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List of active rebel groups

This is a list of active rebel factions around the world whose domains may be subnational, transnational or international. A "rebel group" is defined here as a political group that uses armed conflict in opposition to established government or governments for reasons such as to seek political change or to establish or maintain or to gain independence.

Groups that control territory

The following rebel groups control a certain amount of land or territory. Such control may be contested and might be temporary or fluctuating especially within situations of conflict.

It does not include the governments of stable breakaway states or other states with limited recognition.

Rebel group Country Conflict Control
Territory controlled Notes Headquarters
Al-Qaeda  Somalia
Somali Civil War
Yemeni Civil War
2006 Somalia Parts of southern and eastern Somalia[1]
Yemen Parts of Hadhramaut Governorate and Abyan Governorate.[2]
 Donetsk People's Republic  Ukraine War in Donbass 2014 Parts of the Donetsk region in Eastern Ukraine.[4] Declared independence on 7 April 2014 Donetsk
Yemen Supreme Political Council - (Houthi movement)  Yemen Yemeni Civil War 2004 Houthi movement Houthi controlled areas in Yemen. Consisting of most of former North Yemen, including the capital Sana'a, and some minor parts of South Yemen. The Houthi movement controls the capital of Yemen,[5] but is not recognized by the international community. Sa'dah
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant The Islamic State

War in Afghanistan
Boko Haram insurgency
2013 Afghanistan Limited territorial control in Afghanistan near Pakistan border
Nigeria Dozens of villages in the Lake Chad area.[6]
Designated a terrorist organization by the United Nations[7]
Kachin Independence Army flag.svg Kachin Independence Army  Myanmar Kachin conflict 2011 Parts of Kachin State in northern Myanmar.[8] Military wing of Kachin Independence Organisation Laiza
 Luhansk People's Republic  Ukraine War in Donbass 2014 Parts of the Luhansk region in Eastern Ukraine.[4] Declared independence on 12 May 2014 Luhansk
Mai-Mai  Democratic Republic of the Congo Kivu conflict 2015 Parts of north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo[9]
MNLA flag.svg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad  Mali Northern Mali conflict 2012 Parts of northern Mali[10] Kidal[11]
Democratic Federation of Northern Syria  Syria Syrian Civil War 2011 Territories in the north and east of Syria, mostly north of the Euphrates River. Qamishli
SPLM-IO  South Sudan South Sudanese Civil War 2013 Territories west of Bentiu, Unity.[12] Pagak[13]
Southern Movement  Yemen Yemeni Civil War 2017 Yemen Most of the territory in South Yemen[14][15][16] Aden
Sudan Revolutionary Front  Sudan Sudan–SRF conflict 2011 Parts of South Kordofan state and Blue Nile state.[17]
Syrian opposition  Syria Syrian Civil War 2011 Syria See Cities and towns during the Syrian Civil War. Various groups not necessarily allied, but difficult to say which group controls which areas. Jarablus
Naxalites  India Naxalite–Maoist insurgency 1967 Span parts of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal states.[18][19][20] Aims to destroy the Indian union and state machinery and establish several independent socialist states.[21] Red corridor
Flag of Taliban.svg Taliban  Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan 1996 Afghanistan 40% of Afghanistan[22][23]
Taliban controlled territory is also shared with Uzbek Islamists. Quetta[25]
United Wa State Army flag.png United Wa State Army  Myanmar Internal conflict in Myanmar 1989 Northeastern Myanmar; Wa Self-Administered Division.[26] Military wing of the United Wa State Party Pangkham[27]
Flag of Dar El Kuti Republic.svg Republic of Logone  Central African Republic Central African Republic Civil War 2015 Northern CAR Kaga-Bandoro [28]
 Republic of West Papua  Indonesia Papua conflict 2017 Parts of Western New Guinea.[29] Declared independence on 1 July 1971[30]
Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, Flag.svg Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities  Mexico Chiapas conflict 1994 Parts of northern Chiapas.[31] Established various de facto autonomous socialist regions. Oventik[32]

Rebel groups by state

Rebel groups are listed by the states within which they operate.


Rebel group Country Conflict Size Establish year Ideology/ideologies Notes Ref(s)
Flag of ADF.png Allied Democratic Forces (ADF)  Democratic Republic of Congo
Allied Democratic Forces insurgency
Kivu conflict
1,000–2,000 1996 Islamist [33]
Al-Qaeda  Algeria
 Burkina Faso
War in Afghanistan
Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen
Yemeni Civil War
Insurgency in the Maghreb
Northern Mali conflict
Insurgency in Balochistan
War in North-West Pakistan
Somali Civil War
Syrian Civil War
Insurgency in Egypt
Insurgency in the North Caucasus
31,400+–57,600+~ 1988 Wahhabism
Salafist jihadism
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)  Algeria
 Burkina Faso
 Saudi Arabia
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
War in Afghanistan
Yemeni Civil War
Insurgency in the Maghreb
Northern Mali conflict
War in North-West Pakistan
Somali Civil War
Syrian Civil War
Insurgency in Egypt
Insurgency in the North Caucasus
Turkey–ISIL conflict
Sinai insurgency
Moro insurgency in the Philippines
Iraqi insurgency (2017–present)
Second Libyan Civil War
Boko Haram insurgency
Insurgency in the North Caucasus
Gaza–Israel conflict
Unknown 1999 Salafism
Salafi jihadism


Flag of Taliban.svg Haqqani Network




Burkina Faso


Central African Republic

Central African Republic Séléka

Lord's Resistance Army


Coordinadora Arauco-Malleco


East Turkestan Islamic Movement


Democratic Republic of the Congo










Group Strength
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant 80,000–100,000[53]
Logo of the Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation.png Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation 100,000
Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order 5,000
Islamic Army of Iraq (emblem).png Islamic Army of Iraq 10,000
General Military Council for Iraqi Revolutionaries






Group Strength
Azawad National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad 10,000[54]
Ansar Dine 2,000
Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa
al-Qaeda 800
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Ansar al-Sharia (Mali)



Myanmar (Burma)

Main source: Myanmar Peace Monitor.


Group Strength
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant 15,000
Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta 15,000
Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force
Niger Delta Liberation Front 2,500
Niger Delta Avengers[62] 1,800
Biafra Avengers[63] 200
Red Egbesu Water Lions[64] 500
Asawana Deadly Force of Niger Delta (ADFND)[65] 350
Adaka Biafra Marine Commandos[66] 100
Utorogun Liberation Movement (ULM)[67] 57
Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force[68] 150
Fulani herdsmen[69] 24000
Joint Revolutionary Council of the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF)[70] 2000
Red Scorpion 150[71]
Ultimate Warriors of Niger Delta[72] 85
Niger Delta Red Squad[73] 400
Niger Delta Vigilante 4,000





Shining Path


New People's Army[81]

Republic of the Congo



South Sudan



Main coalitions

Group Strength
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant 50,000[53]
Islamic Front 50,000[87][needs update]
People's Protection Units Flag.svg People's Protection Units 47,000
al-Qaeda[needs update] 15,000
Authenticity and Development Front 13,000
Jabhat al-Akrad 7,000
Levant Front
Abdullah Azzam Brigade
Syriac Military Council






Group Strength
Donetsk People's Republic Donetsk People's Republic
Luhansk People's Republic Luhansk People's Republic

United Kingdom



  • Al-Qaeda Emirate in Yemen
  • Wilayat Sanaa
  • Wilayat Aden-Abyan
  • Wilayah Lahij
  • Wilayah Green Brigade
  • Wilayah al-Bayda
  • Wilayah Shabwah
  • Wilayah Ataq
  • Wilayah Hadramawt
  • Southern Resistance

See also


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