List of active rebel groups

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This is a list of active rebel groups around the world whose domains may be subnational, transnational or international. A "rebel group" is defined here as a political group seeking change through armed conflict in opposition to an established government or governments.

Groups which control territory[edit]

The following rebel groups control a certain amount of land or territory. Such control might be temporary, contested or fluctuating within a state of war.

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

Rebel Group Country Conflict Territory Controlled Notes
ShababFlag.svg Al-Shabaab  Somalia War in Somalia (2009–present) Parts of southern Somalia[1] (see Somalia control map)
 Ukraine War in Donbass Parts of Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts in country's east.[2] Recognized as sovereign states by South Ossetia. (See international recognition)
Houthis Logo.png Houthis  Yemen Shia insurgency in Yemen Sa'adah governorate and surrounding areas of northwestern Yemen (See Houthis article)
Kachin Independence Army flag.svg Kachin Independence Army  Burma Kachin conflict Northern Myanmar; parts of Kachin State.[3] Military wing of Kachin Independence Organisation
United Wa State Army flag.png United Wa State Army  Burma Internal conflict in Burma Northeastern Myanmar; Wa Self-Administered Division.[4] Military wing of the United Wa State Party
 Syrian Kurdistan  Syria Syrian Civil War Parts of northern and northeastern Syria (See Syrian Kurdistan, Syrian Kurdistan campaign (2012–present)). Ambiguous relationship with Syrian government
Syrian opposition  Syria Syrian Civil War See Cities and towns during the Syrian Civil War. Various groups not necessarily allied, but difficult to say which group controls which areas.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant  Iraq
Iraqi insurgency (2011-present), Syrian Civil War Large parts of northwestern Iraq and eastern Syria.[5]
Zapatista Army of National Liberation  Mexico Chiapas conflict The Councils of Good Government; parts of Chiapas.[6] Established various de facto autonomous anarchist regions.
Boko Haram  Nigeria Islamist insurgency in Nigeria Towns in northeast Nigeria[7]
Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement-in-Opposition  South Sudan South Sudanese Civil War Territories west of Bentiu, Unity.[8]
Citations required
Iraqi Turkmen Front  Iraq Iraqi insurgency (2011-present) Amirli[citation needed]
Forces Nouvelles de Côte d'Ivoire  Ivory Coast Ivorian Civil War Northern Ivory Coast.[citation needed]
Sudan Revolutionary Front  Sudan Sudan–SRF conflict Parts of South Kordofan state, Blue Nile state, and possibly Darfur.[citation needed]

Other groups[edit]

Other rebel groups are listed by the states within which they operate. Because the above list of rebel groups controlling territory may be incomplete, this list may still contain some groups which do control territory.







Central African Republic[edit]

Central African Republic Séléka

Lord's Resistance Army



Further information: Xinjiang conflict
Group Strength
East Turkestan Islamic Movement 1,000


Democratic Republic of the Congo[edit]


Group Strength
Muslim Brotherhood
Anti-Coup Alliance
al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya
Ansar Bait al-Maqdis 1,000[19]









Group Strength
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant 30,000[31]
Logo of the Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation.png Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation 100,000
Logo of the Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order.png Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order 5,000
IAILogo.png Islamic Army of Iraq 10,000
Free Iraqi Army
Shiism arabic blue.svg Special Groups 7,000
Badr Brigades
Shiism arabic blue.svg Soldiers of Heaven
Shiism arabic blue.svg Mukhtar Army
General Military Council for Iraqi Revolutionaries


See United Kingdom





Further information: Libyan Civil War of 2014
Group Strength
Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries 6,000
Libya New General National Congress
Libya Zintan Brigade
Brigade 93 300
Toubou Front for the Salvation of Libya


Further information: Northern Mali conflict
Group Strength
Azawad National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad 10,000[32]
Ansar Dine 2,000
Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa
al-Qaeda 800
Boko Haram
Ansar al-Sharia (Mali)






Group Strength
Boko Haram
Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta 15,000
Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force
Niger Delta Liberation Front 2,500
Niger Delta Vigilante 4,000




Group Strength
Paraguayan People's Army


Further information: Internal conflict in Peru
Group Strength
Shining Path 4,200


Group Strength
Communist Party of the Philippines

Revolutionary Workers' Party

Revolutionary Workers Party – Mindanao

Moro National Liberation Front
Moro Islamic Liberation Front[47]
Sultanate of Sulu
Abu Sayyaf[48] 300
Rajah Sulaiman movement[49][50]
Jemaah Islamiyah
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters


Group Strength
Caucasus Emirate



Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance

South Sudan[edit]

Group Strength
Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement-in-Opposition
South Sudan Liberation Movement
Nuer White Army
South Sudan South Sudan Democratic Movement
Lord's Resistance Army 200[51]


Further information: War in Darfur and Sudan–SRF conflict
Group Strength
Sudan Revolutionary Front 60,000
Sudan Liberation and Justice Movement


Main coalitions

Group Strength
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant 50,000[52]
Islamic Front 50,000[53]
People's Protection Units Flag.svg People's Protection Units 47,000
Syria Free Syrian Army 40,000
al-Qaeda 15,000
Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union 15,000
Authenticity and Development Front 13,000
Army of Mujahedeen 8,000
Jabhat al-Akrad 7,000
Muhajirin wa-Ansar Alliance 6,000
Muslim Brotherhood of Syria 6,000
Supporters of the Religion Front 3,000
Syrian Revolutionary Command Council
Euphrates Volcano
Mujahideen Shura Council
Ahl al-Sham
Jaysh al-Sham
Kurdistan Workers' Party
Alwiya al-Furqan
Ghuraba al-Sham of Turkey
Jund al-Sham
Abdullah Azzam Brigade
Fatah al-Islam
Ansar al-Islam
Iraq Free Iraqi Army
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan
East Turkestan Islamic Movement
Ahrar al-Jazeera
Syriac Military Council
Kurdistan Democratic Party
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
Syria Group of the One and Only 300[54]


Further information: South Thailand insurgency
Group Strength
Pattani United Liberation Organization
National Revolution Front
National Front for the Liberation of Pattani
Jemaah Islamiyah




Further information: War in Donbass
Group Strength
Federal State of Novorossiya Federal State of Novorossiya 10,000–20,000[56][57][58]
Donbass People's Militia

United Kingdom[edit]



Group Strength
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
Houthis 100,000
People's Democratic Republic of Yemen South Yemen Movement

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Evan Centanni (May 31, 2013). "War in Somalia: Map of Al Shabaab Control (June 2013)". Political Geography Now. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ Geoffrey Smith (May 23, 2014). "Putin coy over accepting Ukraine vote result". Fortune. Retrieved August 18, 2014. "The separatists who have taken de facto control of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have already proclaimed their independence and said they won’t allow the vote to take place." 
  3. ^ "Burma attack breaks Kachin truce near China border". BBC. January 20, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2014. "The rebels are seeking greater autonomy within Burma for ethnic Kachins who have had de facto control over a part of northern Burma for more than 50 years." 
  4. ^ Luke Gerdes (February 8, 2009). "Constructing Terror: How Issues of Construct Validity Undermine the Utility of Terror Databases and Statistical Analyses of Terrorism". All Academic Research. Retrieved August 18, 2014. "The best such example comes from the United Wa State Army (UWSA), an armed ethnic organization that has established de facto control over a portion of Northeastern Burma." 
  5. ^ Ishaan Tharoor (July 16, 2014). "This Canadian jihadist died in Syria, but his video may recruit more foreign fighters". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 18, 2014. "The Islamic State has de facto control of a whole swathe of territory stretching from eastern Syria to the environs of Baghdad and last month declared a caliphate..." 
  6. ^ Duncan Tucker (January 1, 2014). "Are Mexico's Zapatista rebels still relevant?". Al Jazeera. Retrieved August 18, 2014. "Today the rebellion remains a work in progress. Having established complete political and economic autonomy, the Zapatistas govern and police their own communities across five regions of Chiapas." 
  7. ^ Aminu Abubakar (August 24, 2014). "Nigerian town seized by Boko Haram 'part of Islamic caliphate': leader". Yahoo!. Retrieved August 30, 2014. "Boko Haram's leader said a northeast town seized by the insurgents earlier this month has been placed under an Islamic caliphate..." 
  8. ^ "South Sudan rebels accuse monitors of spying". Sudan Tribune. August 25, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  9. ^ Wright 2006, pp. 107–108, 185, 270–271.
  10. ^ Afghanistan: Skeptics Urge Caution Over Purported Hekmatyar Cease-Fire July 19, 2007
  11. ^ "Le : Les zones d'influence talibanes en Afghanistan". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Watson, Rob. "Algeria blasts fuel violence fears", BBC News, 04-11-2007. Retrieved 04-22-2007.Jean-Pierre Filiu, "Local and global jihad: Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghrib", The Middle East Journal,Vol.63, spring 2009.
  13. ^ Kachin Independence Army.
  14. ^ restart Nov. 8, 2010.
  15. ^ "from January 1949 to day.". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  16. ^ from February 24, 2011 .
  17. ^ Council Decision of 21 December 2005. Official Journal of the European Union. Accessed 2008-07-06
  18. ^ The Government of Colombia states: "All the violent groups in Colombia are terrorists": Presidencia de la Republica de Colombia
  19. ^ Kingsley, Patrick. "Egypt faces new threat in al-Qaeda linked group Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  20. ^ Troops die in India Maoist attack, BBC News Online, April 13, 2009
  21. ^ Indictment of John Walker Lindh American Rhetoric February, 2002
  22. ^ [1][2]
  23. ^ "International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) - Punjab Terrorist Outfit Profile". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  24. ^ "Jaish-e-Mohammad: A profile". BBC News. 2002-02-06. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  25. ^ U.S. Court Convicts Khalid Awan for Supporting Khalistan Commando Force
  26. ^
  27. ^ Kurth Cronin, Audrey; Huda Aden; Adam Frost; Benjamin Jones (February 6, 2004). "Foreign Terrorist Organizations" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  28. ^ "Students Islamist Movement of India (SIMI)". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  29. ^ "United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  30. ^ Elena Pavlova. "From Counter-Society to Counter-State: Jemaah Islamiyah According to Pupji, p. 11." (PDF). The Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies. 
  31. ^ "Islamic State 'has 50,000 fighters in Syria'". al-Jazeera. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  32. ^ "mages and exclusive testimony of northern Mali: a colonel MNLA reveals its military arsenal". France 24. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  33. ^ Tobar, Hector (2007-09-20). "A small guerrilla band is waging war in Mexico". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-05-08. [dead link]
  34. ^ O'Neil, Patrick H.; Fields, Karl; Share, Don (2006), Cases in Comparative Politics (2nd ed.), New York: Norton, ISBN 0-393-92943-4 , pages 376-378
  35. ^ Aoun Sahi and Mark Magnier (October 21, 2013). "Passenger train bombed in Pakistan, at least seven dead". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  36. ^ Bajoria, Jayshree (2008-02-06). "Pakistan’s New Generation of Terrorists". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  37. ^ Rehmat, Kamran (2009-01-27). "Swat: Pakistan's lost paradise". Islamabad: Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  38. ^ "Pakistan's extremists: The slide downhill". The Economist. 2009-04-08. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  39. ^ Jayshree Bajoria Pakistan’s New Generation of Terrorists Council on Foreign Relations, February 6, 2008
  40. ^ Alisher Sidikov (July 2, 2003). "Pakistan Blames IMU Militants For Afghan Border Unrest". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  41. ^ South Asia Terrorism Portal.
  42. ^ |url=
  43. ^ |url=
  44. ^ |url=
  45. ^ |url=
  46. ^ Powell, Colin (August 9, 2002). "Designation of a Foreign Terrorist Organization". U.S. State Department. Archived from the original on 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  47. ^ "BBC News Online Article:The Philippines' MILF rebels, Last accessed 23 October 2006". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  48. ^ "Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)". MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base. Retrieved September 20, 2006. 
  49. ^ Philippines arrests key militants -
  50. ^ Ticking Time Bombs -
  51. ^ "Uganda to head new military force to hunt for Kony". Reuters. 18 March 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  52. ^ "Islamic State 'has 50,000 fighters in Syria'". al-Jazeera. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  53. ^ "Factbox: Syria's rebel groups". Reuters. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  54. ^ Paraszczuk, Joanna. "Guest post: Muhajireen Battalion - Jamaat Ahadun Ahad". Chechens in Syria. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  55. ^ James C. McKinley Jr. (April 1, 1996). "Uganda's Christian Rebels Revive War in North". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  56. ^ "Ukraine army still far from victory over rebels in east". 8 July 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  57. ^ "Ukraine's next battle is Donetsk, but no bombs, please". 12 July 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  58. ^ "The army of the Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics has 20,000 fighters - Gubarev". ITAR-TASS. Retrieved 10 July 2014.