Major update: Six new countries added to

Image by Tony Webster [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons. is the largest public database of security force units and personnel ever created. Today, it gets even bigger and more useful to human rights researchers, litigators and investigative journalists.


The coverage and depth of data on has increased three-fold since launch

We are happy to announce a major data update to This extensive update adds data and background pages about security forces in six new countries. Since launching in June 2017, the coverage on WhoWasInCommand has tripled, and now includes detailed profiles of nearly 8,000 security force units and over 1,200 commanders.

Today’s major update to WhoWasInCommand adds:

  • Bangladesh (new data on police force units)
  • Myanmar (new data on army units)
  • Philippines (new data on police force units)
  • Rwanda (new data on police force units)
  • Saudi Arabia (new data on the air forces, land forces and national guard)
  • Uganda (new data on police force units)

In addition, we have deepened our coverage of the below:

  • Mexico (expanded data on army units and personnel, allegations of abuse)
  • Nigeria (expanded data on police and army units and personnel, allegations of abuse)

Our coverage of security forces in Egypt remains unchanged by this update.

As before, every piece of data on WhoWasInCommand is sourced from public documents. You can see all the sources used to evidence every data point by hovering your mouse over it (or tapping, if on a tablet or mobile) and clicking the citation note (a little colored circle).

As if all this new data wasn’t enough, here’s three more improvements we’re happy to announce:

  • Refreshed country backgrounders: In addition to giving an outline of the country’s security forces, the backgrounders also provide a overview of what you will find on along with our future research plans.
  • Extended Research Handbook: We’ve updated and expanded our handbook to contain more details on our research methodology and to cover additional data fields which will be implemented in future updates.
  • Super-fast search on WhoWasInCommand: Thanks to our technical partners at DataMade, search results, page and command chart loading times on have been reduced dramatically, which we hope improves your experience of this product.

Over the coming weeks we will go into more detail about what you can find in this new data. For now, please go explore our new extensive data and, as always, let us know what you think.

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