the map over the past five and a half months.

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Friday, April 24, 2020

Update: Belize vs. Guatemala Dispute

A PolGeoNow News Brief

Guatemala-Belize territorial dispute: Approximate map of what parts of Belize are claimed by Guatemala.
One interpretation of Guatemala's territorial claims. The precise lines of the dispute will be laid out as the court case continues. (Wikimedia map by Janitoalevic and Bettyreategui; CC BY-SA)
Editor's Note: This article has been updated on April 29, 2020 to reflect corrections to the timeline - the details of Guatemala's claims will likely not be publicly available until mid-2024, even later than we had previously implied.

Last year, we reported that Belize and Guatemala were going to the UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ) to finally resolve their longstanding border dispute, which involves Guatemala claiming much of the land governed by neighboring Belize. So what's going on with that now?

So far, both countries are still preparing their cases. The next step is for Guatemala to submit its "memorial" to the court - a report laying out its position on the issues at stake. That document should be pretty interesting, because it will clarify exactly which land and sea areas Guatemala is claiming the rights to, and by extension, where exactly the lines of the two countries' territorial dispute lie.

For now, Guatemala's claims are a little bit vague, with some interpretations concluding that the country claims more than half of the land now controlled by Belize (see map at right). But we'll have to wait awhile yet to get the details - the deadline for Guatemala to submit its memorial was originally going to be June 8 of this year, but because of delays Guatemala says are related to the coronavirus pandemic, the court has agreed to extend the deadline by one year, to June 2021.

And the court doesn't usually release the written memorials to the public until hearings begin, which means we'll have to wait until after Belize responds, and likely until each country has responded once more, before actually seeing the details of Guatemala's memorial (thanks to Bordermap Consulting for that correction). Belize, for its part, thought Guatemala should only get a two-month extension, but the court decided let Guatemala have the extra time. Once Guatemala's memorial is submitted, Belize will have one more year - until June 2022 - to submit its own "counter-memorial", a report on its own official positions and responses to Guatemala's claims.

Taking all this into account, it's likely that hearings in the case won't start until mid-2024, meaning we still have to wait four more years to learn the details of Guatemala's claims, and even longer to find out how the court will settle the dispute.

Want to check for updates to our coverage of this case? View all ICJ articles on PolGeoNow to see the latest!