Suyash Dixit, an Indore-based entrepreneur has been all over social media for the past few days. And that's because he has declared himself the 'king' of 'Kingdom of Dixit' which is a strip of land in North Africa which doesn't belong to any country.
Dixit recently visited Bir Tawil, an 800-square-mile a strip of unclaimed land between Egypt and Sudan. After reaching there, he put up a Facebook post in which he called himself the first king of this unclaimed land.
He also posted several photographs of himself and also explained the difficulties that he faced while reaching the no-man's land. In his post, he also talked about 'inviting foreign investments' for his country as well as 'nationality applications'.
Somehow his Facebook post got noticed by the social media and many news portals (including ScoopWhoop) did a story on the Indian guy who has declared himself the king of the unclaimed land.
His unique declaration may have become the latest chatter on social media but his bizarre claims seem to be devoid of any merits. Here's why:
What is Bir Tawil?
The uninhabited land at the Sudan-Egypt border is ruled by no state and is governed by no laws. And thus, no one lives there.
On Sudanese maps, it appears as part of Egypt. In practice, Bir Tawil is widely believed to have the legal status of terra nullius – “nobody’s land”, reports the Guardian.
Despite not being a part of the Egyptian map, it is supposedly administered by the Egyptian government as per CIA World Factbook. Dixit in his Facebook post mentions that he had to take permission from the Egyptian army to visit that place. He also had to agree to certain conditions put up by them.
So is he now Bir Tawil's new king?
According to him, yes, but actually no, because he isn't. On what grounds can someone declare himself a king of a place which has no sovereignty? And of course, there are no subjects.
Does it have any legal sanctity?
No, it doesn't. Dixit in his post says that he will write to the United Nations to ask for his kingdom's recognition. However, that will serve no purpose as under international law, only states can assert sovereignty over territory. Moreover, the recognition of a country is something that’s done bilaterally among neighboring countries, a UN official once told Washington Post.
Is he even the first guy to come up with the first claim?
No, he isn't as there have been many people who have claimed their right on this land before. In June 2014, a 38-year-old US farmer named Jeremiah Heaton visited the place and planted a flag there. He gifted it to his daughter and declared her the 'princess of the kingdom'. He even initiated a crow-funding campaign for his cause but nothing happened.