The Grand Dukedom of Bir-Tawil is the world’s youngest and newest
micronations, and the world’s only Grand Dukedom. The Grand Dukedom was
founded January 25th 2010 on the principles of freedom, micronationalism,
monarchy, and democracy. Bil Tawil is a Terra Nullius,or unclaimed land.
Bir-Tawil means "tall water well" in Arabic. It is one of the last unclaimed
territories on Earth. Egypt bases it borders on an 1899 treaty, which places
it within Sudan, while Sudan bases its borders on a 1902 treaty, which puts
the territory within Egypt, thus it is legally not claimed by either nation.
Neither nation claims the territory, as doing so would force them give up a
claim to a much larger and more valuable territory that borders the Red Sea.
Egypt administers the territory, though it does not appear on its official
maps. Neither country allows access to it. Thys, The Grand Dukedom comprises of the last unclaimed
territory on Earth. Bir-Tawil is a small, uninhabited, 2,060 km2 (795 sq mi)
trapezoid of land in between The Sudan, and Egypt (red colored area in below
Bir Tawil is 2,060 km2 (795 sq
mi) in size. The length of its northern and southern borders are 95
kilometres (59 mi) and 46 kilometres (29 mi) respectively; the length of its
eastern and western borders are 26 kilometres (16 mi) and 31 kilometres (19
mi) respectively. In the north of the area is the mountain Jabal Tawil (جبل
طويل), with a height of 459 metres (1,506 ft). In the east is Jabal Ḩajar az
Zarqā', with a height of 662 metres (2,172 ft). In the south is the Wadi
Tawil (وادي طويل), also called Khawr Abū Bard.
In 1899, when the United Kingdom held hegemony in the area, the
Anglo-Egyptian Condominium Agreement for Sudan set the border between the
territories at the 22nd parallel. However, in 1902 the UK drew a separate
"administrative boundary," under which a triangle of land north of the
parallel was placed under Sudanese administration, because its inhabitants
were closer to Khartoum (The Sudan) than Cairo (Egypt), both geographically
and culturally. The area thus became the responsibility of the British
Governor in Khartoum. Egypt claims the original border from 1899, the 22°
north circle of latitude, which would place the Hala'ib Triangle (blue
colored area in above map) within
Egypt and the Bir Tawil area (red colored area in above map) within Sudan. Sudan however claims the
administrative border of 1902, which would put Hala'ib within Sudan, and Bir
Tawil within Egypt. As a result, both states claim the Hala'ib Triangle and
neither claims the much less valuable Bir Tawil area, which is only a tenth
the size and is landlocked. There is no basis in international law for Sudan
or Egypt to claim both territories, and it would be difficult if not
impossible for any third state to claim the area, since it is accessible
only through Sudan or Egypt. As a result Bir Tawil is one of the few land
areas of the world which is not claimed by any state. Archduke Talbot found
out about this land, and laid claim to it.
10 Pecunias. Year:
26.00 mm. Edge:
"Pro Licentia quod Optimus" written in top
banner. Goat in the center with crown above it. Date at the bottom.
"10 Pecunias" written at the top. Saint in the center. "Grand
Dukedom of Bir-Tawil" at the bottom.
Minted Years: One year
Unfortunately a few other
micro-nations have also claimed the same unclaimed territory, including
the Kingdom of Bir Tawil, the Republic of Bir Tawil, the Empire of Bir
Tawil, the Emirate of Bir Tawil and the Duchy of Coqueland. To the best
of my knowledge, the Grand Dukedom is the only one to have issued coins
for this uninhabited territory. This 26mm high relief 10 Pecunias of the
Grand Dukedom of Bir-Tawil is dated 2010. One side pictures a Saint and
the other appears to feature a crowned goat.
In a blog named Kingdom of
Bir Tawil, the economy of Bir Tawil continues to expand, as well as the
promotion of its national symbols. We introduce our latest samples:
refrigerator magnets and personal pins bearing our hallowed flag. Anyone
desiring magnets may request them on this page, and present citizens may
request one of the last few pins. These are all destined to become
collector's items, so plan ahead. Number of registered citizens are also
increasing. The Kingdom of Bir Tawil is pleased to announce that it has
manufactured its first batch of prototype IDs. This constitutes an
important step in our path towards recognition by peace-loving nations
around the world. Once the design has been perfected, citizens may have
them issued. On Sunday, June 13th, the Council of Elders convened with
King George Henry I at the Palace of Independence, and the following
important decisions were made to form the Constitution of the Kingdom of
Bir Tawil. After lengthy and thought-provoking debate, in which numerous
viewpoints were expressed and wise improvements made, the Constitution
received official approval. The Constitution shall be enforced as soon
as it is officially sworn in, which shall take place in a nearby date.
50 Piastres. Year:
Diameter: 32.50 mm;
Medal, but rotated as shown. Mint:
"بير طويل" (Bit Tawil) written in Arabic at
the top. An Arab riding camel towards right with sun raising in the
background; within the center circle. Year "2014" written at the
left top side and "٢٠١٤" (2014) written at the top right side. "BIR
TAWIL TERRA NULLUS" written at the bottom in outer circle.
"50 PIASTRES" written at the top right
side. Two Fennecs (Desert Fox) in the center left side with Value "٥٠"
(50) within decorated circular design on their right side.
Minted Years: One year
Note: The above 50 piastres coin
is is produced by unknown resource and is weakly struck.