States and Statehood

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A Sympathy Borne out of Legal Identity? (Re)Viewing Ethiopia’s Move to Recognize Somaliland’s Statehood from a Different Angle

Introduction In the process of understanding the undeclared drivers behind Ethiopia’s move towards recognition of Somaliland’s statehood, this blog post sheds light on how changes in legal identities guide the decision-making process of States in international law. It specifically examines the potential links between Ethiopia’s shifting position on the principle of territorial integrity and its move to Somaliland’s recognition. 1. Ethiopia ‘Intends’ to Recognize Somaliland On 1st January 2024, a major event unfolded in the Horn of Africa as the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and the President of a self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Partnership and Cooperation in Addis Ababa.   The Memorandum, though its full contents are not yet published, has received international attention (including  an enquiry on international law’s use to help Ethiopia find a solution for its sovereign right on access to the sea)  and has ignited heated reactions and oppositions, particularly from the Federal Republic of Somalia, who claims Somaliland as…

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Essequibo referendum: An unlawful threat of force?

Essequibo (or Guayana Esequiba according to Venezuela) is an oil rich region given to Guyana by the 1899 Paris Arbitral Award. It amounts to approximately two thirds of Guyana’s territory. Since the early 1960s, Venezuela disputed the validity of the arbitral award and laid claim to the territory. In 1966, the Geneva…

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The Australia-Tuvalu Falepili Union Treaty: Security in the face of climate change … and China?

On 9 November 2023, Australia and the Tuvalu signed the world’s first climate resettlement treaty. Tuvalu is a Pacific Island State of only 26 square kilometres in area, with over half its population living on the atoll of Funafuti. It has a mean elevation of less than 2 metres above sea level and is profoundly threatened by climate…

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Having Taiwan in Mind? The Principle of Non-Use of Force and the ‘Peacefully Established Status of Territories’

‘The nomos of the earth’ is changing again as US-China relations are spiralling downwards rapidly. The increasingly likely scenario of a hot war between China and the US appears to be on everyone’s mind. Here Taiwan finds itself everywhere in the conversations of various international fora (here, here, and…

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Kosovo is a Country, and a Country Means a State, Rules the Court of Justice of the European Union

In September 2020, the General Court of the European Union (GCEU) examined whether the 2019 admission of Kosovo as a ‘third country’ to the EU Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) amounted to recognition by the EU of Kosovo as an independent State. The case was brought by Spain, a non-recogniser of Kosovo,…

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