From the presidency of Donald Trump, the nuclear standoff with North Korea, and a whole heap of other things, 2017 has been anything but uneventful. But one common theme to dominate the later part of the year has been the many regions of our world seeking independence, such as Catalonia (opposed by Spain), and Kurdistan (opposed by everyone).
But the reality as always is that world is a changing. We take a look at the 10 most likely new countries you might be able to visit one day. In the interests of this list, we have left out defacto independent states such as Transnistria, and Somaliland.
#10 Anguilla, UK
One of the least exciting and lesser known of our new country list – but also one of the most likely. Anguilla is currently a British Overseas Territory, along with other countries such as the Cayman Islands, and Bermuda. Basically a UK colony, but whilst most of our tropical colonies are quite happy to sit chilling with the rum and the Union Jack a flying, in Anguilla there is a real want for independence for the 15,000 people. This could happen in a mere few years.
#9 Quebec, Canada
Oh, those French Canadians! Parti Quebecois has been going for independence since the 1960’s and there was even briefly a terrorist organization causing all kind of troubles. They have had two referendums in 1980 which lost by almost 60-40. But in 1995 it was much closer only losing by a mere 0.58%. Whilst support for independence has dropped dramatically if the North American economy falters you can expect French Canadiens independence thoughts to stir again. With the current average of a vote every 15 years, this could mean 2020…
#8 Darfur, South Sudan
South Sudan might be the worlds newest nation, but it is very unlikely to exist in its current form for too much longer. Nine of the ten provinces are at war with each other in some way, shape, or form, and the nation could hardly be described as harmonious. Slap bang in the middle of this you have the people of Darfur, which literally means land of the fur people. This was previously an independent Sultanate. Their independence might help the region move towards peace, but don’t hold your breath.
#7Republika Srpska, Bosnia
One of the “new countries” on the list that pretty much for all intents and purposes already exist as a country. Technically, the Serb Republic and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina exist as one country. But in reality, wherever possible they try to do their own thing, having their own parliaments and presidents. There have been many calls for an independence referendum, strongly opposed by the other Bosnia, and the EU, but local support is massively there. Plus, independence for the Serbs feels to have an air of inevitability about it.
#6 Peoples Republic of Luhansk/Peoples Republic of Donetsk, Ukraine
These two peoples republics cause quite a bit of controversy! Depending on where you sit they are either Russian puppet states, genuine new country projects, or an integral part of Ukraine. No matter where you sit on the matter it cannot be ignored that these are an ethnic people that were prepared to take up arms, have the support of Russia, and “exist”. Expect a long drawn out frozen conflict zone, like Transnistria, rather than official global recognition. Kosovo precedent anyone?
#5 Confederal Republic of Koryo, Unified Korea
Everyone knows that Korea is divided into two nations; the communist North, and the Capitalist South. Many many people like to guestimate about the eventual reunification of the country. When most people theorize the unification of the Koreas, they assume it to be of the East German type scenario. But very few people realize there is a North Korean theory: The Confederal Republic of Koryo whereby both sides would keep their leadership, and economic systems, in a federation without outside interference, with unified federal parliament. When you visit North Korea be sure to ask them about this proposal.
#4 Greater Romania, Romania and Moldova
When people think of divided nations, Korea, Ireland and Cyprus are the ones that come to mind, but very few people realize that the majority of Moldova are ethnic Romanians. After the fall of the Berlin Wall there was a movement on both sides of the border for reunification (one of the causes of the Transnistria conflict), and whilst it has gone a little quiet over the last few years, it is still a popular theory in both countries.
#3 Gagauzia, Moldova
Let me guess, you have never heard of Gagauzia, right? Gagauzia, or rather the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia is a defacto part of Moldova, that briefly fought a war of independence with Moldova before settling for a high degree of autonomy, with some very specific stipulations. If Moldova were to join another country (Romania), or political, or military entity (EU, NATO), Gagauzia reserves the right to independence or joining the Russian Federation, which makes this a fairly likely proposition.
#2 Catalonia and the Basque Country, Spain
Catalonia announced it would hold a referendum, which they probably would have lost, Spain then got heavy-handed, which now means that Catalonians will probably vote for independence. In the democratic country of Spain, surely they have the right and this would not mean war? Another point that people are not paying much attention to is that Spain is hardly a unified people anyway, and if Catalonia go, the Basques would likely follow. Watch this space!
#1 Kurdistan, Iraq/Iran/Syria/Turkey
Iraqi Kurdistan, much like the Serb Republic, has existed as a de facto. But, nationalism is nationalism, and merely existing is not the same as being independent. Couple that in with the Kurds being one of the most shafted races on earth, and you have a potential problem! Independence will undoubtedly be opposed and is unlikely to come in Iran, or Turkey. But, we can expect to see some form of Kurdish state in the near future.