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List of states with limited recognition facts for kids

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Somaliland UCID elections rally
Women in Somaliland, wearing the colors of the Somaliland flag.

In international law a political entity needs to fulfill different criteria to become a state: One of these criteria is that other states must recognize it as a state. If more states recognize it, becoming a de jure sovereign state will be easier.

Many of the territories listed below broke off (separated themselves) from their original parent state, and so they are often referred to as "break-away" states. They may have some military protection and informal diplomatic representation abroad. Another state may help them avoid forced reincorporation into its original state.

Partially recognized states with de facto control over their territory

  • Abkhazia in Georgia is a self-declared and more or less functioning independent state. Recognized by the Russian Federation, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. It is situated between the Caucasus and the Black Sea, recognized by Georgian government as a part of northwestern Georgia. During the Soviet period Abkhazia was merged back with Georgia in 1931 as an autonomous republic within Soviet Georgia. The Abkhazian Soviets proclaimed independence from Georgia in 1992, and a short war ensued from 1992 through 1994. A June 1994 ceasefire has largely held, leaving Abkhazia outside the control of Georgia's central government.

United Nations member states that are only partially recognized by the totality of the other UN members are not listed here. (For example, 39 countries do not recognize Israel.)

  • The Republic of China (R.O.C), which controls only Taiwan and some list of islands of the Republic of China since losing the Chinese Civil War in 1949, lost most of its diplomatic recognition and UN seat to the People's Republic of China in October 25, 1971 by UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 and now is currently officially recognized by only 23 states. It conducts de facto (all but in name) relations with most countries through institutions such as the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Offices.
  • The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was set up in northern Cyprus in 1975, following the intervention of the Turkish Army in 1974, in response to a coup d'état by the Greek junta aiming at "enosis". The TRNC declared independence in 1983 and it is recognised only by Turkey. A United Nations proposal to unify the two Cypriot states was accepted by the TRNC, but rejected in a referendum by the Greek Cypriot community, citing security concerns. Further attempts at reunification have thus far been unsuccessful.
  • South Ossetia in Georgia is a self-declared and more or less functioning independent state with no international recognition from any other nation. After occupation of independent Georgia by Bolshevist Russia in 1921 it became the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within Soviet Georgia. It proclaimed independence from Georgia in 1991, and a ceasefire was declared in 1992.
  • Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan is (since 1991) a self-declared and more or less functioning independent state but is not recognised as independent. It is internationally recognized as being part of Azerbaijan, but has an ethnic-Armenian majority.

Unrecognized states with de facto control over their territory

  • Somaliland (since 1991) 1. Located in north of Somalia. In May of 1991, northern clans declared an independent Republic of Somaliland that now includes five of the eighteen administrative regions of Somalia, corresponding to British Somaliland which is located between Ethiopia, Djibouti, Puntland and the Gulf of Aden.
  • Transnistria (Pridnestrovie) is the part of Moldova east of the river Dniester and (since 1990) a self-declared and more or less functioning independent state with no international recognition from any sovereign state. It has a majority Slavic population, as opposed to majority Moldovan which Moldova has. Also known as the, Dniester Republic, this de facto state has it own police, army and currency and functions outside of the jurisdiction of Moldova, however there is no sign so far of it becoming an internationally recognised country.

Partially recognized states largely under military occupation

Internationally administered territory

Historic unrecognized or partially recognized states with de facto control over their territory




  • Anjouan (1997-2002). Now part of Comoros.
  • Flag of Biafra.svg Biafra controlled territory in eastern Nigeria between the time of its secession in May 1967 until its final military collapse in January 1970. It was recognized by 12 nations.
  • Katanga controlled the state of the same name within the former Belgian Congo after decolonisation, between 1960 and 1964.
  • Flag of Mohéli.svg Mohéli (1997-1998). Now part of Comoros.
  • Rhodesia. British Colony that unilaterally declared independence in 1965. This action was not legally recognized by any other nation, nor the declaration of Rhodesia as a republic in 1970. This entity remained until 1979, when it became Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.
  • Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. Formed in 1979 after negotiations between white minority government and moderate black leaders. Existed 1 June to 12 December 1979, when it became the colony of South Rhodesia again. In 1980 it became the Republic of Zimbabwe.

South African Homelands

Created by the Republic of South Africa from its own territory



Historic unrecognized or partially recognized governments with de facto control over their territory

These regimes had control over the territory of a country for which most other states recognized a different government as being the legitimate government:

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