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The Global Press Style Guide

The Global Press Style Guide is a living document that establishes rules for referring to the people and places around the world where Global Press Journal reporters work. Each entry is crafted with the assistance of Global Press Journal reporters and editors, who live and work in the communities they cover.

armed groups

This is a deviation from AP Style.


Use the term armed group, or use the specific name of the group with a description of the mandate of the group, so that readers understand the context in which the group has chosen to take up arms. When referring to a single person, use the word member and define their relationship to the group. Do not use “soldier” to describe a member of an armed group.

Do not use rebel, radical, guerilla, militant or terror group to describe organizations that use weapons to defend their expressed interests.


Describing armed groups as rebel, guerilla, militant or terrorist groups carries bias and may be inaccurate.

Mai Mai


Use this general term, capitalized and not hyphenated, to refer to nongovernmental, armed groups operating in Democratic Republic of Congo. When referring to a specific Mai Mai group, use that group’s individual name, which generally indicates its leader. Add context for reader clarity. Do not use the word rebel to describe these groups.


This umbrella term is a general reference to armed groups, but each group has its own identity and should be specified. These groups operate in a complex geopolitical environment. Using general language when referring to Mai Mai groups is imprecise and can create chaos and confusion.

rebel/rebel group/rebellion