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Seemingly So Unwanted

History has witnessed several wars over a piece of land in different parts of the globe. However, there is one territory in this world where no country wants to establish its authority. Bir Tawil, an area of 2,060sqkm, is situated near the border between Egypt and Sudan. Neither Egypt nor Sudan claimed Bir Tawil as its own territory when the United Kingdom had drawn the map of Egypt and Sudan in 1899. Since then, Bir Tawil has become an unclaimed piece of land.

Bir Tawil has evolved to be a No Man’s Land, because of its atmosphere. Adjacent to the Red Sea, the region comprising of desert, mostly. The region, being extremely hot and dry, and covered with sand, living there, without vegetation or water is extremely difficult. Hence, it is uninhabitably unpopulated.

Although no country has claimed this territory, two individuals have dared to claim Bir Tawil as their own. One of them is an American, while the other is an Indian. In 2014, Jeremiah Heaton, a Virginia resident, planted a flag in Bir Tawil, calling it Kingdom of North Sudan, and also declared himself the Governor of the region. “I wanted to show my kids I will literally go to the ends of the earth to make their wishes and dreams come true,” stressed Heaton, a father of three. Later, Dr Sheila Carapico, a Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Richmond, stressed that Heaton would require legal recognition from neighbouring countries, the UN or other groups to have actual political control of the land.

Three years later in 2017, Indian national Suyash Dixit named the land the Kingdom of Dixit, declaring himself the King of Bir Tawil. He had designed a flag of the new country, too, apart from opening a website through which he invited people from different parts of the globe to apply for citizenships and to invest in his country. However, Dixit had to leave the place because of extreme weather conditions, and never returned to Bir Tawil!

Although Russia and the US made attempts to claim the land as their own, they were unable to establish their dominance in Bir Tawil. As a result, Bir Tawil still exists as No Man’s Land.

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