Chinese Pair Plotted 'Mini-State' in Pacific Nation
A Chinese couple plotted to set up a mini-state on the Marshall Islands in the Pacific, bribing MPs and officials along the way, US prosecutors say. The man and woman tried to persuade lawmakers to set up a ‘Semi-Autonomous Region’ (SAR) on a remote atoll.
Lamb, the World’s Newest Micronation
Thirteen years after he bought it, Uri Geller, a master of the grand gesture, has decided to elevate Lamb’s status from a private Scottish island to that of a country, with a flag, constitution and anthem. Settlement on the island itself is not allowed, its only inhabitants being puffins, guillemots and an assortment of other seabirds - and until recently a solitary rat.
They bought a Caribbean island to start their own country
“Who wouldn’t want to buy an island?” Marshall Mayer asks above the roar of the engine as the boat cuts through the still waters of the Caribbean Sea. Mayer is co-founder of Let’s Buy an Island, an ambitious project that in 2018 set out to crowdfund the purchase of an island. By December 2019, the group’s aspirations became reality, raising over $250,000 to complete the purchase of an uninhabited island off the coast of Belize.
Biafra Separatist Leader Arrested
The fugitive leader of a prominent Biafra secessionist group has been arrested and extradited to Nigeria, in a move likely to inflame separatist unrest in south-east Nigeria. Nnamdi Kanu had been wanted by Nigerian authorities since 2015, when he was charged with terrorism offences and incitement, after broadcasts aired on Radio Biafra, a digital station he founded and ran from his home in Peckham (UK).
Ukraine’s President Visits Donbass as Tensions Mount
Kyiv has raised the alarm over a buildup of Russian forces near the border between Ukraine and Russia, and over a rise in violence along the line of contact separating Ukrainian troops and Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine’s Donbass region.
This Is What It’s Like to Live in a Country ‘That Doesn’t Exist’
Today in Europe there are 6.5 million people living in countries that, according to the rest of the world anyway, do not exist. These would-be republics’ borders, born out of the chaos of the fall of the Soviet Union, are unrecognized by the international family of nations, as is their legal right to dictate the shape of their futures.
Citizenship in Contested Territories
What does it mean to be a citizen of Abkhazia, South Ossetia or any other de facto state? Are the people living in such territories stateless? What are some of the precarious situations they are faced with? An interview with our esteemed explorer Ramesh Ganohariti, a PhD student from Dublin City University.
Iranian Dissident Kidnapped in Turkey
Habib Chaab, founder of the Iranian separatist group ASMLA, was kidnapped in Turkey after a ‘honeytrap’ by Iran. Sky News published a detailed reconstruction of the audacious cross-border kidnap plan carried out in Istanbul. Two days after his abduction the founder of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz appeared on Iranian state television ‘confessing’ to terror acts.
Academic Call: Postdoctoral Researcher
Are you interested in pursuing research on de facto state patron-client relations? The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and the Department of Politics, University of York, are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to join the team of researchers on the project ‘Dynamics of de facto state patron-client relations (DeFacto)’. They are looking for a candidate with experience and ability to conduct empirical studies and field research.
CONIFA as a Platform for Football Diplomacy
International relations and sport have become increasingly intertwined, with sport and sports events being used for various diplomatic and political goals. Yet, membership of FIFA and the IOC is largely organised along lines of sovereign statehood. What about CONIFA, the alternative for contested territories? An academic analysis by Ramesh Ganohariti and Ernst Dijxhoorn.
A Journey through Time and Place
Extinguished Countries is the first guidebook series about countries that no longer exist. They don’t follow today’s borders but take us on a journey through time and space to lost kingdoms, republics and empires, looking for what unites us rather than divides us.
New De Facto State Research Unit in Tartu
In the effort to elucidate and understand de facto states, the University of Tartu (Estonia) recently founded the De Facto State Research Unit. From Somaliland to Transnistria and everywhere in between, their goal is to uncover these hidden spots that may turn out unexpectedly influential in world politics.