The Unclaimed Land that No Country Wants and the Reason Why

Diana Rus

Bir Tawil, a small piece of land in northeast Africa, that no country wants. Bir Tawil is located between Egypt to the north and Sudan to the south, and neither nation wants it. While Egypt and Sudan fight for land next to Bir Tawil known as the Hala'ib Triangle, no country is interested in Bir Tawil. Bir Tawil is a lawless land with no humans. It's a no-man’s land.

Bir Tawil is a 795.4 sq mi area/ territory along the Egyptian-Sudan border that is unoccupied and claimed by neither country.

Despite the region's quadrilateral shape, it is occasionally referred to as the Bir Tawil Triangle when combined with the nearby Halaib Triangle; the two "triangles" meet at a quadripoint.

It's "nobody's land" because of the difference between the straight political boundary established between Egypt and Sudan in 1899 and the uneven administrative boundary established in 1902.

Egypt claims the political boundary, while Sudan claims the administrative line, resulting in the Hala'ib Triangle being claimed by both and Bir Tawil being claimed by neither.

Author Alastair Bonnett identified Bir Tawil in 2014 as the only place on Earth that was habitable but was not claimed by any recognized government.
Bir Tawil MapPhoto byWikipedia Commons

Why does no country want Bir Tawil?

"Soudan" was defined as the "territories south of the 22nd parallel of latitude" in an agreement between the United Kingdom and Egypt relating to the administration of Sudan on January 19, 1899.

It included a clause that would have given Egypt control of the Red Sea port of Suakin, but on July 10, 1899, the clause was amended to grant Sudan control of Suakin.

The UK drew a distinct "administrative boundary" on November 4 that was meant to reflect how the local tribes actually used the area.

Bir Tawil was administered by Egypt from Cairo because it was grazing ground used by the Ababda tribe, which was headquartered close to Aswan. Similarly, because its residents were more closely related to Khartoum's culture, the Hala'ib Triangle to the northeast was given to the British ruler of Sudan.
Bir Tawil MapPhoto byWikipedia Commons

Egypt claims the original 1899 border, the 22nd parallel, which would place the Hala'ib Triangle in Egypt and the Bir Tawil area in Sudan. Sudan, on the other hand, asserts the administrative border of 1902, which would place Hala'ib in Sudan and Bir Tawil in Egypt.

As a result, both governments claim Hala'ib, but neither claims the considerably less important Bir Tawil area, which is only a tenth the size of Hala'ib and has no permanent inhabitants or sea access.

Both Sudan and Egypt have no legal basis to claim both areas, and neither is ready to cede Hala'ib. Bir Tawil is one of the world's few unclaimed land areas, with no third state claiming it.


Comments / 0

Published by

Passionate writer of interesting facts, history, and important events/places from the United States and around the world.


More from Diana Rus

Comments / 0