Thursday, September 9, 2021

Have Afghanistan's Flag and Official Name Changed?

Flag of the Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, featuring the Islamic Shahada text in black calligraphy over a plain white backdrop
Taliban flag of Afghanistan*

Flag of the (non-Taliban) Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, featuring a white-outlined seal over black, red, and green bars
Non-Taliban flag of Afghanistan


*Alternative versions of the Taliban flag include "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" or "Long Live the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" in Pashto as a smaller line of text at the bottom.

Taliban Takeover

As you probably heard, Afghanistan's Taliban rebel group successfully took over most of the country last month, with the previous national government and military collapsing as the rebels seized the national capital. 

Though the Taliban run what's now, for all practical purposes, the country's actual government, they haven't been officially accepted yet by any of the world's other countries. 

And the issue isn't politically settled so far, both Afghanistan's flag and its full official country name are a matter of dispute, with the Taliban promoting one version and the remnants of the pre-Taliban government promoting another.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Are Mozambique's insurgents really part of "ISIS"?

This is one of two newly-published supplements to PolGeoNow's Mozambique insurgency control map report series. The other revisits the question of the what the insurgents are actually called, still relevant one year after we first reported on their history and emergence onto the world stage.

Mozambique: Cabo Delgado conflict map - August 2021: Detailed, close-up control map showing areas occupied by so-called ISIS-linked rebels in northern Mozambique (also known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa Jama, ASWJ, Ansar al-Sunnah, or Al Shabaab), plus towns and villages raided by the insurgents over the past eight months. Situation after Rwandan military intervention that took back Mocímboa da Praia and other towns from the rebels. Shows roads, rivers, and terrain, and includes key locations of the insurgency such as Palma, Awasse, Nchinga, Ntotwe, the Total LNG site and natural gas fields, and many more towns and villages. Updated to August 31, 2021. Colorblind accessible.
Mozambique's insurgents have been pushed out of their most prized territories, but are still fighting on in other areas.

PolGeoNow's coverage of the insurgency in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province has, as usual, been largely focused on who controls what territory in the conflict - and though insurgents have recently lost their most prominent territorial holdings, they're still a force to be reckoned with. 

But there's one big question that still hangs over the story, relevant both to how the outside world should view the insurgency and to what the rebels are even called:

Are Mozambique's insurgents part of "ISIS"?

A year after they made international headlines by capturing and holding onto the major town of Mocímboa da Praia, the short answer is still "probably sort of".

The so-called "Islamic State" (IS; formerly ISIS or ISIL), though it started in Iraq and Syria and still is based there, has also established branches and franchises - with varying degrees of connection to IS headquarters - in far-flung countries around Africa and Asia. So the more specific question is: Are the Cabo Delgado insurgents genuinely connected to IS, and if so, how connected?

What are Mozambique's insurgents called?

This is one of two newly-published supplements to PolGeoNow's Mozambique insurgency control map series. The other provides an update on the question of what links really exist between the insurgents and the so-called "Islamic State" organization (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL).

Where is ISIS in Mozambique? Full-country map of insurgent control in northern Mozambique, with territorial control, roads, rivers, and terrain. Includes key locations of the insurgency such as Mocímboa da Praia, Palma, Macomia, Mucojo, Quissanga, Meluco, Muidumbe, Mueda, Quiterajo, and Nangade, as well as other important cities such as Pemba, Nampula, and Maputo. Neighboring countries shown, including Comoros, Madagascar, and French territories of Juan de Nova Island, Bassas da India, and Europa Island. Updated to July 29, 2021. Colorblind accessible.
At the height of their control earlier this year, secretive insurgents dominated a small but important corner of Mozambique. (Map from our July 2021 Cabo Delgado update.)
A Nearly-Nameless Insurgency

In our August 2020 Mozambique conflict map article, we discussed confusion over the name of the insurgent group operating in Cabo Delgado province. Now, a year later, we've decided it's time to briefly revisit that question. 

Though the fighters have now been pushed out of their most prized territories, they're still present in the region in large numbers, so questions about their identity remain highly relevant.

Al Shabaab in Mozambique?

At this point there's no longer much question that the group's most commonly-used name in Cabo Delgado - by both its opponents and the insurgents themselves - is "Al-Shabab". This unofficial name, which means "the youth" in Arabic (the international language of the Islamic religion, but not of everyday communication in Mozambique), appears to be a reference to the Al Shabaab insurgent group in Somalia. Though the word is usually spelled "Shabaab" in the Somali context, and international commentary often uses this spelling for the Cabo Delgado insurgents too, local spelling conventions in Mozambique tend to prefer "Shabab" without the double A.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Mozambique Control Map: Rebels Lose Mocímboa da Praia - August 2021 (Subscription)

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Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic. Timeline by Djordje Djukic.

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Mozambique: Cabo Delgado conflict map - August 2021: Detailed, close-up control map showing areas occupied by so-called ISIS-linked rebels in northern Mozambique (also known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa Jama, ASWJ, Ansar al-Sunnah, or Al Shabaab), plus towns and villages raided by the insurgents over the past eight months. Situation after Rwandan military intervention that took back Mocímboa da Praia and other towns from the rebels. Shows roads, rivers, and terrain, and includes key locations of the insurgency such as Palma, Awasse, Nchinga, Ntotwe, the Total LNG site and natural gas fields, and many more towns and villages. Updated to August 31, 2021. Colorblind accessible.
After the intervention of Rwandan forces, Insurgents aligned with the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL) have been pushed out of their most notable territories in Mozambique's far northern province of Cabo Delgado. However, they're believed to still be active in large numbers in more remote areas.
 
See all this and more on the newest update to PolGeoNow's Mozambique territorial control map, which includes a timeline of changes and important events since our previous Cabo Delgado map report in July.

This map and report are premium content, available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow Conflict Mapping Service.

(Note: Though Rwanda's defense department has been seen using our Cabo Delgado map in a press briefing, PolGeoNow has no known contact or business relationship with the Rwandan government or military, and the map was used without our prior knowledge. As always, PolGeoNow does not endorse any actor, organization, or policy in any armed conflict or political dispute.)

Want to see before you subscribe? Check out our most recent FREE SAMPLE Mozambique map!

Exclusive map report includes:

  • Detailed illustration of approximate current territorial control in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province, color-coded for insurgents affiliated with the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL) vs. the Mozambican government and allies (including Rwandan and SADC troops). Areas of contested or unclear control indicated separately. Colorblind accessible. 
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control status, including for many relevant smaller towns and villages.
  • Detailed indication of which towns and villages have subject to insurgent raids or pro-government military operations since late July 2021.
  • Contextual details including district boundaries, rivers, major roads, and terrain.
  • Sites of international economic interest: Total's suspended LNG site, offshore natural gas fields, and Montepuez ruby mine.
  • Key locations from the news, including Palma, Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Ntotwe, Nchinga, and many more.
  • Accompanying article with detailed timeline of territorial control changes and key political and military developments since late July, with sources cited. 

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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Guest Feature: Map of Control in Ethiopia's Tigray Conflict (August 2021)

In a dramatic reversal, Tigray rebels are now on the offensive after recapturing their state's capital in northern Ethiopia. To illustrate the current situation, PolGeoNow is again honored to feature a territorial control map created by our colleague Daniel from Passport Party. Also included is a timeline of events since the previous update in February.

Tigray control map: Rough illustration of territorial control in Ethiopia's Tigray war as known August 9, 2021, showing which areas have been retaken by Tigrayan rebels both inside and outside of the Tigray regional state. By Daniel of Passport Party.
Map of control in Tigray and surrounding areas in early August 2021, by Daniel of Passport Party (used with permission).


Ethiopia Conflict: Updated Control Map 

Since our previous Tigray conflict article in February, the war in Ethiopia's Tigray state has undergone a major shift. Where just months ago the Tigrayan rebels fighting in the name of the former TPLF state government had been reduced to a guerilla forces striking from the hills, they've now recaptured the state capital and continue to advance even beyond the state's borders in a show of strength against the Ethiopian federal government. Though many details of the situation on the ground are still fuzzy, Daniel's latest map - a specially-made update to one published on his Passport Party Twitter account last month - approximates the current lines of control in early August.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Mozambique Insurgency: Map of Control in Cabo Delgado - July 2021 (Subscription)

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Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic. Timeline by Djordje Djukic.

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Mozambique: Cabo Delgado conflict map - July 2021: Detailed, close-up control map showing areas occupied by so-called ISIS-linked rebels in northern Mozambique (also known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa Jama, ASWJ, Ansar al-Sunnah, or Al Shabaab), plus towns and villages raided by the insurgents over the past eight months. Shows roads, rivers, and terrain, and includes key locations of the insurgency such as Palma, Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Diaca, the Total LNG site and natural gas fields, Muidumbe, Pangane, Quionga, Mitope and many more towns and villages. Updated to July 29, 2021. Colorblind accessible.
Insurgents with claimed ties to the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL) have mostly held onto their limited areas of control in Mozambique's far northern province of Cabo Delgado. But that could start changing fast, with newly-arrived Rwandan troops already on the offensive.
 
See all this and more on the newest update to PolGeoNow's Mozambique territorial control map, which includes a timeline of changes and important events since our previous Cabo Delgado map report in April.

This map and report are premium content, available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow Conflict Mapping Service.

Want to see before you subscribe? Check out our most recent FREE SAMPLE Mozambique map!

Exclusive map report includes:

  • Detailed illustration of approximate current territorial control in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province, color-coded for insurgents affiliated with the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL) vs. the Mozambican government and allies (including Rwandan troops). Areas of contested or unclear control indicated separately. Colorblind accessible. 
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control status, including for many relevant smaller towns and villages.
  • Detailed indication of which towns and villages have subject to insurgent raids or government attacks since April 2021.
  • Contextual details including district boundaries, rivers, major roads, and terrain shading.
  • Sites of international economic interest: Total's under-construction LNG plant, offshore natural gas fields, and Montepuez ruby mine.
  • Key locations from the news, including Palma, Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Diaca, Ntchinga, Panjele, Quiwiya, and many more.
  • Accompanying article with detailed timeline of territorial control changes and key political and military developments since April, with sources cited. 

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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Parade of Nations: Which Countries Are (and Aren't) in the Olympics? (Tokyo 2021)

This is an updated version of an article first published in 2012. To see previous versions, view all Olympics articles on PolGeoNow.


World map showing the five continental associations of National Olympic Committees, including all nations eligible for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games.
Map of all countries in the Olympics and their regional associations. By Evan Centanni, modeled after this map.

The "Tokyo 2020" Summer Olympics - delayed one year because of the COVID-19 pandemic - officially open in Japan tomorrow, July 23! Of course, it wouldn't be an Olympic opening ceremony without the Parade of Nations. But how many countries are there in the games, and is everyone included? Read on for PolGeoNow's updated guide to the roster of Olympic Nations...

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Central African Republic Control Map & Timeline - July 2021

We've revived and relaunched our coverage of territorial control in the Central African Republic, one of PolGeoNow's original areas of reporting from back in 2013. The timeline in this article covers the entire period from then up to now, and going forward, our newly-redesigned map will be updated as needed. To ensure your access to future updates, sign up for our conflict mapping service.

Central African Republic conflict: 2021 map of rebel and government control. Updated to July 16, 2021, showing territorial control by the CAR government, CPC rebel coalition (FPRC, MPC, 3R),  other ex-Séléka rebels (UPC, RPRC, MLCJ), Anti-balaka militias, and other armed groups such as Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Colorblind accessible.
Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic. Terrain data sourced from ViewFinderPanoramas.
Contact us for permission to use this map.

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Timeline by Djordje Djukic and Evan Centanni

Who controls the Central African Republic in 2021?

Since PolGeoNow's last coverage of rebel control in the Central African Republic back in 2013, the country's civil war has continued all the way until today, but with some major reconfigurations. The Séléka rebel coalition, officially disbanded after it took over the country's government in 2013, has undergone a long series of fragmentations and reconstitutions since stepping down from full control of the country in 2014. Perhaps more surprisingly, many of the ex-Séléka groups have teamed up with their once-bitter enemies - militias of the Anti-balaka movement - to form a unified front against the country's internationally-backed government, which sees both of them as unwelcome rogue elements.

Friday, June 4, 2021

African Union Suspends Mali Again (Map)

African Union: Map of Africa showing which countries are suspended from the African Union in June 2021, as well as which countries are active members and which territories aren't part of the union. Updated for the June 2021 suspension of Mali, the country's third time being suspended, and its second time in less than a year (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

Mali Suspended from AU for Second Time in Less Than a Year

PolGeoNow readers may remember that Mali was suspended from membership in the African Union (AU) last August, after a military faction overthrew the country's government. That suspension was reversed in October, when a civilian transitional government came to power. But with military figures once again taking over the country late last month, the AU has once again suspended Mali's membership. The new suspension was imposed on June 6.

Map: Which Countries are in the African Union?

This map and explainer will be updated whenever there's a change in AU membership, including suspensions and reinstatements. News about each change will be published in separate articles, which you can find listed below, or by viewing all African Union content on PolGeoNow.

African Union: Map of Africa showing which countries are in the African Union in 2021, including active and suspended member countries and non-member territories. Updated for the June 2021 suspension of Mali (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from this blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

What is the African Union?

Launched in 2002 as a replacement for the earlier Organization of African Unity (OAU), the African Union (AU) is an intergovernmental organization that works on increasing cooperation, stability, and development within the continent of Africa. The organization is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Ethiopia is the only African country that the European empires never colonized, and is also the second most populous country on the continent.)

Friday, May 14, 2021

Israel / Palestine Map: Who Controls What in May 2021?

This article was originally published in July 2020, but has been revised and updated to May 2021. The accompanying map has also been revised for clarity, but there have been no changes to territorial control since the previous edition.

Map of who controls Palestine and Israel's claimed territories today (May 14, 2021), as Gaza Strip violence continues to escalate? Israeli and Palestinian Authority administration (Fatah and Hamas factions indicated separately). Also file under: Palestine controlled area map. Includes bigger West Bank map (Areas A, B, C). Map also includes Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, major cities and Israeli settlements, UN peacekeeper deployments (UNIFIL and UNDOF), no man's land, Golan Heights buffer zone (area of separation, AOS), and Shebaa Farms. Colorblind accessible.
Click to enlarge. Map by Evan Centanni, incorporating base map by Koen Adams of onestopmap.com and data from B'Tselem's interactive mapping project. (Contact us for permission to use this map.)

(Subscribers click here to view this article in the members area)

Israel and Palestine Controlled Areas

The Israeli government's much-hyped plan to annex (absorb) parts of the Palestine-claimed West Bank into Israel last July never came to pass, but the region is once again making headlines amid a new wave of fighting. So who actually controls what parts of Palestine and Israel's claimed territories? This newly-revised version of PolGeoNow's Israel/Palestine control map lays out the details of government jurisdictions on the ground. And if you see something you don't understand on the map, check below for our concise outline of the disputed regions and conflict actors involved, which has also been updated and slightly expanded since first published last year.

Note that this is a map of who actually controls what, not of who claims which areas. And it's definitely not supposed to imply that any particular party should or shouldn't control any particular area. As always, PolGeoNow takes no side in these disputes, and we have done our best to report only the facts.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Yemen Control Map & Report: Houthis at Marib's Doorstep - May 2021 (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 2021, 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 Marib, Al-Sadd Lake, Kassara, Rahida, and more.
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Yemen's Houthis have come within just a few kilometers of Marib, the last major northern stronghold of the internationally-recognized Hadi government. Meanwhile, Hadi's forces are still fighting the Houthis in the southwest too, but their ceasefire with southern separatists has continued to hold.

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 February.

This map and report are premium content available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow Conflict Mapping Service.

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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 Marib, Al-Sadd Lake, Kassara, Rahida, and more
  • Timeline of changes to the situation since March 24, 2021, with links to sources 

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Can I purchase just this map?
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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Libya Control Map & Timeline: Lines Frozen by Unity Deal - April 2021 (Subscription)

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

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Libya: Who controls what? A concise, professional map of who controls Libya now (April 2021). Shows detailed territorial control in the aftermath of the Libyan Civil War as of April 26, 2021, including all major parties (forces aligned with the former Government of National Accord (GNA); General Haftar's eastern-based 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 Ghadames, Ubari, Sirte, Sidra, and more. Colorblind accessible.Libya's civil war entered a stalemate after the eastern government's failure to capture Tripoli from the western government last year - and now it's been tentatively declared over after a peace deal and formation of a unity government. 

But for the time being, the lines of control between former opposing military forces remain in place, and we've made some adjustments to the map based on newly-available information.

See all this and more on the latest update to PolGeoNow's concise, professional Libya control map, which comes with a timeline of changes since our previous Libya control map report of June 21, 2020.

This map and report are premium content available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow Conflict Mapping Service.

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Exclusive report includes:

  • Up-to-date map of current territorial control in Libya, color-coded for forces aligned with the former Government of National Accord (GNA), Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL), and Toubou and Tuareg militias in the south. Colorblind accessible.
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control, including key towns and other locations important to current events.
  • Detailed timeline of important events and changes to territorial control since June 21, 2020, with links to sources.

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Mozambique Insurgency: Close-up Map of Control in April 2021

There are newer editions of this map available. To see them, view all Mozambique articles on PolGeoNow.

It's finally here: the close-up, super-detailed version of our Mozambique insurgency control map! This edition depicts the situation near the beginning of this month, when the government was fighting for control of Palma. A new close-up version of our August 2020 map is also now available, and future updates are expected more frequently from now on. To see the full list of reports, you can always view all Mozambique articles on PolGeoNow.

Mozambique: Cabo Delgado conflict map - April 2021: Detailed, close-up control map showing areas occupied by so-called ISIS-linked rebels in northern Mozambique (also known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa Jama, ASWJ, Ansar al-Sunnah, or Al Shabaab), plus towns and villages raided by the insurgents over the past eight months. Shows roads, rivers, and terrain, and includes key locations of the insurgency such as Palma, Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Macomia, the Total LNG site and natural gas fields, Muidumbe, Pangane, Muatide, Vamizi Island, and many more towns and villages. Key locations across the border in Tanzania also shown. Updated to April 2, 2021. Colorblind accessible.
Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic. Some elements © OpenStreetMap contributors. Terrain data sourced from ViewFinderPanoramas. Contact us for permission to use this map.

(Subscribers click here to view this article in the member area)

Timeline by Djordje Djukic and Evan Centanni

New: Close-up Cabo Delgado Insurgency Map

In the eight months since our first Mozambique conflict timeline was published, insurgents in Cabo Delgado province have gradually increased their control, continuing to raid villages and towns in multiple districts, culminating most recently in their temporary takeover of most of Palma, a major town close to under-construction natural gas facilities operated by French company Total. The rebel group - locally known as "Al Shabaab" but thought to formally label itself Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamâ (ASWJ) - is increasingly believed to be cooperating, if only loosely, with the so-called "Islamic State" (IS; ISIS/ISIL).

Now, for the first time, PolGeoNow presents our close-up map of the Cabo Delgado conflict, rigorously researched and edited to provide the most detailed, informative, and reliable map of insurgent control and attacks available anywhere.

Mozambique Insurgency: 2017-2020 Close-up Map & Expanded Timeline (Subscription)

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There are newer editions of this map available. To see them, view all Mozambique articles on PolGeoNow.

Map and report by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic

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Mozambique: Cabo Delgado insurgency map - October 2017 to August 2020: Detailed, close-up control map showing areas occupied by so-called ISIS-linked rebels in northern Mozambique (also known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa Jama, ASWJ, or Ansar al-Sunnah), plus towns and villages raided by the insurgents over the past three years. Shows roads, rivers, and terrain, and includes key locations of the insurgency such as Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Macomia, the Total LNG site and natural gas fields, Miangalewa, Litingina, Ntessa, Cagembe, Marere, Makulo, and many, many more. Colorblind accessible.
This is an alternate version of our free August 2020 Mozambique control map and report, now featuring a close-up map with much more detail. In addition to territorial control, the map also indicates the locations of other 2017-2020 insurgent attacks and government raids.
 
Included in the accompanying report is a revised and expanded timeline of events since 2017, focusing in on the details of where and when attacks and fighting have happened.

This map and report are premium content, available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow Conflict Mapping Service.

Want to see before you subscribe? Check out our most recent FREE SAMPLE Mozambique map!

Exclusive map report includes:

  • Detailed illustration of territorial control in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province in August 2020, color-coded for insurgents affiliated with the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL) vs. the Mozambican government and allies (including Dyck private military contractors). Areas of contested or unclear control indicated separately. Colorblind accessible. 
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control status, including for many relevant smaller towns and villages.
  • Detailed indication of which towns and villages were subject to insurgent raids or government attacks from the beginning of armed conflict in October 2017 up to the capture of Mocímboa da Praia town in August 2020.
  • Contextual details like district boundaries, rivers, major roads, and terrain shading.
  • Sites of international economic interest: Total's under-construction LNG plant, offshore natural gas fields, and Montepuez ruby mine.
  • Key locations from the news, including Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Macomia, Miangalewa, Litingina, Ntessa, Cagembe, Marere, Makulo, and many, many more.
  • Accompanying article with detailed timeline of territorial control changes and key political and military developments since the outbreak of armed conflict in October 2017, with sources cited. 

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Thursday, March 25, 2021

Yemen Control Map & Report - March 2021 (Subscription)

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(To see other maps in this series, view all Yemen articles on PolGeoNow.)

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

Map of what's happening in Yemen as of March 2021, 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 Marib, Al-Sadd Lake, Al Ma'afer, Ahwar, and more.
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Forces loyal to Yemen's unrecognized Houthi government have continued their gradual advance towards the central city of Marib. But for the first time in months, they've also faced a major loss of ground elsewhere, with forces loyal to the internationally-recognized President Hadi capturing territory in the southwest.

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 February.

This map and report are premium content available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow Conflict Mapping Service.

Want to see before you buy? Check out our most recent FREE SAMPLE Yemen map report!

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 Marib, Al-Sadd Lake, Al Ma'afer, Ahwar, and more
  • Timeline of changes to the situation since February 26, 2021, with links to sources 

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Friday, February 26, 2021

Yemen Control Map & Report: Houthis Approach Marib - February 2021 (Subscription)

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There are newer versions of this map available. To see them, view all Yemen articles on PolGeoNow.

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

Map of what's happening in Yemen as of February 2021, 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 Marib, Asdas, Nudhud, and Al-Sadd Lake.
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Yemen's two rival national governments - the Houthis and the Hadi administration - appear to be on the verge of a major showdown over Marib, the biggest remaining Hadi stronghold in the north. Meanwhile, large cracks are already showing in the recent unity deal between Hadi and southern separatists, who still maintain separate areas of control.

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 December.

This map and report are premium content available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow Conflict Mapping Service.

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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 Marib, Asdas, Nudhud, and Al-Sadd Lake
  • Timeline of changes to the situation since December 27, 2020, with links to sources 

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Can I purchase just this map?
This map and report are not available for automated purchase to non-subscribers. If you need access or republication rights for only this map report, contact service@polgeonow.com for options.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Somalia Control Map & Timeline - February 2021 (Subscription)

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(To see other maps in this series, view all Somalia updates.)

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

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Who controls Somalia? Map (February 2021). 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, autonomous state Puntland, and boundaries of additional federal member states Galmudug, Jubaland, South West, and Hirshabelle. Now labels state capitals and disputed boundaries between Somaliland and Puntland, as well as key towns from recent news such as Milho (Milxo), Ba'adweyne, Bur Heybe, Gobo Kibir, and more. Updated to February 24, 2021. Colorblind accessible.
In the past four months, control lines have changed little in Somalia's south, but Al Shabaab has increasingly seized villages near the northern coast, in the area disputed between Puntland and Somaliland. Meanwhile, the map has undergone a subtle overhaul, with various small adjustments made after a thorough review of available research.

See all this and more on the latest update to PolGeoNow's concise, professional Somalia control map, which includes a timeline of territorial changes and key events since our previous Somalia map report of October 2020, with sources cited.

This map and report are premium content, available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow Conflict Mapping Service.

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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 with the so-called "Islamic State" (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL). Areas of mixed or unclear control indicated separately. Colorblind accessible.
  • Boundaries and labels for Somalia's official regions and states, including the self-proclaimed independent Republic of Somaliland and federal states Puntland, Galmudug, Jubaland, South West, and Hirshabelle. Illustrates the claims of both sides in the Somaliland-Puntland border dispute, as well as actual control.
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control, including many relevant smaller towns and villages.
  • Locations of recent fighting and other important events, including Milho (Milxo), Ba'adweyne, Bur Heybe, Gobo Kibir, and more.
  • Detailed timeline of territorial control changes and key political developments since October 20, 2020, with sources cited. 
  • Summary of the conflict situation and changes to the map over the past four months.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Guest Map: Border Changes in Ethiopia's Tigray Conflict (February 2021)

For the second time, we're honored to feature a map of the Tigray conflict created by our colleague Daniel from Passport Party. Though detailed territorial control is difficult to map right now, Daniel illustrates how the shakeup has resulted in new de facto courses for both state and national borders in the area.

Tigray border changes map: Illustration of changes to the de facto courses of state and national borers amid Ethiopia's Tigray war, as known January 30, 2021, showing areas taken over by Amhara state and Eritrea. By Daniel of Passport Party.
Map of de facto border changes amid the 2020-2021 Tigray conflict, by Daniel of Passport Party (used with permission).


Ethiopia Conflict: Passport Party's Map of Tigray Border Changes 

Since our previous Tigray conflict article in November, featuring our colleague Daniel's map of territorial control at that time, the war in Ethiopia's Tigray state has cooled down somewhat. Because of the situation on the ground, it's probably not possible to reliably map out the details of territorial control in Tigray right now. So instead, Daniel's new map - originally published on his Passport Party blog and Twitter account - focuses on another interesting aspect of the political geography: the way that overall administrative boundaries have changed during the war, even if not officially.
 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

How Many Countries Are There in the World in 2021?

This article, originally from 2011, has been revised and updated to February 2021. You can view some older versions of the article in our archives. Latest update: Removed the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL) as a "de facto state" candidate.

How many countries: map of the world
A world political map published by the US government.
One of the most basic questions for map-lovers is, "How many countries are there in the world?" But anyone who just gives you a number isn't telling the whole truth. It actually depends a lot on how you define a "country".

Here are six of the most common answers, each correct in its own way: