Secret Countries

Daniel Carvalheiro-Santos, Staff Writer

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How many countries are there on Earth? Many argue the official number is 195, however, others choose to include Palestine and Taiwan, raising the number to 197. But there is another factor to consider, there are only 193 members of the United Nations. But these nations are only the officially recognized nations, meaning there are other countries in the world seeking their independence, remaining only partially recognized. Many of these nations are part of the newly independent states created with the collapse of the Soviet Union, mainly Russia and Georgia. What are these countries? Today, I will try to inform our fellow readers about some of the nations currently claiming their independence.

Republic of Abkhazia    

Currently Part of Georgia

  • The Republic of Abkhazia is an autonomous region in the country of Georgia on the Black Sea and also a separatist nation. Its capital is Sukhumi, the headquarters of Abkhazia’s central government. Unlike the rest of Georgia, Abkhazia speaks the native dialect, Abkhaz. Abkhazia has a fully functional government recognized by four United Nations members including Russia.

Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar

Currently Part of Tanzania

  • The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region in the country of Tanzania. Its isolated island facilitated a movement towards independence. The people of Zanzibar have had a rich history with many years of independence under the Sultanate of Zanzibar. Zanzibar uses the Tanzanian shillings and the autonomous region speaks a form of Arabic known as Kiswahili Arabic. Although Zanzibar is not recognized by any state, it is currently trying to gain full independence from the Tanzanian state.

Republic of Somaliland

Currently Part of Somalia

  • The Republic of Somaliland is a self-declared state and semi-autonomous region of Somalia. Unlike other self-declared and autonomous states, Somaliland has a centralized government with its own leader, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud, serving as the head of their presidential constitutional republic. The country has endured many annexations in its history, claiming it is the successor of British and Italian Somaliland. Somaliland has several official languages including Somali, Arabic, and English and it uses its own currency, the Somaliland shillings. This republic declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 however, this is not recognized by many nations.

Rehoboth Basters

Currently Part of Namibia

  • This particular group is quite unique since they were formed by a small ethnic minority of European Dutch and African people. Their official demonym is “bastards”, Dutch for crossbred which is what they consider themselves. Their population of approximately 27,000 people is proud of its demonym, opposed to what many may think. The community is ruled by various “Kapteins” which try their best to preserve the culture of both their colonizers and their native African ancestors through the usage of Afrikaans and the practice of Protestantism. Today, the Kaptein’s Council is responsible for representing the state at the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization

After reading this, you may be thinking, well, why is this significant. These nations will potentially become the future and they represent hope to their inhabitants. This hope has been desired for centuries and the prospect of an independent nation where one’s culture will be represented as equally as the neighboring ethnic cultures is very promising to many of these semi-autonomous nations. It is important that the United States support the ambitions of revolutionaries in these rebelling states, not forgetting that we as a country were once separatists as well.
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