Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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

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

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

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

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Friday, April 24, 2020

Update: Belize vs. Guatemala Dispute

A PolGeoNow News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Libyan Civil War Map & Timeline: GNA Takes Sabratha - April 2020 (Subscription)

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There are newer versions of this map available. To see them, view all Libya updates.

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 2020). Shows detailed territorial control in the Libyan Civil War as of April 22, 2020, including all major parties (Government of National Accord (GNA); Tobruk House of Representatives, General Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), and allies; Tuareg and Toubou (Tebu, Tubu) militias in the south; the so-called Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL); and other groups such as the National Salvation Government (NSG)). Includes terrain, major roads, and recent locations of interest including Sabratha, Aziziyah, Al-Watiyah Airbase, Waw an Namus, and more. Colorblind accessible. As the fight for Tripoli rages on, Libya's UN-recognized government has captured the city of Sabratha, securing control of the whole coastline west of the capital for the first time in a year.

See all this and more on the latest update to PolGeoNow's concise, professional Libyan Civil War control map, which comes with a timeline of changes since our previous Libya control map report of January 26, 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 the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), the rival Tobruk parliament and 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.
  • Locations of recent fighting and changes of control, including Sabratha, Aziziyah, Al-Watiyah Airbase, Waw an Namus, and more.
  • Detailed timeline of important events and changes to territorial control since January 26, 2020, with links to sources.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Schengen Border Controls in the Time of Coronavirus (April 14, 2020)

This map and article have been updated to April 14, 2020. You can also view the previous edition of the map, from March 27, with its accompanying timeline.

Since 2016, PolGeoNow has mapped reinstated border controls within Europe's Schengen free travel area, with the companion piece to this article covering changes from mid-2017 up to last month. Now, border controls between European countries have drastically expanded amid the global coronavirus pandemic. 

Read on for a country-by-country list of border controls and travel bans, plus a timeline of what went into effect when.

Schengen borders map showing temporary reintroduction of border controls in the Schengen Area (the European Union's border-free travel zone) as of April 14, 2020, during the widespread closure of internal Schengen borders due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Also includes, in a different color, controls announced by governments where the EU has not been notified.
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA
Article by Evan Centanni

Coronavirus-related Border Checks in the Schengen Area

As many travelers know, much of Europe is linked together as part of the "Schengen Area", a collection of countries that don't make travelers show any ID to cross the borders between them, and don't regulate what people bring across with them either (although this system is overseen by the European Union, the Schengen Area and the EU aren't the same thing). But under special circumstances, member countries can choose to temporarily resume border checks (also known as "border control").

Monday, April 6, 2020

Map: North Macedonia Joins NATO

Map of NATO allies in 2020, with all members including the newest country to join, North Macedonia (colorblind accessible).


Graphic modified by Evan Centanni from this map by Wikimedia user Addicted04 (CC BY-SA).

New NATO Ally: North Macedonia

Southeastern Europe's Republic of North Macedonia has been admitted as a full member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Its membership officially went into effect on Friday, March 27, and a welcoming ceremony was held at the organization's headquarters the next Monday. North Macedonia is the 30th country to join NATO.

Membership had been promised to the country in exchange for striking a compromise in its dispute with NATO member Greece, who argued that the neighboring country was falsely claiming ownership of Greek history. Part of the deal, finalized in February 2019, was changing the country's name from "Republic of Macedonia" to "Republic of North Macedonia" - softening the implication that it's the heir to the ancient kingdom of Macedonia, which was mostly located in what's now Greece.