A country is defined as any land area that functions as its own independent political unit under the control of its own government. Currently, the United Nations recognizes 193 countries and two non-member observer states, taking the total to 195 universally recognized countries. Nevertheless, several new countries have formed over the years due to the dissolution of an existing country or the breaking off of an existing territory that had been trying to establish itself as a new sovereign nation.
Here are some of the newest countries of the world:
Croatia – June 1991
Formally referred to as the Republic of Croatia, Croatia is situated at the junction of Central and Southeastern Europe. Croatia declared independence on June 25, 1991, after the cessation of its association with the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. However, this triggered the Croatian War of Independence, which was fought between the government-loyal Croat forces and the Yugoslav People’s Army controlled by the Serbs, from 1991 to 1995.
Czech Republic And Slovakia – January 1993
The 1989 Velvet Revolution led to the end of the communist party rule in Czechoslovakia and the subsequent dissolution of Czechoslovakia into two independent Central European nations: the Czech Republic (Czechia) and Slovakia (Slovak Republic) on January 1, 1993.
Eritrea – April 1993
Officially referred to as the State of Eritrea, Eritrea is an East African country situated in the Horn of Africa region. Modern-day Eritrea was created due to the incorporation of several independent kingdoms, which led to the formation of Italian Eritrea. In 1942, with the defeat of the Italian colonial army, Eritrea came under British rule until 1952. On September 15, 1952, the Eritrean Autonomous State was established under the Ethiopian Federation by the United Nations. In 1962, the annexation of the entire region by the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie started a civil war that lasted for the next 30 years. The Eritrean War of Independence, fought by the Eritrean Liberation Front, resulted in the “de facto independence” of Eritrea in 1991.
Palau – October 1994
Formally referred to as the Republic of Palau, Palau is an island nation situated in the western Pacific Ocean, geographically forming a part of the bigger Micronesia island group. Palau officially became independent on October 1, 1994. Initially settled by migrants from Maritime Southeast Asia approximately 3,000 years ago, the Jesuit missionary Paul Klein first drew Palau on a European map. In 1885, Palau islands became a part of the Spanish East Indies. In 1898, after the defeat of the Spanish in the Spanish-American War, the Palau islands were sold to Germany and were administered as German New Guinea. Palau became a sovereign nation in 1994 under a “Compact of Free Association,” an international agreement with the US.
East Timor/Timor-Leste – May 2002
Officially referred to as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, East Timor is an island country occupying the eastern half of Timor Island, the adjacent islands of Atauro and Jaco, and an exclave named Oecusse in Southeast Asia. On May 20, 2002, Timor-Leste became a new sovereign state after gaining independence from Indonesia. This small island nation has a long history of colonization. A special UN force had to be deployed, and in 1999, an UN-sponsored East Timor Special Autonomy Referendum led Indonesia to relinquish the territory’s control.
Serbia – June 2006
Serbia is a landlocked country situated at the meeting point of the Carpathian Basin and the Balkan Peninsula in Southeastern Europe. Serbia became an independent nation in 2006 after the peaceful dissolution of its confederation with Montenegro. Serbia has a rich history, with several people living in the area since the Paleolithic Age. After World War I, Serbia joined other South Slavic nations and founded the erstwhile Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
Montenegro – June 2006
Montenegro is a small mountainous country situated in the Balkans in Southeastern Europe. In 1991, the single nation of Serbia and Montenegro was formed after the collapse of Yugoslavia. In 2003, this became the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. Finally, on May 21, 2006, the “referendum on Montenegrin independence” was held, where 55.5% of the electorate voted for the country’s independence.
Kosovo – February 2008
Officially referred to as the Republic of Kosovo, Kosovo is situated at the heart of the Balkans in Southeastern Europe. On February 17, 2008, Kosovo “unilaterally” declared its independence from Serbia. Since then, about 100 UN member states, 22 European Union member states, 26 NATO member states, and 32 Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member states have formally recognized Kosovo.
South Sudan – July 2011
Formally referred to as the Republic of South Sudan, this landlocked East-Central African nation gained independence from the Republic of the Sudan on July 9, 2011, after several years of conflict between the two countries. About 98.83% of the country’s population voted for the independence of South Sudan in a referendum held between the 9th and 15th of January 2011. However, despite its official independence, South Sudan continues to remain in conflict with Sudan for the division of the oil revenues, as about 75% of the oil reserves of Sudan are in the present South Sudan territory.
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