This is a good one today, this is: How would you like to visit a country that nobody has been to, because nobody (literally, nobody) lives in? Well, we have just the place for you: LIBERLAND!
“Who?” you say? As well you might, because even as micronations go Lieberland is a particularly odd one, as it’s a possibly unclaimed (legal experts are split on that question) 7 km² spot on the map between Serbia and Croatia:
Free Republic of Liberland (hereinafter “Liberland”) is a sovereign state located between Croatia and Serbia on the west bank of the Danube river. The nearest towns are Zmajevac (Croatia) and Bački Monoštor (Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Serbia). On some maps, this area is referred to as “Gornja Siga”.
Liberland came into existence due to a border dispute between Croatia and Serbia. This area along the west bank of the Danube river is not claimed by Croatia, Serbia or any other country. It was therefore terra nullius, a no man’s land, until Vít Jedlička seized the opportunity and on 13 April 2015 formed a new state in this territory – Liberland. The boundary was defined so as not to interfere with the territory of Croatia or Serbia. Its total area of approximately 7 km² is now the third smallest sovereign state, after the Vatican and Monaco. For more information regarding the border dispute between Croatia and Serbia see an article on Wikipedia.
The legal question here is rather interesting. Usually border disputes involve two recognized states claiming the same land, but in instances like this (Bir Tawil is another) is the land falling outside both sides’ claims subject to arbitration, or is it in fact up for grabs?
The government of the de facto state of Somaliland regards itself as the successor state to the former British Somaliland protectorate, which, in the form of the briefly independent State of Somaliland, united as scheduled on 1 July 1960 with the Trust Territory of Somaliland (the former Italian Somaliland) to form the Somali Republic.
Somaliland lies in northwestern Somalia, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Aden. It is bordered by the remainder of Somalia (per international recognition) to the east, Djibouti to the northwest, and Ethiopia to the south and west. Its claimed territory has an area of 176,120 square kilometres (68,000 sq mi), with approximately 4 million residents. The capital and the largest city is Hargeisa, with the population of around 1,500,000 residents.
So although Somaliland is also unrecognized internationally … there’s several dozen recognized nations that are smaller than that, so this is an interesting development:
And particularly interesting is Mr. Liberland’s address here:
You have managed to make an advantage out of your non-recognized status and I believe there is much more potential here which has not yet been utilized. You can become a testing ground for many things that are very difficult to develop, evaluate and implement in the over-regulated world of recognized countries. You have great potential to host chemical and pharmaceutical companies that are struggling with burdensome and progress-stopping regulations.
I further commend you for managing to attract a 1 billion dollar investment from the United Arab Emirates. It is a great sign of a healthy investment future for the whole country. I hope Liberland will play a similarly important role as the UAE in Somaliland’s near future.
Today we will sign the Memorandum of Understanding between our two countries, which will create a Joint Committee on Technology, Energy, and Banking…
A new world order, indeed. One of these days when we’re back in the Horn of Africa region, we must drop by Somaliland and check it out for ourselves! Unfortunately, there’s no official World Heritage Sites in the de jure territory of Somalia … but we’re certain we can find something worth a visit!