When is a country not a country?

When is a country not a country?Occasionally, civil wars occur which lead to a country being divided in two. For example, a war in Pakistan in 1971 led to the creation of the new nation of Bangladesh. Not all new countries, however, win international recognition. For instance, Cyprus has been divided, through the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, established in 1983, is recognized only by Turkey.

Other places with a doubtful status are the ‘Homelands’ set up in South Africa for black people. South Africa’s government has granted independence to four of them: Bophuthatswana (1977), Ciskei (1981), Transkei (1976) and Venda (1979). However, no country other than South Africa considers the Homelands to be independent. The UN sees them as part of South Africa’s apartheid, or separate development, policy which it opposes.

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