Showing posts with label sudan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sudan. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Sudan Control Map & Timeline: Former Rebels Join Fight - June 2023

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

This marks the first fully up-to-date edition of our new Sudan map series, after several retrospective reports on the situations in previous months. The latest of those, featuring a map of control at the end of January 2024, is being published alongside this one. 

To access our full catalog of map reports covering control in Sudan and many other countries, sign up for our Control Map Subscription Service - popular with major government and international organizations, but available to individual subscribers at just US$19.99 per month!

Sudan War: Map of who controlled what in Sudan on June 11, 2024, showing the situation after most of Darfur's former rebel Joint Force joined the fight alongside the army. Best Sudan control map online, thoroughly researched for maximum accuracy. Shows territorial control by the government-affiliated Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary, and rebel groups in Sudan including the Sudan Liberation Army/Movement's Abdelwahid El Nur faction (SLA-AW/SLM-AW) in Darfur's Jebel Marra, the SPLM-N faction of Abdelaziz El Hilu in the Two Areas of South Kordofan (Nuba Mountains) and Blue Nile. Also shows the area of control of the Ngok Dinka Abyei Area Administration (AAA) within the disputed Abyei Box, and the known bases and area of operation of the remaining Neutral Joint Force of former rebels in Darfur who haven't taken sides. Includes disputed territories claimed by other countries, including the Halaib Triangle, Bir Tawil, and Wadi Halfa Salient along the border with Egypt, plus Kafia Kingi, 14-mile, Abyei, Heglig (Hejlij), Kaka, and Bebnis along the South Sudan border, showing which parts are controlled by which country. Includes key towns and other locations from the news, including the Sennar Sugar Factory, Omdurman, Bahri, El Fau (Al Fao), Jebel Dayir, Delling (Dilling, Dalang), Zurrug, Mellit, Korma, Ayn Siro, Tina border crossing, Misteriya, Al Dabbah (El Debba), Babanusa, Lagawa (Laqawa), Um Rawaba and many more.
Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic, starting from base map by Koen Adams of onestopmap.com. "Neutral Joint Force" has been redefined to exclude Darfuri former rebel groups who have joined the fight against the RSF, now subsumed under "Govt./SAF & allies". See below for a detailed accounting of which groups are included in each territorial control category. To use this map in your own materials, please contact us to arrange permission.

Timeline by Djordje Djukic and Evan Centanni

Darfur's Joint Force Enters War Against RSF, Kicking off Battle of El Fasher

In the four months since the date depicted on PolGeoNow's previous Sudan control map, lines of control have remained mostly stable, except for a major SAF breakthrough within the city of Omdurman and the RSF's takeover of Mellit, the headquarters of Darfur's Joint Force coalition. Other changes to the map have been made to show where new evidence has emerged of RSF presence (or lack thereof), but these don't represent major victories or defeats. The bigger story has, instead, been a critical realignment in alliances.

The leaders of Darfur's most prominent "Joint Force" former rebel groups, the SLM-MM and JEM-Jibril, have been outspoken against the RSF since November 2023, even recruiting and training new SAF-allied forces in eastern Sudan. But until recently, their field commanders based in Darfur, where the core of each group's forces were stationed, had kept unofficially neutral in the war, helping preserve a year-long, citizen-mediated ceasefire in the city of El Fasher. That all changed after Joint Force troops started fighting alongside the SAF around Khartoum in late March, leading to RSF retaliation across Sudan. By mid-April, the group's major commanders in Darfur had joined the fight, kicking off a devastating, full-scale battle for the region's capital.

A few months ago, "neutral Joint Force" was a useful label for most of the former rebel forces in Darfur, but today it can only fairly apply to the minority of factions who refused to enter the battle, and now say they're launching an official "Neutral Joint Force" separate from the larger SAF-allied one. Our map has been changed accordingly, now subsuming SAF-allied groups within "Govt./SAF and allies", while reserving the "Neutral Joint Force" symbols from the January map for the new strictly neutral coalition. Nearly every Darfuri former rebel group has split into factions over the question of whether to ally with the SAF, with the longtime leaders of the SLM-TC and GSLF, alongside their loyalist factions, heading the neutral camp.

Sudan Control Map & Timeline: RSF Takes Eastern City - Jan. 2024 (Subscription)

SUBSCRIBERS CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL ARTICLE AND MAP:
Old Portal (members.polgeonow.com) | New Portal (controlmaps.polgeonow.com)


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

Map and article by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic

Subscribe for full access to all conflict map reports!

(Thumbnail preview) Sudan War: Map of who controlled what in Sudan on January 31, 2024, showing the situation after the RSF takeover of Wad Medani and most of Gezira (Jazira) state. Best Sudan control map online, thoroughly researched for maximum accuracy. Shows territorial control by the government-affiliated Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary, and rebel groups in Sudan including the Sudan Liberation Army/Movement's Abdelwahid El Nur faction (SLA-AW/SLM-AW) in Darfur's Jebel Marra, the SPLM-N faction of Abdelaziz El Hilu in the Two Areas of South Kordofan (Nuba Mountains) and Blue Nile. Also shows the area of control of the Ngok Dinka Abyei Area Administration (AAA) within the disputed Abyei Box, and the general area of presence and major bases of the neutral Joint Force of Darfur former rebel groups. Includes disputed territories claimed by other countries, including the Halaib Triangle, Bir Tawil, and Wadi Halfa Salient along the border with Egypt, plus Kafia Kingi, 14-mile, Abyei, Heglig, Kaka, and Bebnis (Babnis) along the South Sudan border, showing which parts are controlled by which country. Includes key towns and other locations from the news, including Sennar, El Giteina (Gitaina), Al Hasaheisa, Rufaa, Bara, Habila, Nertiti, Umbro (Umm Baru), Tina border crossing, Shendi, Jebel Moon, Babanusa, Um Rawaba and many more.

In December 2024, Sudan's defiant Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary made waves by invading new parts of Sudan's eastern heartland, capturing the major city of Wad Medani and most of Gezira (Al-Jazirah) state. Meanwhile, a new battle was brewing in Darfur as tensions reached a peak in El Fasher, where our map now shows areas of control and presence for the neutral former rebel groups of the Joint Force.

(This edition of our new Sudan map series depicts control at the end of January 2024 based on research conducted through mid-June.)

See all this and more in the latest update to PolGeoNow's rigorously-researched and exhaustively cited Sudan control map and report - the most precise and accurate available online. Besides the updated map, the report also includes a brief who's-who of Sudan's rebel and former rebel groups, plus a detailed chronicle of changes and events since December 5, 2023, the date illustrated by our previous Sudan control map.

This map and report are premium content, available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow Control Maps Subscription Service.

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

Exclusive map report includes:

  • Up-to-date illustration of current territorial control in Sudan's new civil war between the Sudanese Armed Forces (official government military) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, rigorously corroborated, with areas of ambiguity clearly indicated. 
  • Detailed and carefully-researched illustration of territorial control by Sudan's two major "holdout" rebel forces from before the 2023 war: SPLM-N El Hilu in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, and the SLM-AW (SLA-AW) in Darfur's Jebel Marra. 
  • NEW: Indication of power centers and area of presence for Darfur's neutral Joint Force of former rebel groups
  • Brief who's-who guide to all the major groups and factions among Sudan's rebels and former rebels
  • Detailed explanation of what each color represents on the map, and which forces are included as "allies" of each side
  • Thoroughly-researched depictions of each disputed territory claimed by Sudan along the Egyptian and South Sudanese borders, marking which parts are controlled by the other countries and which parts by other groups (e.g. UN peacekeepers and the Ngok Dinka "Abyei Area Administration").
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control, including key towns and other locations important to current events
  • Locations of recent control changes and other important events, including El Giteina (Gitaina), Al Hasaheisa, Rufaa, Bara, Habila, Nertiti, Umbro (Umm Baru), Tina border crossing, Shendi, Jebel Moon, Babanusa, Um Rawaba, and many more
  • Detailed timeline of important events and changes to territorial control from December 5, 2023 through January 31, 2024, with links to sources.

SUBSCRIBERS CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL ARTICLE AND MAP:
Old Portal (members.polgeonow.com) | New Portal (controlmaps.polgeonow.com)


Not signed up yet? Click here to learn more about our professional subscription service!

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.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Sudan Control Map & Timeline: RSF Takes Darfur Cities - Dec. 2023 (Subscription)

SUBSCRIBERS CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL ARTICLE AND MAP:
Old Portal (members.polgeonow.com) | New Portal (controlmaps.polgeonow.com)


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

Map and article by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic

Subscribe for full access to all conflict map reports!

Sudan War: Thumbnail preview of map of who controlled what in Sudan on December 5, 2023. Best Sudan control map online, thoroughly researched for maximum accuracy. Shows territorial control by the government-affiliated Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, and rebel groups in Sudan including the Sudan Liberation Army/Movement's Abdelwahid El Nur faction (SLA-AW/SLM-AW) in Darfur's Jebel Marra, the SPLM-N faction of Abdelaziz El Hilu in the Two Areas of South Kordofan (Nuba Mountains) and Blue Nile. Also shows the area of control of the Ngok Dinka Abyei Area Administration (AAA) within the disputed Abyei Box. Includes disputed territories claimed by other countries, including the Halaib Triangle, Bir Tawil, and Wadi Halfa Salient along the border with Egypt, plus Kafia Kingi, 14-mile, Abyei, Heglig, Kaka, and Bebnis along the South Sudan border, showing which parts are controlled by which country. Includes key cities and other locations from the news, including Nyala, Zalingei, Ed Daein, Ardamata, Balila oil field, Shag Omar oil field, Babanusa, Um Rawaba and many more.

From October to December of 2023, the defiant Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group accomplished a massive consolidation of control in western Sudan's Darfur region. By early December, the country’s official military had lost its footholds in four out of five of the region's state capitals - though the RSF's control of Darfur was still not as complete as most reports implied.

(This second edition of our new Sudan map series depicts control in early December 2023, based on research conducted through January of 2024. Another edition, showing the current situation in 2024, will be coming in the near future.)

See all this and more in the latest update to PolGeoNow's rigorously-researched and exhaustively cited Sudan control map and report - the most precise and accurate available online. In addition to the updated map, the report also includes a detailed chronicle of changes and events since October 9, 2023, the date illustrated by our earlier Sudan control map.

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 Sudan map report!

Exclusive map report includes:

  • Up-to-date illustration of current territorial control in Sudan's new civil war between the Sudanese Armed Forces (official government military) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, rigorously corroborated, with areas of ambiguity clearly indicated. 
  • Detailed and carefully-researched illustration of territorial control by Sudan's two major "holdout" rebel forces from before the 2023 war: SPLM-N El Hilu in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, and the SLA-AW (SLM-AW) in Darfur's Jebel Marra.
  • Thoroughly-researched depictions of each disputed territory claimed by Sudan along the Egyptian and South Sudanese borders, marking which parts are controlled by the other countries and which parts by other groups (e.g. UN peacekeepers and the Ngok Dinka "Abyei Area Administration").
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control, including key towns and other locations important to current events
  • Locations of recent control changes and other important events, including Nyala, Zalingei, Ed Daein, Ardamata, Balila oil field, Shag Omar oil field, Babanusa, Um Rawaba, and more.
  • Detailed timeline of important events and changes to territorial control from October 9 to December 5, 2023, with links to sources.

SUBSCRIBERS CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL ARTICLE AND MAP:
Old Portal (members.polgeonow.com) | New Portal (controlmaps.polgeonow.com)


Not signed up yet? Click here to learn more about our professional subscription service!

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.

Sudan War Control Map & Timeline - October 2023

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

PolGeoNow proudly presents the first edition of our new Sudan war map series, meticulously researched over many months. We believe these to be the most accurate Sudan control maps available anywhere.

This edition of the map depicts control in early October 2023, based on research conducted through January of 2024. A map of control in December 2023 has been released to our paid subscribers, and we intend to publish another free edition soon showing the current situation in 2024.

Sudan War: Map of who controlled what in Sudan on October 9, 2023. Best Sudan control map online, thoroughly researched for maximum accuracy. Shows territorial control by the government-affiliated Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, and rebel groups in Sudan including the Sudan Liberation Army/Movement's Abdelwahid El Nur faction (SLA-AW/SLM-AW) in Darfur's Jebel Marra, the SPLM-N faction of Abdelaziz El Hilu in the Two Areas of South Kordofan (Nuba Mountains) and Blue Nile. Also shows the area of control of the Ngok Dinka Abyei Area Administration (AAA) within the disputed Abyei Box. Includes disputed territories claimed by other countries, including the Halaib Triangle, Bir Tawil, and Wadi Halfa Salient along the border with Egypt, as well as Kafia Kingi, 14-mile, Abyei, Heglig, Kaka, and Bebnis along the South Sudan border, showing which parts are controlled by which country. Includes key cities and other locations from the news, including Khartoum, Omdurman, El Fasher, Nyala, Geneina, Zalingei, Shag Omar oil field, Babanusa, Dibebad, Kadugli, Um Rawaba, Dilling, Bahri, Wad Rawa, Kurmuk, and many more.
Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic, starting from base map by Koen Adams of onestopmap.com. See article below for a detailed accounting of which groups are included in each territorial control category. To use this map in your own materials, please contact us to arrange permission.

Timeline by Djordje Djukic and Evan Centanni

Unknown Territory: Sudan’s New Civil War 

In April 2023, a new civil war broke out in Sudan (officially “the Sudan”)*, pitting the country’s official military, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), against the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a powerful government-affiliated paramilitary group. Sudan has fought more than one civil war before, but never in its traditional heartland along the River Nile. This new conflict is said to be the first in “at least a hundred years” where control of the capital city, Khartoum, is clearly in the balance. 

Unlike previous wars, the new conflict is essentially a power struggle among members of Sudan’s majority cultural group, the “Arab” people - and yet, analysts say it’s still a continuation of the long-running clash between the country’s central core and outer regions. The RSF’s leadership, and most of its fighters, come from the nomadic Arab communities of Sudan’s Darfur region in the west, who were integrated into Arab culture later in history than the Nile elites, and until recently held little power in the national government. (See below for further discussion of these and other conflict dynamics.)

With at least 13,000 dead as of December 2024, the war is also one of the deadliest in the world today, on par with the Myanmar conflict and only far-surpassed in 2023 by the wars in Ukraine and Israel/Palestine. Many thousands of civilians are among the dead, with the United Nations documenting indiscriminate SAF airstrikes in major cities, while also describing an apparent campaign of genocide by the RSF and allies against non-Arab citizens of West Darfur state.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Map Update: Record Number of African Union Members Suspended (Sep. 2023)

African Union Members: Map of Africa showing which countries are suspended from the AU in September 2023, as well as which countries are active members and which territories aren't part of the union. Updated for the suspensions of Guinea, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Niger, and Gabon for coups over the past two years (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

AU Suspensions at All-time High

There are now a record of six member countries banned from participation in the African Union (AU), after Niger and Gabon were both suspended in August 2023. AU suspensions are almost always a response to a government overthrow in a member country, implying that coups in Africa are now at their highest point in the organization's 21-year history. The number is also up drastically from our previous African Union map update in June 2021, when we reported that only two countries were currently suspended.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

African Union Map Update: Mali & South Sudan Suspended, Sudan Reinstated

African Union: Map of Africa showing which countries are in the African Union in 2020, including active and suspended member countries and non-member territories. Updated for the September 2019 reinstatement of Sudan, the June 2020 suspension of South Sudan, and the August 2020 suspension of Mali (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

Mali Suspended from African Union

The African Union (AU) suspended Mali from membership in the continental organization yesterday, after army mutineers marched to country's capital and overthrew the president. Major protests had been calling for the president's resignation for months, but his removal by force has not gone over well with the international community. In addition to the AU, Mali has also been suspended from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), an important group including most of Mali's neighboring countries.

Friday, June 28, 2019

African Union Map Update: Sudan Suspended

African Union: Map of Africa showing which countries are in the African Union, including active and suspended member countries and non-member territories. Updated for the June 2019 suspension of Sudan (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

Sudan Suspended from African Union

On June 6, the African Union (AU) suspended Sudan from membership in the continental organization. This is the first time any country has been suspended from the AU since 2016, when the Central African Republic (CAR) was reinstated after a three-year suspension.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Map: Sudan & South Sudan's Disputed Territories

Countries: South Sudan, Sudan
Official Names: Republic of South Sudan, Republic of Sudan
Summary: After South Sudan declared independence from Sudan last year, much of the border between the neighbors is still hotly disputed, with recent violent clashes around the Heglig oil field and other areas. Read on for a full list of Sudan and South Sudan's eight major border flashpoints.

Map of the border between Sudan and South Sudan, marking selected territorial disputes and border clashes in 2012. Includes inset map of April fighting in region of Heglig oil field.
Border map of Sudan and South Sudan, showing disputed areas and fighting since the beginning of 2012. Aerial bombings and attacks by rebel groups not shown. My own work, using blank Sudan and South Sudan maps by NordNordWest / Wikipedia. License: CC BY-SA.





Monday, October 24, 2011

News Bits: October 2011

"News Bits" posts cover minor political geography events from the last few months. Although the news may be of great political relevance, these events haven't (yet) affected major changes to the shapes, sovereignty, or political status of the world's countries.

Yemen: Militias Take Territory From Islamists
Territory and areas of influence for rebels (blue) and Islamic
extremists (red) in Yemen. Map is my own work, starting
from this map by German Wikipedia user NordNordWest
(license: CC BY-SA). (Corrected November 20, 2011)
In Yemen's ongoing political crisis (See: Yemen Fragments Under Uprising), some territory previously held by Islamist militants has fallen under the control of unsympathetic non-government forces, whose presence around the country seems to be expanding. The Islamists, who call themselves Ansar al-Sharia ("Partisans of Islamic Law"), have occupied the cities of Jaar, Zinjibar, and Shuqra in Abyan province for several months now, along with various smaller towns both in Abyan and in heighboring Shabwah. However, since July, many of the smaller towns have fallen into the hands of local militias, and the Yemeni government has gained ground in the Zinjibar area. Though the local militias are currently working alongside the government, it is unclear whether it may be only a temporary truce. Yemen's opposition forces are composed of a mixture of local and kinship-based militias, army defectors, and pre-existing rebel groups, which sometimes work together but are increasingly clashing among themselves. The country's third largest city, Taiz, is largely under the control of opposition forces, as are some parts of the capital, Sana'a. (More Yemen news on Political Geography Now)

Sudan No Longer Africa's Largest Country
Now that the South Sudan has gained independence (See: New Country - South Sudan), the remainder of Sudan is no longer Africa's largest country by area. Sudan's one-time top spot was  followed by Algeria in second place and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in third. However, the secession of South Sudan  removed a substantial portion of Sudan's territory, and the northern remainder of the country now ranks third in Africa - after Algeria and the DRC. South Sudan ranks 19th, out of a total of 54 U.N.-recognized countries in Africa. (Graphic my own work, based on this map by Wikipedia user Mangwanani. License: CC BY-SA)

Map showing most of the Cooch Behar
enclaves. By Dutch Wikipedia user
Jeroen (source). License: CC BY-SA
Wikipedia: List of African Countries and Territories

Indo-Bangladesh Treaty Defines Border, Trades Enclaves
A treaty signed last month between the governments of India and Bangladesh fully defines the border between the two countries, and provides for the trade of dozens of enclaves. The Indo-Bangladesh enclaves, also known as "chitmahals" or the "Cooch Behar enclaves" (after the district of India which most of them either belong to or are located inside), number well over 100, including patches of Indian territory within Bangladesh and patches of Bengladeshi territory within India. Their inhabitants have long suffered under abominable living conditions due to the fact that they have access neither to services from their own country (because of their isolation) nor to services from the country surrounding them (because they are not considered part of its territory). Under the new agreement, based on a 1974 deal that was never adopted, nearly all of the enclaves will be ceded to whichever country surrounds them, and inhabitants will have a choice of citizenship. The two parties also defined the border in several previously disputed or undemarcated areas. The treaty will not go into effect until it is ratified by both countries' legislatures.


Location of Rastan within Syria. Based on this
map
by German Wikipedia user NordNordWest.
License: CC BY-SA
Syrian City Falls Briefly to Rebels
In Syria's ongoing uprising, the city of Rastan fell under control of protester-friendly rebel forces for a few weeks last month, before ultimately being retaken by government troops. The crisis in Syria, seen as part of the so-called "Arab Spring" movement for democratic change in the Middle East, began with protests last January. By march it had escalated to widespread displays of defiance in the streets, to which the government responded by sending in tanks and soldiers. However, the resistance was mostly unarmed until army defectors began organizing against the military in September. The city of Rastan, one of several major protest centers, was taken over by anti-government forces, which were not driven out until October 1. So far there have been no more reports of Syrian cities falling under armed anti-government control, but protests and violent government crackdowns continue in full gear.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Country: South Sudan

Country Name: South Sudan
Official Name: Republic of South Sudan
News Category: New Countries
Summary: The Republic of South Sudan has officially declared independence from Sudan. The declaration comes within the legal framework of a 2005 peace agreement between the north and south, and as a result of a 2011 popular vote. South Sudan is expected to be rapidly accepted into the international community as the world's newest country.

History
Flag of South Sudan (source)
Northern and Southern Sudan are historically distinct regions, both culturally and geographically. The arid north has long been dominated by nomadic Arab herders, with Islam as the primary religion. Meanwhile, the wetter south is populated by various agricultural peoples practicing local religions or Christianity. The north and south were ruled as separate colonies by the British during the first half of the 20th Century, but were later unified, with power weighted toward the north. By the time Sudan gained independence in 1956, a civil war was raging over the south's demands for greater representation and autonomy. A peace agreement was finally reached in 1972, granting Southern Sudan many of its demands; but the country descended again into war in 1983, after the central government in Khartoum withdrew the concessions.

Wikipedia: History of South Sudan

Newly independent South Sudan in purple. Sudan in
green. Modified from this map (license: CC BY-SA).
Independence
The devastating second civil war finally came to an end with the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed by the Government of Sudan in the north and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement in the south. The agreement specified that the people of Southern Sudan would have the chance to vote on whether to become independent. After six years of uneasy coexistence between the two sides, the referendum was finally held in January 2011. Ninety-nine percent of voters chose independence, and the date for the declaration was set for July 9. Despite diplomatic confrontations and armed clashes, the separation proceeded, with the Government of Sudan in the north becoming the first country to recognize the south's independence. The north retained the name "Sudan".

Former Sudan. South Sudan in blue. Green areas remain
part of Sudan (disputed regions in dark green). Disputed
Abyei (yellow) is under U.N. control. Modified from this
map
by Wikimedia user Lokal_Profil (CC BY-SA 2.5).
However, the status of three border regions - the Abyei Area, South Kordofan state, and Blue Nile state - has not yet been decided. Abyei is claimed both by the south and by the north, which is in the process of turning it over to U.N. peacekeeping forces. The 2005 agreement promised Abyei's people the chance to vote on which side to join, but the referendum hasn't come together. South Kordofan and Blue Nile are controlled by the north, but were promised vaguely defined "popular consultations", which also have not come to pass, leading to continued violence in South Kordofan. The region of Darfur in western Sudan was not at issue in the north-south civil war, and remains part of the north.

South Sudan's capital and states. Modified from this map (public domain).
Wikipedia: Southern Sudanese Independence Referendum




Country Profile
South Sudan is a land-locked country in East Africa, bordered by six other countries, and divided into ten states. It is a constitutional republic with its capital in the city of Juba, and is currently led by President Salva Kiir, a former southern rebel leader. Bisected by the White Nile river, the lushly vegetated country is home to some of the largest remaining populations of endangered African wildlife. South Sudan's roughly 8 million people come from a diverse range of cultural groups, the largest of which is the Dinka people. While English is the official language, Dinka and many other languages are spoken locally, and Arabic (the official language of Sudan) is also widely spoken as a second language. Although the country has rich oil resources, its people currently suffer with one of the lowest standards of living in the world.

Wikipedia: Republic of South Sudan

International Relations
Technically, South Sudan is still a "partially recognized" state, as it has not yet been admitted to the United Nations and is still awaiting diplomatic recognition from many countries. However, it is expected to be admitted into the U.N. within days, and its recognition is growing rapidly: it has already been recognized by about 60 U.N. member countries and four other sovereign states. In addition to the U.N., South Sudan has applied for membership to the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the East African Community. It has been invited into the Arab League, but is not likely to join, as most of its people do not identify as Arabs (unlike Sudan in the north). Political Geography Now will continue to publish updates as South Sudan's international status evolves.

Countries which have recognized South Sudan's sovereignty (green). South Sudan in blue. Modified from this Wikimedia map (public domain).

Wikipedia: Foreign Relations of South Sudan
 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

News Bits: June 2011

"News Bits" posts cover minor political geography events from the previous month. Although the news may be of great political relevance, these events haven't (yet) affected major changes to the shapes, sovereignty, or international positions of the world's countries.

Abyei's location within Sudan
(yellow). The south (blue) gains
independence this July. Based
on this map (license: CC BY-SA).
Sudan Government Forces Overrun Disputed Abyei
The Abyei Area, subject of a territorial dispute between the central Government of Sudan and the autonomous Southern Sudan region, has been invaded by Sudanese government forces. Southern troops, who had shared joint control of the area with the central government, have been driven out, along with many of the area's inhabitants. Southern Sudan is set to become an independent country this July, based on the 2005 peace agreement that ended Sudan's second civil war. A referendum was planned for Abyei residents to choose whether they would stay in Sudan or join the new Republic of South Sudan, but it was never held due to disagreements about who was eligible to vote. The Sudan government in Khartoum has asserted that it will not give up Abyei, and southern president Salva Kiir has promised not to go to war again over the territory.

Israel with occupied territories (green).
The PLO claims both the West Bank
and Gaza Strip, but they are currently
ruled by rival factions (map source).
West Bank & Gaza Strip to be Reunited
Rival Palestinian political parties Fatah and Hamas have agreed to form a new unity government in the coming months, which will effectively reunite their respective territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Both groups claimed control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) government after a brief civil war following the 2006 elections, in which Hamas won a majority of seats in the previously Fatah-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council. The armed clash left Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip, while Fatah retained its authority in the Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank. Known to the U.N. as the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the West Bank and Gaza Strip are claimed as the State of Palestine by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), parent organization of the PA. Over half of the U.N.'s member countries have recognized the state's independence, but the U.N. itself has not. Furthermore, the territories remain under military occupation by Israel, which controls much of the West Bank as well as all air space and territorial waters in the region.

Peruvian and Ecuadorian waters, with the newly agreed
upon boundary marked in yellow. My own work, based
on data sources listed on map (terms of use).




Ecuador & Peru Define Sea Border
The neighboring South American countries of Ecuador and Peru have formally agreed on a boundary between their respective territorial waters in the Pacific Ocean. Although the location of the border was never actively in dispute, its acceptance had been called into question by Peru's ongoing territorial dispute with Chile, in which Peru claims a 1952 agreement between the three countries did not technically establish the location of their maritime borders. The new agreement is widely seen as a move by Peru to gain Ecuador's support as the case of the Peru-Chile conflict heads to the International Court of Justice. The agreed upon boundary is located along the parallel of 3° 23' 33.96" S, originating at the point where the countries' land border reaches the ocean.

Libya as of June 1, 2011. Cities controlled by Gaddafi
government in green, rebel-held cities in black, and
areas of ongoing fighting in blue. Public domain map
from Wikipedia (source).
Libyan Rebels Gain Further Recognition
Libya's rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) over the last month gained diplomatic recognition from five more national governments, bringing to 11 the list of countries recognizing its legitimacy. The NTC forms the political leadership of the rebel forces fighting for control of the North African country against dictator Muammar Gaddafi, in a civil war provoked by Gaddafi's violent crackdown on popular protests last February. Although Libya's independence is already recognized by the U.N. and all of it's members, countries have begun to make the special diplomatic gesture of switching their recognition from Gaddafi's government to the NTC. Recent additions to the list are Jordan, Russia, and Malta; two other countries, Senegal and Turkey, have acknowledged the NTC's status as a legitimate opposition group, while still maintaining ties with Gaddafi. Six other countries, starting with France in early March, had all previously recognized the NTC as Libya's sole representative, some of them expelling Gaddafi's diplomats and sending ambassadors to the rebel command center in Benghazi. As Gaddafi's forces continue to face NATO bombing attacks, the war has ground to a near-stalemate, with Gaddafi controlling the capital city of Tripoli and several smaller western cities, while the rebels control the eastern half of the country and some areas of the west.