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

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.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Yemen's Civil War: Map of Control in November 2015 (Subscription)

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Map of territorial control in Yemen as of November 17, 2015, including territory held by the Houthi rebels and former president Saleh's forces, president-in-exile Hadi and his allies in the Saudi-led coalition and Southern Movement, and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Includes recent areas of fighting, such as Taiz, Wadiah, Bayda, Marib, Mukayras, Mocha, Dhubab, and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.
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Timeline by Djordje Djukic, with additional reporting by Evan Centanni; map by Louis Martin-V├ęzian and Evan Centanni

Over the past month and a half, all sides in Yemen's civil war have achieved territorial gains. The international coalition backing President Hadi - now including troops from Sudan, as well as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar - has made gains against the Houthis, even as the Houthis have recaptured other areas. Meanwhile, Al Qaeda has taken advantage of the chaos to continue continued its gradual expansion of power.

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 September.

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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
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.

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).
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
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.