Countries That Share Territories (& Why?)

Countries That Share Territories (& Why?)
Shared territories. It's a weird concept when we talk about countries. After all, a country is precisely a territory limited by borders, inside of which a specific country has ruling authority. But in some places in the world, a few territories are shared between 2:00 or even more nations. These are called condominiums, and their technical definition is as follows. In international law, a condominium is a political territory over which multiple sovereign powers formally agree to share equal dominium and exercise their rights jointly without dividing it into national zones. They are rare, as you can imagine. It's not common for countries to agree on things like this, sharing sovereignty. But as war thankfully becomes less common and peaceful relations between countries prevail, this becomes more of a reality. So in this video, we're going to list out some of the condominiums or shared territories that exist in the world today, focusing on the 9 main ones I could find. Let's jump right into it with the main one and Dora. And Dora is a principality and it is a sovereign state. It used to be considered a condominium under French and Spanish law. Now they refer to it as a Co principality, but in reality it is still a shared territory. This is because the position of head of state of Andorra is shared between the two nations. There are two Co Princess, a French one and a Spanish one. And the title of Prince in both cases is automatically assigned to people that hold a specific office in either country. In France it is assigned to whoever is the president, and in Spain it is assigned to the of Urgel. To learn why this country sovereignty is shared by its two neighbors, we have to go back in time. In 1133, the Count Edman Gold, the six of Urgel, ceded Andora to the Bishop of Urgel at the time in exchange for military protection. The Bishop then ceded Andorras, military, judicial and political rights to a noble family. After many marriages and successions, those rights ended up with Count Bernat, the third of Fois. As history went on, the count became a subject of France while the Bishop remained Spanish. France stopped being a feudal regime and a monarchy and so now the head of the Republic holds the symbolic title while the Spanish Bishop does the same. All real governing power is granted upon a local elected government and the Co Princess can only dissolve the government or parliament at their request. Another shared territory is the Brico district, located inside the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina and shared between the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republica Serbska. This is a little confusing, but inside the country of Bosnia Herzegovina there are three entities, the Federation of Bosnia Herzegovina sharing the countries name, essentially the Bosnian and Kurat part, and Republica Serbska essentially the Serbian part. Both of them share control over this small third part, the district of Bricco. It's located here and it separates the two areas of Republica Serbska. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why sovereignty is shared. The Bosnians didn't want to cede the territory entirely to local Serb administration, but the Serbs also wouldn't accept having their territory entirely cut in half. It was formed in 1999 after the end of the Bosnian war to reflect the multi ethnic nature of the territory and the surrounding areas. The latest census shows that 42% of the people are Bosniaks, 32% Serbs and 20% Croats, a great representation of how these three cultures share the whole of the country. In reality, it functions as a local self government area, much like the other municipalities in the country. Moving to Central America, the Gulf of Fonseca is another shared territory, a part of the Pacific Ocean. This is a gulf which borders El Salvador, Honduras and Niragua, all three of which share control over it. It's history is really interesting. The first European sighting of the Bay was in 1522 by Jill Gonzalez, who named it after his patron, Archbishop Juan Fonseca. The Gulf was soon object of dispute between the UK and the US over the potential construction of a canal similar to that of Panama, and this was in 1849. As Central America became independent, all three countries with coastline along the Gulf became involved in a dispute over the rights to it, but also the islands located within, with the US being involved as it tried to license land for a naval base with only one of the nations, with the other two obviously refusing it. Finally, in 1992, the International Court of Justice determined that El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua were to share the control of the Gulf. El Salvador was awarded the islands of Miangera and Miangerita, while Honduras was awarded El Tigre Island. Each nation holds its full control over the islands attributed to them, while the water territory is shared by all three. A similar situation regarding a sea boundary exists nearby in the Caribbean Sea with Columbia and Jamaica, known as the Bajo Nuevo Bank. The dispute has to do with the desire of each country to expand its exclusive economic zone to the sea area, benefiting from its resources and islands. Since 1993 that the two countries signed a treaty sharing their rights to the vast resources existing in the area, mostly fishing and mineral rights. Nicaragua and the US also claim it, but I believe exercise no sovereignty over it today. the US claim is particularly ridiculous. They used to claim the Guano Islands, which are located within its area, in 1869, but the claims were officially renounced in a treaty with Colombia in 1972. However, Bahon Nuevo Bank was not mentioned in the treaty and Article 7 of it states that matters not specifically mentioned are not subject to the terms. But why would they be entitled to water territory that is disconnected from their land? They apparently consider the bank as an unincorporated, unorganized territory up to today back in Europe. And actually another body of water is Lake Constance, shared between Austria, Germany and Switzerland. They already share a common language to some extent, and apparently they share territory as well. The lake is situated where Germany, Switzerland and Austria meet. The actual location of the border is disputed and there's no treaty that officially determines it. This makes it so that Lake Constance is the only area in Europe where no border exists. However, Switzerland holds the view that the border runs through the middle of the lake, Austria is of the opinion that the contentious area belongs to all the states on its banks, which is known as a condominium, and Germany holds an ambiguous opinion. Despite this uncertainty, ship transport and fishing rights are regulated in their own treaties. I didn't know this, but it's actually the third largest freshwater lake in Europe. Pandora isn't the only shared territory between France and Spain, and these countries also share Pheasant Island, also known as Conference Island. Located in the Bidasawa, a river that runs through the Basque Country in Spain. It functions as a condominium and was established by the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659. Oddly enough, they don't share constant control over it and actually divide custody of it throughout each year. It is formally administered by Spain between the 1st of February and the 31st of July, and by France between the 1st of August and the 31st of January, making friends rule it for four more days. The island has no permanent population and has been eroded significantly by the river, so I don't think any real dispute will ever take place all the way in Africa. Is the ABA area shared between North and South Sudan? The path? The path to South Sudanese independence wasn't easy and followed intense conflict with the North. Because of this, defining the borders wasn't easy either. The peace agreement created a special status administrative area known as the ABA area, which is considered to simultaneously be a part of both countries. It's the area right here in the middle of the border, and as we can see on the map, there are other disputed areas along the borderline. It even has its own flag, the cool one depicting nine rings and a fish. I'm not sure if it symbolizes anything in particular. There's not a lot of information about this. Most of the data available predates South Sudan's independence, when the land was just a special administrative region. I believe the territories administration is made-up of representatives from both countries, along with the UN mission mainly made-up of members of the Ethiopian army. IBA is situated in an area that had significant oil reserves. By 2003, it contributed more than 1/4 of Sudan's total crude oil outputs, but apparently the reserves are almost depleted by now. However, the Greater Nile oil pipeline travels through it, connecting Sudan to the Red Sea, therefore making the area still vital for either country. And finally, Moselle, a river in Europe whose sovereignty is shared between Germany and Luxembourg. They shared the territory since 1816 and the condominium includes all the water along with the 15 bridges and the tip of 1 island. The rest of the island belongs to France. A fun fact, this treaty from 1816 was actually signed between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Prussia. Prussia eventually evolved into the modern German state and the Dutch Kingdom controlled Luxembourg at the time. Another front fact is that sharing control water police checks can be carried out by both German and Luxembourgish officers. However, due to differences in each countries laws, Luxembourg authorities can impose a fine of up to €100 for speeding, while German authorities can only charge €10, a big difference. Another condominium that's very well known is Antarctica, the biggest shared territory in the world. I made a whole video about this so I won't get into it here, and I will post the link to the other video in the description. But Antarctica is a de facto continental condominium, governed by the 29 parties to the Antarctic Treaty that have consulting status. Although 29 countries have consulting status, claims are only made by Argentina, Chile, Norway, France, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia. Once the treaty expires or is up for renewal, we might see some updates regarding its status. There's also a vast list of previously shared territories throughout history, as well as many proposals for the creation of new ones. If either of those seem interesting to you, or if this video does well, I can do specific videos for each of those related topics too. So those are a few of the shared territories or condominiums that exist throughout the world, How they were created and why their sovereignty is still shared between two or more nations today, as well as how that shared sovereignty works on a day-to-day basis. Are there any other territories shared by two or more countries and the world? And do you know any more interesting details about these ones? Let me know in the comments. Thanks so much for watching this video. Subscribe if you want and I will see you next time for more general knowledge.
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