Lyoan conflict

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Lyoan conflict

Clockwise from top-left:
LNDF troops on patrol in Mitende, NSDU paramilitaries, LNDF troops on patrol, PLFL militants in their camp
DateFirst Phase: 10 September 2003 – 12 March 2020 (16 years, 6 months and 2 days)
Second Phase: 13 March 2020 – 4 July 2020 (3 months and 3 weeks)
Third Phase: 5 July 2020 – present (10 months and 2 days)


  • Several rebel factions demobilize
  • Rebel factions unify in attempt to topple government by 2020
  • New conflict arises since Summer 2020
First phase (2003–2020)
Supported by:
First phase (2003–2020)
Supported by:
SLF (2019–2020)
Mara Salvatrucha
First phase (2003–2020)
Islamic Front
Creeperopolis GPRCE (2020)
Lyoa Tulossa loyalists
Kata Altaia
Second phase (2020)
Second phase (2020)
Lyoan Revolutionary Command Council.png LRCC
Creeperopolis GPRCE
Mara Salvatrucha
Karimun Federation Flag.png Karimun Federation
Second phase (2020)
Third phase (2020–present)
Mai-Mai Kilalo
Supported by:
Third phase (2020–present)
Black Eagles
Mai-Mai Mukunda
Mai-Mai Nkutu
Mara Salvatrucha
Third phase (2020–present)
De Prestatie

The Lyoan conflict, also sometimes referred to as the Lyoan armed conflict, is a multi-phase, low-intensity, asymmetric war between the government of Lyoa and various militia groups and occasionally foreign powers. The conflict began at the conclusion of the Lyoan Civil War, where dissidents who refused to demobilize established armed groups to continually resist the Lyoan government. Throughout its three phases, an estimated 100,000 people have died with an additional 2 million displaced.

The conflict began almost immediately after the end of the Lyoan Civil War, with the first phase lasting until mid-2020. The second phase began when rebel forces largely united in an attempt to oust the Lyoan government, something commonly referred to as the Second Lyoan Civil War. The third phase began at the conclusion of this conflict, when foreign armed groups and other elements that refused to participate in the peace accords continued their insurgency in Central Lyoa.

The war is considered to be fought on two fronts. The first being traditional guerrilla fighting with emphasis on controlling territory and resisting state security forces. The second front is the urban guerrilla front. Smaller groups conduct bombings, assassinations, and other crimes to help further their cause, typically in major cities as opposed to in the bush.


The origin of the armed conflict in Lyoa can be traced back to the peace process that ended the Lyoan Civil War. Several mid-level commanders in the Nationalist Front and the Democratic Army of Lyoa refused to enter into peace talks and began an insurgency. Additionally, loyalists to former president Laurent Tulossa continued resistance against the new government of the Revolutionary United Front. Over the years, a number of rebel factions were formed, mainly basing themselves in the north and the east of the country. Other areas became flashpoints of the conflict later on, notably Altaia.

Rebel factions unified in mid-2020 to more effectively resist the government, beginning the 2020 phase of the conflict. These rebellions gained foreign backing and even came close to capturing the capital of the country. This phase was brief, ending within three months due to an internationally brokered peace deal between the government, rebels, and foreign belligerents.

The current phase began after the destruction of the Creeperian Government-in-Exile. After the GPRCE collapsed, many of its forces split off into different groups. The leftists within the government went to central Lyoa, where they began several local insurgencies against the government. In reaction, several right-wing paramilitaries emerged. As the conflict continued, a number of other militias formed to exploit the war for their own gain.


First phase

Second phase

Third phase

This phase officially began with the hijacking of Lyoan National Airlines Flight 283 by elements of the National Freedom Front. Following this incident, a number of left-wing rebels declared their existence.

Human rights abuses

Attacks against civilians

Many armed groups involved in the conflict have used terrorist tactics, including the deliberate targeting of noncombatants. Groups such as the National Freedom Front and Black Eagles have, through bombings and shootings, deliberately targeted noncombatants. At least 20 civilians were reported to be killed by urban guerrilla groups in Summer 2020. Other armed groups have allegedly targeted civilians as well. State security forces have also been accused of killings of noncombatants.

Child recruitment by armed groups

The use of child fighters by various armed groups has been alleged since the beginning of the conflict. During the first and second phases of the conflict, child soldiers were widespread throughout all belligerents in the conflict. The University of Tigera's Conflict Analysis Department has reported the presence of children in at least three active armed groups. Around 35 cases of child recruitment were reported in Summer of 2020. Despite these accusations, all groups involved in the conflict deny that they recruit children.

Sexual violence

Sexual violence has been reported since the start of the conflict. Most accusers point towards fighters of various armed groups; however, Lyoan government forces have also been accused of participating in sexual violence. The Lyoa National Army denies all accusations of sexual violence by its forces. Armed groups accused have so far ignored allegations of rape and sexual assault. Rape has often been used as a weapon of war, terrorizing the local population in compliance with the armed groups. Antonio José Sáenz Heredia University's Conflict Analysis Department claimed to have recorded 20 instances of rape by left-wing armed groups, particular the Popular Liberation Movement in Mitende. The University has claimed that they have not yet found any instances of sexual violence committed by state security forces.

See also