Terra nullius – Wikipedia

International law term meaning territory that has never been the subject of a sovereign state

Terra nullius (, plural terrae nullius) is a Latin expression meaning "nobody's land".[1] It was a principle sometimes used in international law to justify claims that territory may be acquired by a state's occupation of it.[a][3]

Many scholars have noted the similarity between the terra nullius principle and the Roman law term res nullius, meaning nobody's thing. In Roman law, res nullius, or things without owners, such as wild animals (ferae bestiae), lost slaves and abandoned buildings could be taken as property by anyone by seizure. Therefore, some scholars have argued that terra nullius stems from res nullius, but others disagree and claim that the derivation is "by analogy" only.[4][b]

A part of the debate over the history of terra nullius is when the term itself was first used. According to historian of ideas Andrew Fitzmaurice, territorium nullius and terra nullius were two different, albeit related, legal terms. He claims that territorium nullius was first used in a meeting of the Institut de Droit International in 1888 where the legal principles of the Berlin conference were discussed and that terra nullius was introduced twenty years later during legal disputes over the polar regions.[5] Historian M. Connor on the other hand, argues that territorium nullius and terra nullius are the same thing.[6] Both scholars are active in the Australian "history wars" debate.

There is considerable debate among historians about how and when the terra nullius concepts were used. The debate has been especially prevalent in Australia where it was ignited by the history wars caused by the Mabo case in 1992, a landmark decision which decided in favour of native title in Australia and was a pivotal moment in the history of indigenous land rights in Australia. The history wars caused Australian historians to reevaluate the country's history, the dispossession of Aboriginal Australians and whether the land should best be characterised as having been "settled" or "conquered". A part of this debate was over whether terra nullius was ever used by England and other European powers to justify territorial conquest.[c]

Sociologist Robert van Krieken wrote:

On one side of the debate are historians such as Alan Frost and Henry Reynolds who claim that in the 15th and 16th century, European writers adopted the res nullius concept for territorial conquest. Frost writes:

Historians debate whether "first discovery and effective occupation" was applied to territory inhabited by indigenous peoples that European colonial powers sought to acquire or not. According to Frost:

On the other side of the debate are historians which claim that terra nullius is a much younger concept, which did not become formalized before the end of the 19th century. Historian M. Borch writes:

These historians claim instead that territorial conquest was justified from natural law that which has no owner can be taken by the first taker. Michael Connor in his book The Invention of Terra Nullius takes an even more extreme view and argues that no one in the 19th century thought of Australia as being terra nullius. He calls the concept a legal fiction, a straw man developed in the late 20th century:

While several countries have made claims to parts of Antarctica in the first half of the 20th century, the remainder, including most of Marie Byrd Land (the portion east from 150W to 90W), has not been claimed by any sovereign state. Signatories to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 agreed not to make such claims, except the Soviet Union and the United States, who reserved the right to make a claim.

Bir Tawil is an example of a territory often claimed to be terra nullius.[d] Between Egypt and the Sudan is the 2,060km2 (800sqmi) landlocked territory of Bir Tawil, which was created by a discrepancy between borders drawn in 1899 and 1902. One border placed Bir Tawil under the Sudan's control and the Halaib Triangle under Egypt's; the other border did the reverse. Each country asserts the border that would give it the much larger Hala'ib Triangle, to the east, which is adjacent to the Red Sea, with the side effect that Bir Tawil is unclaimed by either country (each claims the other owns it). Tawil has no settled population, but the land is used by Bedouins who roam the area.[d]

Under Serbian control, claimed by Croatia

Serbia and Croatia dispute several small areas on the east bank of the Danube. However, some pockets on the west bank, of which Gornja Siga is the largest, are not claimed by either country. Croatia states the pockets are Serbian, while Serbia makes no claims on the land.[14]

On 13April 2015, Vt Jedlika from the Czech Party of Free Citizens proclaimed the right-libertarian micronation of Liberland on Gornja Siga.[15][16]The Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has rejected these claims, stating that the differing border claims between Serbia and Croatia do not involve terra nullius, and are not subject to occupation by a third party.[17] The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on 24 April 2015 that while Serbia considers "Liberland" to be a frivolous matter, it does not impinge upon the Serbian border, which is delineated by the Danube River.[18]

Several territories have been claimed to be terra nullius. In a minority of those claims, international and domestic courts have ruled on whether the territory is or was terra nullius or not.

A narrow strip of land adjacent to two territorial markers along the Burkina FasoNiger border was claimed by neither country until the International Court of Justice settled a more extensive territorial dispute in 2013. The former unclaimed territory was awarded to Niger.[19]

At the request of Morocco, the International Court of Justice in 1975 addressed whether Western Sahara was terra nullius at the time of Spanish colonization in 1885. The court found in its advisory opinion that Western Sahara was not terra nullius at that time.

A disputed archipelago in the East China Sea, the uninhabited Pinnacle Islands, were claimed by Japan to have become part of its territory as terra nullius in January 1895, following the Japanese victory in the First Sino-Japanese War. However, this interpretation is not accepted by the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (Taiwan), both of whom claim sovereignty over the islands.

The People's Republic of China and the Philippines both claim the Scarborough Shoal or Panatag Shoal or Huangyan Island (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Hungyn Do), nearest to the island of Luzon, located in the South China Sea. The Philippines claims it under the principles of terra nullius and EEZ (exclusive economic zone). China's claim refers to its discovery in the 13th century by Chinese fishermen (the former Nationalist government on the Chinese mainland had also claimed this territory after the founding of the Republic of China in 1911). However, despite China's position of non-participation in an UNCLOS case, in 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) denied the lawfulness of China's "nine-dash line" claim.[20][21][22][23][24]

Despite this, China continues to build artificial islands in the South China Sea, and Scarborough Shoal is a prime location[citation needed] for another one. Chinese ships have been seen in the vicinity of the shoal. Analysis of photos has concluded that the ships lack dredging equipment and therefore represent no imminent threat of reclamation work.[25]

According to Ian Mitchell, Rockall was terra nullius until it was claimed by the United Kingdom in 1955.It was formally annexed in 1972.[26][27][28]

One of the few micronations to control a physical location, the Principality of Sealand has existed de facto since 1967 on an abandoned British anti-aircraft gun tower in the North Sea. At the point when it was taken over, the tower had been abandoned by the Royal Navy and was outside British territorial waters.[29] Paddy Roy Bates, who styled himself Prince, claimed that it was terra nullius. Despite rejecting this claim on the basis that the tower is an artificial structure, the British government has never attempted to evict the Sealanders, and a court in 1968 confirmed that at that point, the tower was outside British jurisdiction.[30]

In 1987, Britain extended its territorial waters from 3 to 12nmi (5.6 to 22.2km; 3.5 to 13.8mi), meaning that Sealand is now within them.[31]

DenmarkNorway, the Dutch Republic, the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Scotland all claimed sovereignty over the archipelago of Svalbard in the seventeenth century, but none permanently occupied it. Expeditions from each of these polities visited Svalbard principally during the summer for whaling, with the first two sending a few wintering parties in the 1620s and 1630s.[5]

During the 19th century, both Norway and Russia made strong claims to the archipelago. In 1909, Italian jurist Camille Piccioni described Spitzbergen, as it was then known, as terra nullius:

The territorial dispute was eventually resolved by the Svalbard Treaty of 9 February 1920 which recognized Norwegian sovereignty over the islands.

Joseph Trutch, the first Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, insisted that First Nations had never owned land, and thus their land claims could safely be ignored. It is for this reason that most of British Columbia remains unceded land.[33]

In Guerin v. The Queen, a Canadian Supreme Court decision of 1984 on aboriginal rights, the Court stated that the government has a fiduciary duty toward the First Nations of Canada and established aboriginal title to be a sui generis right. Since then there has been a more complicated debate and a general narrowing of the definition of "fiduciary duty".[citation needed]

Norway occupied and claimed parts of (then uninhabited) eastern Greenland in 1931, claiming that it constituted terra nullius and calling the territory Erik the Red's Land.[34]The Permanent Court of International Justice ruled against the Norwegian claim. The Norwegians accepted the ruling and withdrew their claim.

A similar concept of "uncultivated land" was employed by John Quincy Adams to identify supposedly unclaimed wilderness.[35]

The Guano Islands Act of 18 August 1856 enabled citizens of the U.S. to take possession of islands containing guano deposits. The islands can be located anywhere, so long as they are not occupied and not within the jurisdiction of other governments. It also empowers the President of the United States to use the military to protect such interests, and establishes the criminal jurisdiction of the United States.

Aboriginal peoples inhabited Australia for over 50,000 years before European settlement, which commenced in 1788, but Indigenous customs, rituals and laws were unwritten. It was formally claimed by the settlers that Australia was terra nullius at the time of settlement. This is also described as a "doctrine of discovery".[36]

In 1971, in the controversial Northern Territory Supreme Court case of Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd, popularly known as the Gove land rights case, Justice Richard Blackburn ruled that Australia had been considered "desert and uncultivated" (a term which included territory in which resided "uncivilised inhabitants in a primitive state of society") before European settlement, and therefore, by the law that applied at the time, open to be claimed by right of occupancy, and that there was no such thing as native title in Australian law. The concept of terra nullius was not considered in this case, however.[37] Court cases in 1977, 1979, and 1982, brought by or on behalf of Aboriginal activists, challenged Australian sovereignty on the grounds that terra nullius had been improperly applied, therefore Aboriginal sovereignty should still be regarded as being intact. The courts rejected these cases, but the Australian High Court left the door open for a reassessment of whether the continent should be considered "settled" or "conquered".[38][39]

In 1982, Eddie Mabo and four other Torres Strait Islander people from Mer (Murray Island) started legal proceedings to establish their traditional land ownership. This led to Mabo v Queensland (No 1). In 1992, after ten years of hearings before the Queensland Supreme Court and the High Court of Australia, the latter court found in Mabo v Queensland (No 2) ("the Mabo case") that the Mer people had owned their land prior to annexation by the colony of Queensland (18721879).[40] The ruling thus had far-reaching significance for the land claims of all Indigenous Australians (both Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal Australians).

The controversy over Australian land ownership erupted into the "history wars". The 1992 Mabo decision overturned the doctrine of terra nullius in Australia.[41]

The sovereignty of Clipperton Island was settled by arbitration between France and Mexico. King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy rendered a decision in 1931 that "'the sovereignty of Clipperton Island belongs to France from the date of November 17, 1858.' The Mexican claim was rejected for lack of proof of prior Spanish discovery and, in any event, no effective occupation by Mexico before 1858, when the island was therefore territorium nullius, and the French occupation then was sufficient and legally continuing."[42]

In 1840, the newly appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand, Captain William Hobson of the Royal Navy, following instructions from the British government, declared the Middle Island of New Zealand (later known as the "South Island") as terra nullius,[citation needed] and therefore fit for occupation by European settlers. Hobson's decision was also influenced by a small party of French settlers heading towards Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula to settle in 1840.[43][need quotation to verify]

Patagonia was according to some considerations regarded a terra nullius in the 19th century. This notion ignored the Spanish Crown's recognition of indigenous Mapuche sovereignty and is considered by scholars Nahuelpn and Antimil to have set the stage for an era of Chilean "republican colonialism".[44]

View the following chart as if it was a "cross-section" of the earth, stretching from underground to outer space.

restrictions on national jurisdiction and sovereignty

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Terra nullius - Wikipedia

AndersenTawil syndrome – Wikipedia

Rare autosomal dominant genetic disorder

Medical condition

AndersenTawil syndrome, also called Andersen syndrome and long QT syndrome 7, is a rare genetic disorder affecting several parts of the body. The three predominant features of AndersenTawil syndrome include disturbances of the electrical function of the heart characterised by an abnormality seen on an electrocardiogram (a long QT interval) and a tendency to abnormal heart rhythms, physical characteristics including low-set ears and a small lower jaw, and intermittent periods of muscle weakness known as hypokalaemic periodic paralysis.[1]

AndersenTawil syndrome is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. It is caused in most cases by a mutation in the KCNJ2 gene which encodes an ion channel that transports potassium out of cardiac muscle cells. The arrhythmias seen in the condition can be treated with flecainide or beta-blockers, but an implantable defibrillator may sometimes be required. Periodic paralysis can be treated with carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as acetazolamide. The condition is very rare and is estimated to affect one person in every million. The three groups of features seen in this condition were first described in 1971 by Ellen Andersen, and significant contributions to its understanding were made by Rabi Tawil.

AndersenTawil Syndrome classically comprises three groups of features: abnormal electrical function of the heart, hypokalemic periodic paralysis, and characteristic physical features, although some of those affected will not exhibit all aspects of the condition.[2]

AndersenTawil syndrome affects the heart by prolonging the QT interval, a measure of how long it takes the heart to relax after each heart beat. This, as in other forms of long QT syndrome, can lead to abnormal heart rhythms such as ventricular ectopy or ventricular tachycardia causing palpitations.[2] The ventricular tachycardia seen in AndersenTawil syndrome often takes a form known as bidirectional ventricular tachycardia. The arrhythmias seen in association with the condition can cause sudden cardiac death, but the risk of this is lower than in other forms of long QT syndrome.[1]

The physical abnormalities associated with AndersenTawil syndrome typically affect the head, face, limbs and spine. Abnormalities of the head and face include an unusually small lower jaw (micrognathia), low-set ears, widely spaced eyes (hypertelorism), a broad forehead and nasal root, a high arched or cleft palate, and a long narrow head (scaphocephaly).[3] Abnormalities of the limbs and spine include an abnormal curvature of the fingers, particularly the fifth finger (clinodactyly), fused fingers or toes (syndactyly), short stature, and a curved spine (scoliosis).[3]

The third key feature of AndersenTawil syndrome is intermittent muscle weakness. This can last from seconds to minutes, but in some cases may last for days at a time. Weakness often occurs at times when the levels of potassium in the blood are lower than normal (hypokalaemia), and is referred to as hypokalaemic periodic paralysis. This weakness can however occur at times when potassium levels are normal, triggered by other factors including exercise, cold, or even menstruation.[3]

AndersenTawil syndrome is a genetic disorder which in the majority of cases is caused by mutations in the KCNJ2 gene. The condition is often inherited from a parent in an autosomal dominant manner, but may occur due to a new genetic mutation in the affected person.[3]

Two types of AndersenTawil syndrome have been described, distinguished by the genetic abnormality that is detected. Type 1 AndersenTawil, accounting for about 60% of cases, is caused by mutations in the KCNJ2 gene.[4] In type 2 AndersenTawil, accounting for about 40% of cases, a KCNJ2 mutation is not identified. Mutations in a related gene encoding a similar potassium ion channel, KCNJ5, have been identified in some of those with type 2 AndersenTawil, but in many cases a genetic mutation is not found.[1]

The protein made by the KCNJ2 gene forms an ion channel that transports potassium ions into muscle cells. This specific channel (the inward rectifier potassium channel Kir2.1) carries a potassium current known as IK1 which is responsible for setting the resting membrane potential of muscle cells and is therefore critical for maintaining the normal functions of skeletal and cardiac muscle.[3] Pathogenic mutations in the KCNJ2 gene alter the usual structure and function of potassium channels or prevent the channels from being inserted correctly into the cell membrane. Many mutations prevent a molecule called PIP2 from binding to the channels and effectively regulating their activity. These changes disrupt the flow of potassium ions, leading to the periodic paralysis and abnormal heart rhythms characteristic of AndersenTawil syndrome.[4]

AndersenTawil syndrome increases the risk of abnormal heart rhythms by disturbing the electrical signals that are used to coordinate individual heart cells. The genetic mutation disturbs an ion channel responsible for the flow of potassium, reducing the /K1 current. This prolongs of the cardiac action potential the characteristic pattern of voltage changes across the cell membrane that occur with each heart beat, and depolarises the resting membrane potential of cardiac and skeletal muscle cells.[3]

Cardiac and skeletal muscle cells, when relaxed, have fewer positively charged ions on the inner side of their cell membrane than on the outer side, referred to as their membranes being polarised.[5] The main ion current responsible for maintaining this polarity is /K1, and a decrease in this current leads to less polarity at rest, or a depolarised resting membrane potential. When these cells contract, positively charged ions such as sodium and calcium enter the cell through ion channels, depolarising or reversing this polarity. After a contraction has taken place, the cell restores its polarity (or repolarises) by allowing positively charged ions such as potassium to leave the cell, restoring the membrane to its relaxed, polarised state.[5] The genetic mutation found in those with AndersenTawil decreases the flow of potassium, slowing the rate of repolarisation which can be seen in individual cardiac muscle cells as a longer action potential and on the surface ECG as a prolonged QT interval.[3]

The prolonged action potentials can lead to arrhythmias through several potential mechanisms. The frequent ventricular ectopy and bidirectional VT typical of AndersenTawil syndrome are initiated by a triggering beat in the form of an afterdepolarisation. Early afterdepolarisations, occurring before the cell has fully repolarised, arise due to reactivation of calcium and sodium channels that would normally be inactivated until the next heartbeat is due.[6] Under the right conditions, reactivation of these currents can cause further depolarisation of the cell, facilitated by the sodium-calcium exchanger.[6] Early afterdepolarisations may occur as single events, but may occur repeatedly leading to multiple rapid activations of the cell.[6] Delayed afterdepolarisations, occurring after repolarisation has completed, arise from the spontaneous release of calcium from the intracellular calcium store known as the sarcoplasmic reticulum. This calcium release then leaves the cell through the sodium calcium exchanger in exchange for sodium, generating a net inward current and depolarising the cell membrane.[6] If this transient inward current is large enough, a premature action potential is triggered.

The muscle weakness seen in those with AndersenTawil syndrome arises from the depolarisation of the resting membrane potential caused by a decrease in /K1.[3] The depolarised resting membrane potential means that sodium channels which are responsible for initiating action potentials are unable to fully recover from inactivation, leading to a less excitable membrane and less forceful muscle contraction.[3]

The mechanisms underlying the skeletal abnormalities seen in AndersenTawil syndrome have not been fully explained. Possibilities include impaired function of osteoclasts, cells which regulate bone growth, or disruption of the bone morphogenetic protein signalling cascade.[3]

AndersenTawil syndrome is generally diagnosed based on symptoms, the findings on examination, and the results of an electrocardiogram.[3] Clinical diagnostic criteria have been proposed which suggest that a diagnosis can be made if two of the following four criteria are met: (1) periodic paralysis; (2) ventricular arrhythmias (frequent ventricular ectopic beats or ventricular tachycardia), a prolonged QT interval when corrected for rate, and/or a prominent U wave; (3) at least two of the following dysmorphic features: low-set ears, wide-set eyes, a small mandible, fifth-digit clinodactyly, and syndactyly; and (4) a family member with confirmed AndersenTawil syndrome.[3]

Genetic testing can be used to identify the specific mutation in an affected person, which if found can assist with screening family members.[3] Other investigations that may be helpful in making a diagnosis include ambulatory ECG monitoring to assess for arrhythmias, measurement of blood potassium levels at baseline and during periods of weakness, and measurement of thyroid function.[7]

The differential diagnosis for a prolonged QT interval includes other forms of long QT syndrome such as RomanoWard syndrome in which only the electrical activity of the heart is affected without involving any other organs; Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome in which a prolonged QT interval is combined with congenital deafness; and Timothy syndrome in which a prolonged QT interval is combined with abnormalities in the structure of the heart, in addition to autism-spectrum disorder.[8] The frequent ventricular ectopy and bidirectional ventricular tachycardia seen in AndersenTawil syndrome can also occur in catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia.[2]

The intermittent weakness seen in AndersenTawil syndrome also occurs in other forms of periodic paralysis hypokalaemic periodic paralysis, hyperkalaemic periodic paralysis, and paramyotonia congenita.[7]

As a genetic condition, AndersenTawil syndrome cannot be cured. However, many of symptoms of AndersenTawil such as blackouts due to abnormal heart rhythms or periodic paralysis can be successfully treated with medication or implantable devices. The rarity of the condition means that many of these treatments are based on consensus opinion as there are too few patients to conduct adequately powered clinical trials.[3]

Medications should be avoided that further prolong the QT interval such as sotalol and amiodarone as these drugs can promote abnormal heart rhythms.[3] Lists of medications associated with prolongation of the QT interval can be found online.[9] Drugs which reduce blood levels of potassium such as diuretics like furosemide and bendroflumethiazide should also be avoided as these can worsen the tendency to periodic paralysis and arrhythmias.[3] Conversely, potassium-containing supplements to increase blood potassium levels may be helpful.[3] Very strenuous or competitive sport should be discouraged as these may increase the risk of arrhythmias, although gentle exercise should be encouraged.[8]

As in other forms of long QT syndrome which predispose those affected to dangerous heart rhythm disturbances, the risk of arrhythmias can be reduced by taking beta blockers such as propranolol that block the effects of adrenaline on the heart.[3] Other antiarrhythmic drugs such as flecainide and verapamil may also be helpful.[3] Those at highest risk of recurrent arrhythmias such as those who have already suffered a cardiac arrest may benefit from an implantable cardioverter defibrillator a small device implanted under the skin which can detect dangerous arrhythmias and automatically treat them with a small electric shock.[3]

Periodic paralysis may be improved by taking carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as acetazolamide.[3]

AndersenTawil syndrome is very rare, and as of 2013 approximately 200 cases had been described in the medical literature.[3] The condition is estimated to affect one person in every 1,000,000.[3]

Although a description of the condition had probably been made by Klein in 1963,[3] AndersenTawil syndrome is named after Ellen Andersen who described the triad of symptoms in 1971,[10] and Rabi Tawil who made significant contributions to the understanding of the condition in 1994.[11][12]

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AndersenTawil syndrome - Wikipedia

PCHR: Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory IMEMC News – International Middle East Media Center

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR): Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian TerritorySummary for November 18 24, 2021

Israeli forces continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse, and attacks on civilians, turning the West Bank into isolated blocks of land. Israeli settlers continued their attacks, including shooting and wounding Palestinian civilians; meanwhile, Israeli forces continued its razing and demolishing of Palestinian properties, mainly in Hebron and Jerusalem.

The Israeli settlement expansion works continued on Palestinian lands and properties. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip enters its 15th year under closure, exacerbating the humanitarian hardships across the territory.

Israeli Forces shooting and violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Soldiers shot and wounded 5 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, in excessive use of force in the West Bank: 3, including a child, were wounded in two separate incidents of army attacks on protestors in Qalqilia. Two others were wounded, including a journalist, in Ramallah.

In the Gaza Strip, PCHR documented 1 Navy shooting at fishing boats off Khan Younis coast.

Army incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

Soldiers carried out 113 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this weeks incursions, 73 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children and 3 women.

In the Gaza Strip, the military conducted 2 limited incursions into (eastern) central and southern besieged Gaza Strip.


PCHR documented 6 incidents:

Hebron: a house and cemetery razed in Yatta.

Salfit: construction vehicle confiscated in Deir Ballout.

Nablus: a street razed near Asira ash-Shamaliya, northwestern Nablus.


Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Israeli occupation authorities continued its collective punishment measures against the Gaza Strip as the 15-year Israeli closure imposed on the territory deepened the populations humanitarian and living crises, as unemployment has skyrocketed at 45%, i.e. 217,000 able workers are unemployed, 63% of whom are youth.

More than half of the Gaza Strip population suffer in poverty, as the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics data shows that 53% of the Gaza Strip population is poor; meanwhile, more than 62.2% is classified as food insecure, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Additionally, occupation authorities continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the 2000 Second Intifada -still closed to this date- and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest, especially at al-Karama border crossing, alongside the Palestinian-Jordanian border.

Maher Haroun said to PCHRs fieldworker that:

I am a photojournalist and a reporter at Palestine Times Network, and I am studying media at Birzeit University. At approximately 04:45, while I was covering incidents occurred on the main street of Ein Monjed neighborhood, soldiers, during their withdrawal from the neighborhood, directly fired a rubber bullet around my knee, despite wearing the PRESS-marked vest and presenting away from clashes area. When I felt that I was injured, I tried to sit on the ground, because I couldnt walk. It turned out later that I was hit with a rubber bullet below my knee, and I sustained minor wounds. I received treatment on the spot.

In the evening, a protest launched from Abu Ubaidah Bin al-Jarrah Mosque and headed to Abu Shukheidem building. The army heavily fired teargas canisters at houses and shops in the camp. As a result, dozens of residents suffocated due to teargas inhalation.

a. Land razing, Demolitions, and Notices

Rabayah added that he hired a lawyer to follow the case and take the necessary procedures, but due to the outbreak of coronavirus, no decision was taken in this case. He said that he attempted many times to obtain a license or make a settlement to demolish one floor, but the occupation authorities refused. He pointed out that the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem held 2 hearings relevant to the 2 buildings and issued a demolition decision without informing him as he and his family were surprised with the decision. Around a week ago, the Israeli police ordered him and his brother to self-demolish the buildings and gave them until Wednesday, 24 November 2021, to do so.

Rabayah said that he and his brother refused, as they cannot accept the idea of losing what he has earned for 18 years in minutes. He added the moment the Israeli bulldozers moved into the area to demolish the family houses was the hardest time he experienced in his entire life, especially demolished the houses on the furniture and contents as well as levelling a land planted with trees, which separated the 2 buildings.

It is noteworthy that the Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood extends from Sur Baher village with an area of around 3,000 dunums, and now occupation authorities ban its residents from building on about half of its area, under the pretext of its proximity to the wall that separates the neighborhood from several villages in Bethlehem.

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PCHR: Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory IMEMC News - International Middle East Media Center

Unclaimed lands on earth you can still rule over – JBKlutse

If you did not know, you can still be king or queen and have loyal subjects during your lifetime. Check out these lonely and unclaimed lands you can rule over right now.

1. North East Caye: A scarce piece of island comfortably located just 8 miles off the coast of Riversdale on the Placencia Peninsula. This property is located close to Saddle Caye, Cat Caye, and Manatee Caye and it is presently unclaimed, up for sale. Currently undeveloped and filled with sandy beach, it is home to beautiful coral ridges that make it useful for snorkeling.

2. Rockall:

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This little island rock has zero buildings or people on it. The UK claimed and incorporated Rockall in 1955, however, the Republic of Ireland is yet to recognize this claim, insisting the location is Irish. Iceland and the Faroe Islands can claim they own it too because it is in a remote part of the North Atlantic. This rock is just 25m (82 feet) wide and 17m (56 feet) high and it is actually the remnants of a volcano.

3. Bir Tawil:

This could be the most popular unclaimed land in the world. The reason for its unclaimed status is from a dispute between Egypt and Sudan in 1899. Egypt says the political boundary is the correct one, and Sudan said the administrative boundary is the correct one.

4. The Peoples Republic of Podjistan: This land declared independence from Northern Ireland a decade ago. But, totalitarian leader, Simon Stewart revealed that the future of Podjistan might be in doubt, though he is not ready to sell out and head back into Northern Ireland.

5. Machias Seal Island:

This is another rare disputed territory between Canada and America. However, as both nations keep claiming sovereignty, whoever is born there can claim dual citizenship. It is very barren and has zero trees.

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Unclaimed lands on earth you can still rule over - JBKlutse

A Young Nigerian’s Guide to Learning More About the African Continent – BellaNaija

Formany Nigerians, Africa begins and ends in West Africa. When you ask an average Nigerian to mention countries in Africa, it is common for them to mention Ghana, Togo, Cameroon, Benin-Republic, Cte DIvoire, and other neighbouring countries.

A common misconception many Nigerians have about Africa is that it is a continent for only black people and a white person (oyinbo) cannot equally be an African. Theres also the misconception that every black person emerged from Africa. The biggest misconception is that economically, Nigeria is the giant of Africa and all other African countries are not as economically strong or well to do as Nigeria. Its common to hear an average Nigerian say things like small Ghana is fighting with us, ordinary Rwanda too is talking.

That is why BellaNaija is introducing The 54, a series that will explore Africa and the African people.

In this series, we will look into the various African cultures, tribes, people, food, arts and music, economy, politics, regions everything Africa and African.

But for now, lets give you a glimpse of what this series, The 54, is all about and how we intend to take you on this journey with us.

Africa is the second-largest continent in the world with 54 countries in it and a population of 1.216 billion people (as of 2016).

In Africa, there are about3,000 tribes, speaking more than 2,000 different languages. Arabic and Swahili are the most spoken languages in Africa. But with an estimated 35 million people in total, Yoruba isthe largest ethnic group in Africa.

Photo Credit: Banky W and Adesua wedding ceremony

Photo Credit: Toyosi Philips & Etim-Effiong engagement.

Zulu, with an estimated population of 11 million people, is known to be the largest ethnic group in South Africa. The Zulu people became a powerful state in 1818, led by a military leader known as Shaka. Zulubeliefs are formed around the presence of ancestral spirits, known as amadlozi and abaphansi.

Photo Credit: Pinterest/HadithiAfrica

Ovahimba and Ovazimba tribes in Northern Namibia Array, according to the records of the fossil remains in Africa, seems to be the first continent where humans were found. The fossil remains have suggested that humans had inhabited the African continent around 7 million years ago. Thefirst settlements of the Himba people can be traced back to the early 16th century when they crossed the Angolan border and chose Kaokoland (now called Kunene region in Namibia) as their new homeland. The Himba people are known for their red ochre cream.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The Sinai Bedouin are a group of tribes descending from immigrants who arrived from the Arabian Peninsula between the 14th and 18th centuries. In Africa, the SinaiBedouin people can be found in Egypt.

Because they are mostly nomads, they have never relied on traditional doctors and they take their medicine from nature herbs, plants. They mostly make their meals at home or in the desert, grow their own vegetables, eat meat they have reared and cook fish they have caught.

Photo credit: Pinterest

If you are looking for a place where the women decide who they want to get married to and how many husbands they want, then the Wodaabe tribe is right for you. Pretty and very attractive, the Wodaab men have often women-like elegant faces and it is very important for the men to look pretty for their their women. In some cases, a man who is not so pretty has to share his wife with another more beautiful man, so the probability a pretty child is born is higher. The Wodaab tribe is part of the Fulani who were originally Nomads and herdsmen.

Well explore more of the Wodaabe tribe in our series.

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The Hadza people, in Northern Tanzania, are one of the oldest lineages of humankind. The small tribe consists of approximately 1,300 hunter-gatherers: one of the last in Africa.

According to survival international, the Hadzas homeland lies on the edge of the Serengeti plains, in the shadow of Ngorongoro Crater. It is also close to Olduvai Gorge, one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world, where homo habilis one of the earliest members of the genus Homo was discovered to have lived 1.9 million years ago.

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Estimated to be about 900,000, the Maasai people, located in Kenya and Tanzania, are among the foremost African ethnic groups in Africa. According to the tribes own oral history, the Maasai originated north of Lake Turkana (north-west Kenya) in the lower Nile Valley. They began migrating south in the 15th century and arrived in the long trunk of land stretching across central Tanzania and Northern Kenya during the 17th and 18th centuries.

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Tuareg People

The Tuareg are a group of Berber clans of obscure origin in Northern Africa. Legend states that under their first queen, Tin Hinan, they moved into the Sahara around 400AD. During medieval times, the Tuareg dominated lucrative trade routes across the desert. Timbuktu, renowned throughout the Muslim world as an intellectual centre, was founded by a Tuareg family in the 12th century. They inhabit the Sahara in a vast area stretching from far southwestern Libya to southern Algeria, Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso. In the Tuareg tribe, it is the men who cover their hair.

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If you have watched snippets from Beyonces Black Is King and you love the hairdos, it is important for you to be aware of their origin Africa.

The Mangbetu were known for their elongated heads. The process of elongating the skull began at birth. The babys head was tightly wrapped with a cloth until the desired shape had been achieved. Known as lipombo, the culture was a symbol of affluence among the ruling class. This hairstyle worn by the Mangbetu women was, at a time, very fashionable. This practice can also be traced to the Mayan and Egyptians.

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The Bantu people are the speakers of Bantu languages, comprising several hundred indigenous ethnic groups in sub-Saharan Africa, spread over a vast area from Central Africa across the African Great Lakes to Southern Africa. Bantu as a major linguistic group in Africa whose existence is in record up to about 5000 years ago. The linguistic group comprises of about 300-600 different ethnic groups totaling to over 100 million individuals across the African continent. Bantu knots has its origin in Africa. They have been a traditional African hairstyle for over 100 years. Bantu means people and Ubuntu means person.

Photo credit: Face2faceafrica/Instagram-nealfarinah

In ancient Africa, the Mursi women from Ethiopia were known for their horned heads and their huge lip plates. Pre-pubescent Himba girls, in Namibia, also wore two thick braids in front of their faces that looked like ram horns. Surrounded by mountains between the Omo and Mago rivers, the home of the Mursi is one of the most isolated regions of Ethiopia.

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For 25 years, Morocco has celebrated the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music. Set up in 1994 and 2001 respectively, this festival comes within the scholarly, artistic, and spiritual tradition of the city of Fez.

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The Calabar Festival is arguably the biggest festival in Africa. Attracting over 2 million people yearly from over 25 countries, this month-long festival takes place in Akwa-Ibom. Held yearly, the Calabar Festival takes place on the street and people are allowed to display their colourful traditional attires, dances, and masquerades.

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The Lake of Stars Festival is an internationally renowned arts and music festival that takes place on the palm-fringed shore of Lake Malawi every year. Lake Malawi, which is the ninth largest lake in the world and third largest and second deepest lake in Malawi, is located between Malawi, Tanzania, and Mozambique. Lying within the Western Rift Valley,Lake Malawi is also one of the deepest lakes in the world. For over a decade, Lake of Stars has drawn musicians and visitors from around the world to Malawis shores.

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Because of Africas diversity, there are many meals unique to many ethnicities and tribes. Lets explore some yummy African meals.

This meal is an authentic Moroccan soup made of tomato, lentils, and chickpeas. It also includes meat, making it a filling and satisfying dish. There are many variations of this traditional soup and these variations have been passed from generation to generation.

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The Skoudehkaris is a meal that originated in Djibouti, in East Africa. Skoudehkaris is a flavourful rice dish seasoned with cardamom and cooked with lamb, chicken, beef, or fish.

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This South African dish is prepared outdoor. Potjiekos is a traditional dish that is cooked slowly in an iron pan that is placed on hot coal. Translated as small pot food, Potjiekos is never stirred during the cooking process.

The spiral-shaped cuisine, Boerewors, is also a popular meal eaten in South Africa and Namibia. Shaped into a coil, Boerewors contains at least 90% meat, and 10% spices. Boerewors is traditionally grilled on thebraai(South African barbecue), and its usually served with pap andsous(sauce)

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Senegalese Chicken Yassa is a tangy-spicy dish enjoyed in the West African region. Itis a popular Senegalese dish made from caramelized onions, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and chicken cooked in a creamy sauce.

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Can we ever talk about West Africa cuisines without mentioning the almighty jollof rice? Jollof rice, also known as benachin in Wolof, is a one-pot rice dish that is popular in many West African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, The Gambia, Senegal, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Cte dIvoire, Liberia, Togo, and Mali. It is also called reddish one-pot dish and varies in these countries.

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Believed to be the link between the gods and humans, masquerades are an important part of the African culture. See the various masquerades in Africa:

Eyo from the Yoruba tribe, Nigeria. Source: Pinterest

Gouro masked dancer (Ivory Coast). Source: Androphilia

Egungun Yoruba, Nigeria. Source: Pinterest

Ijele Igbo, Nigeria. Source: Pinterest

Believed to be the cradle of humankind, Africa is the only continent with fossil evidence of human beings.

Fun facts to know:

For many Nigerians, they believe that the phrase Giant of Africa comes with economic power and wealth. Well, it isnt so. Although Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, it is not Africas richest country and close to 100 million Nigerians live in abject poverty.

Fun facts to know:

From the trans-Atlantic slave trade to wars, colonisation, military regimes, independence, and so on, Africa is one continent with rich historical events and stories.

Few things you should know

While these are the basic day-to-day information we should know about the African continent, there is so much more to Africa and Africans. Were going to explore all these and more when we kick off our series, The 54. So watch this space.

In the meantime, heres how you can learn more about Africa:

Google is your friend

Google loves everyone, including you. If you are curious about any aspect of Africa, type it into the search bar and youll be sure of getting replies. You can read more than one site to get the correct information.

Read books

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A Young Nigerian's Guide to Learning More About the African Continent - BellaNaija

Bir Tawil – Wikipedia

Unclaimed land in Africa

Unclaimed land in None

Bir Tawil (; Egyptian Arabic: , romanized:Br awl, lit.'tall water well', [bi twil]) is a 2,060km2 (795.4sqmi) area along the border between Egypt and Sudan, which is uninhabited and claimed by neither country. When spoken of in association with the neighbouring Hala'ib Triangle, it is sometimes referred to as the Bir Tawil Triangle, despite the area's quadrilateral shape; the two "triangles" border at a quadripoint.

Its terra nullius status results from a discrepancy between the straight political boundary between Egypt and Sudan established in 1899, and the irregular administrative boundary established in 1902. Egypt asserts the political boundary, and Sudan asserts the administrative boundary, with the result that the Hala'ib Triangle is claimed by both and Bir Tawil by neither. In 2014, author Alastair Bonnett described Bir Tawil as the only place on Earth that was habitable but was not claimed by any recognised government.[1]

On 19 January 1899, an agreement between the UK and Egypt relating to the administration of the Sudan defined "Soudan" as the "territories south of the 22nd parallel of latitude".[2] It contained a provision that would give Egypt control of the Red Sea port of Suakin, but an amendment on 10 July 1899 gave Suakin to Sudan instead.[2]

On 4 November 1902 the UK drew a separate "administrative boundary", intended to reflect the actual use of the land by the tribes in the region.[2] Bir Tawil was grazing land used by the Ababda tribe based near Aswan, and thus was placed under Egyptian administration from Cairo. Similarly, the Hala'ib Triangle to the northeast was placed under the British governor of Sudan, because its inhabitants were culturally closer to Khartoum.

Egypt claims the original border from 1899, the 22nd parallel, which would place the Hala'ib Triangle within Egypt and the Bir Tawil area within Sudan. Sudan, however, claims the administrative border of 1902, which would put Hala'ib within Sudan, and Bir Tawil within Egypt. As a result, both states claim the Hala'ib Triangle and neither claims the much less valuable Bir Tawil area, which is only a tenth the size, and has no permanent settlements or access to the sea. There is no basis in international law for either Sudan or Egypt to claim both territories, and neither nation is willing to cede Hala'ib. With no third state claiming the neglected area, Bir Tawil is one of the few land areas of the world not claimed by any recognised state. Egypt arguably still administers the territory, but it is not marked as Egyptian on government maps.[3][4]

Bir Tawil is 2,060km2 (795sqmi) in size. The length of its northern and southern borders are 95 kilometres (59mi) and 46 kilometres (29mi) respectively; the length of its eastern and western borders are 26 kilometres (16mi) and 49 kilometres (30mi) respectively. In the north of the area is the mountain Jabal Tawil ( ), with a height of 459 metres (1,506ft). In the east is Jebel Hagar ez Zarqa, with a height of 662 metres (2,172ft). In the south is the Wadi Tawil ( ), also called Khawr Ab Bard.

Bir Tawil's climate is, according to the Kppen climate classification, a very hot desert climate (Bwh). During the summer months, approximately three-quarters of the year, temperatures can exceed 40C (104F), while its hottest three months (JuneAugust) can see it as high as 45C (113F). During the brief winters, however (December and January being its mildest months), Bir Tawil can experience milder temperatures with 26C (79F) as its usual temperature peak.

Because the territory is far from the ocean (being at least 200km (120mi) away from the Red Sea), the diurnal temperature range throughout the region is large, varying from 18 to 20C (32 to 36F), year-round.[5]

Due to its status as de jure unclaimed territory, a number of individuals and organizations have attempted to claim Bir Tawil as a micronation. However, none has been taken seriously by the international community, and due to the remoteness and hostile climate of the region, the vast majority of these claims have been by declarations posted online from other locations. None of these claims, or any others, have been recognized, officially or otherwise, by any government or international organization.[7][8]

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Bir Tawil - Wikipedia

Free Private City Bir Tawil Freedom, Prosperity, Security

The founder of the Free Private City Bir Tawil

Bir TawilorBir Tawl(Egyptian Arabic: Br awl[bi twil]or Bir awl, meaning tallwater well) is a 2,060km2(800sqmi) area along the border betweenEgyptandSudan, which is inhabited and claimed by the Free Private City of Bir Tawil. When spoken of in association with the neighbouringHalaib Triangle, it is sometimes referred to as theBir Tawil Triangle, despite the areasquadrilateralshape; the two triangles border at aquadripoint.

Itsterra nulliusstatus results from a discrepancy between the straight political boundary between Egypt and Sudan established in 1899, and the irregular administrative boundary established in 1902. Egypt asserts the political boundary, and Sudan asserts the administrative boundary, with the result that the Halaib Triangle is claimed by both and Bir Tawil by neither. In 2014, author Alastair Bonnett described Bir Tawil as the only place on Earth that washabitablebut was not claimed by any recognised government.

Bir Tawil is 2,060km2(795sqmi) in size. The length of its northern and southern borders are 95 kilometres (59mi) and 46 kilometres (29mi) respectively; the length of its eastern and western borders are 26 kilometres (16mi) and 49 kilometres (30mi) respectively. In the north of the area is the mountain Jabal Tawil ( ), with a height of 459 metres (1,506ft). In the east isJebel Hagar ez Zarqa, with a height of 662 metres (2,172ft). In the south is theWadiTawil ( ), also calledKhawr Ab Bard. There are a few streams in Bir Tawil, which originate inLake Nasser.On 19 January 1899, an agreement between the UK and Egypt relating to the administration of the Sudan defined Soudan as the territories south of the 22nd parallel of latitude.]It contained a provision that would give Egypt control of the red sea port ofSuakin, but an amendment on 10 July 1899 gave Suakin to Sudan instead.

On 4 November 1902 the UK drew a separate administrative boundary, intended to reflect the actual use of the land by the tribes in the region.Bir Tawil was grazing land used by theAbabdatribe based nearAswan, and thus was placed under Egyptian administration fromCairo. Similarly, the Halaib Triangle to the northeast was placed under the British governor of Sudan, because its inhabitants were culturally closer toKhartoum.

Egypt claims the original border from 1899, the 22nd parallel, which would place the Halaib Triangle within Egypt and the Bir Tawil area within Sudan. Sudan, however, claims the administrative border of 1902, which would put Halaib within Sudan, and Bir Tawil within Egypt. As a result, both states claim theHalaib Triangleand neither claims the much less valuable Bir Tawil area, which is only a tenth the size, and has no permanent settlements or access to the sea. There is no basis in international law for either Sudan or Egypt to claim both territories, and neither nation is willing to cede Halaib. With no third state claiming the neglected area, Bir Tawil is one of the few land areas of the worldnot claimed by any recognised state. Egypt arguably still administers the territory, but it is not marked as Egyptian on government maps.[

However, Christoph Heuermann, believer of more competition in governance, set up the Free Private City of Bir Tawil on November 4th 2019. A Free Private City is a new model of living together peacefully. Citizen enter into a public contract which defines both their rights and liabilities. A Free Private City cannot change this contract one-sidedly as governments use to do. Only they can provide freedom, prosperity and security!

You can read more about Free Private Cities here!

Christoph has actually physically been in in Bir Tawil and left several things to mark his claim on Bir Tawil as you can see here. Free Private Cities are real not a joke kingdom micro nation.

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Free Private City Bir Tawil Freedom, Prosperity, Security

Bir Tawil: The land that nobody wants – The Focus

Bir Tawil is a 2006-square-kilometre piece of land sandwiched between Egypt and Sudan that holds the lofty title of being the last unclaimed and uninhabited piece of land on earth, or to give it its funky latin title terra nullius. Alas the story is a little bit more complicated than that

Well this is where it gets interesting. It is less unclaimed, and more the victim (or winner) in a territorial dispute between Egypt and Sudan. During the good old days, Egypt and Sudan formed a condominium controlled by the British Empire, this meant that much like in the border disputes that would later rock the USSR, a proper border wasnt all that important.

The fact that there were two differing maps drawn to mark the border between Egypt and Sudan, whilst not important at the time, would later come back to haunt them. In 1899 and 1902 there were two different boundaries drawn the 1899 border gives the Halaib Triangle to Egypt and Bir Tawil to Sudan, with the 1902 border doing the reverse.

The problem here is that it turns out that the Halaib Triangle is not only really nice (it even has a beach), but that Bir Tawil is essentially a crappy bit of desert. Therefore if you claim one, you cannot claim the other. Unsurprisingly, both claim the good bit, and thus Bir Tawil is unclaimed. Except it is no longer unclaimed

The internet has achieved a lot of good things, from food delivery to Tinder, but it has also given a platform for strange peoples voices to get amplified, and Bir Tawil is now the posterchild for anyone who wants to make their very own country!

In 2014, Jeremiah Heaton of Virginia traveled to Bir Tawil in order to proclaim the Kingdom of North Sudan in his words to make his daughter a real princess. This sounds really cute, except he now genuinely thinks it is his country and that anyone who goes there should ask his permission. His anger now makes me think he probably should have just got her a Barbie like a normal dad.

Sadly, he was not to be the sole claimant to Bir Tawil, and since then there have been claims by the Kingdom of Dixit, The Sultanate of BIrliand, and even the Kingdom of Bir Tawil with its mighty 14 citizens. Most claims to the territory have been made online and as you might imagine have not yet been recognised by the UN.

The very short answer, which I found out the hard way is that no you cant.

Last year I let a group of intrepid travellers to Bir Tawil, with our aim being to raise the flag of the mighty Principality of Islandia, not to claim the land, but more in the interests of a cool trip to a very off-the-beaten-track place, and a little bit of PR.

It was then that we met the actual inhabitants of Bir Tawil, the Ababda tribe who claim Bir Tawil as their historical land.

After we convinced them that we were not with King Heaton who they referred to as that silly man nor any of the other claimants to Bir Tawil, the Ababda tribe politely gave us their side of the story. They were mining their own land and did not take kindly to white folk rocking up with flags and claiming their land online, or otherwise. We listened politely and promised to relay the words of our magnanimous hosts with the rather large guns.

So, whilst officially no country might claim Bir Tawil, if you seriously want to make this piece of desert your dream Libertarian utopia you better be capable of fighting not only the Egyptians and Sudanese, but a heavily armed tribe who have lived here for centuries.

As is often the case, the truth about Bir Tawil really is more interesting than fiction, not that it will stop people claiming the last unclaimed piece of territory on earth.

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Bir Tawil: The land that nobody wants - The Focus