List of territorial disputes

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A map with disputed borders.

This is a list territorial disputes over lands around the world, both past and in modern times. Bold indicates one claimant's full control; italics indicates one or more claimants' partial control.

Disputes between recognized sovereign states[edit]


Abyei Sudan
 South Sudan
Both Sudan and South Sudan claim the area. Controlled by Sudan after taking the area in May 2011.
Badme Ethiopia
Basis of the Eritrean-Ethiopian War which began in 1998. Currently controlled by Ethiopia.
Bakassi Cameroon
This area was handed over by Nigeria to Cameroon following an International Court of Justice ruling and the Greentree Agreement.
Banc du Geyser Madagascar
France claims the reef as part of the Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean, a district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
Bassas da India, Europa Island and Juan de Nova Island France
De facto part of the French territory of French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
Bir TawilNone
De jure no man's land. Egypt and Sudan both claim different borders in which they would have the Hala'ib Triangle, leaving the Bir Tawil to the other. As both claim the Hala'ib Triangle, neither claims Bir Tawil.
Bure Ethiopia
Caprivi Strip boundary tripoints/quadripoint Botswana
Ceuta[3] Spain
Chagos Archipelago United Kingdom
United Kingdom administers the archipelago as part of the British Indian Ocean Territory
Part of Gicumbi District, Northern Province Rwanda
Glorioso Islands France
De facto part of the French territory of French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
Hala'ib Triangle Egypt
Previously under joint administration; Egypt now maintains full de facto control
Heglig Sudan
 South Sudan
Both Sudan and South Sudan claim the area. Controlled by South Sudan in mid-April 2012, internationally viewed as part of Sudan.
Ilemi Triangle Kenya
 South Sudan
Islas Chafarinas Spain
Jodha South Sudan
Both Sudan and South Sudan claim the area.
Part of Kabale District Uganda
Kafia Kingi South Sudan
Both Sudan and South Sudan claim the area.
Kaka South Sudan
Both Sudan and South Sudan claim the area.
KaNgwane South Africa
Swaziland claims territories which it states were confiscated during colonial times.[5] The area claimed by Swaziland is the former bantustan of KaNgwane, which now forms the northern parts of Jozini and uMhlabuyalingana local municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, and the southern part of Nkomazi, the southeastern part of Umjindi and the far eastern part of Albert Luthuli local municipalities in Mpumalanga.
Part of the Kahemba region Angola
 Democratic Republic of Congo
Following a March 2007 report on the disputed area on the joint border in the Kahemba region, the Congolese interior minister admitted the territory was in fact part of Angola and agreed to send a technical team to demarcate the border along colonial era lines.[6] The countries agreed to end the dispute in July 2007.[7]
Koualou village Burkina Faso
Kpeaba village area (near Sipilou (Siquita)) Ivory Coast
Area near Logoba/Moyo District South Sudan
Lunchinda-Pweto Province Zambia
 Democratic Republic of Congo
Mayotte France
Under the 2009 referendum, the population supported becoming an overseas department of France, and so became one on March 31, 2011.
Islands in Mbamba Bay, Lake Nyasa Tanzania
Lundo Is. and Mbambo Is. are claimed as part of the lake, as Malawi claims to the shore based on 1890 Anglo-German treaty. See Lake Malawi#Tanzania–Malawi dispute
Mbañie Island, Cocotiers, and Congas Island Gabon
 Equatorial Guinea[9]
Melilla[3] Spain
Migingo Island vicinity, and, farther north, the vicinity of the islands of Lolwe, Oyasi, Remba, Ringiti and Sigulu, all a maritime rights dispute in Lake Victoria. Kenya
Ogaden Ethiopia
Ogaden or West Somalia as referred to by locals, is exclusively inhabited by ethnic somalis. Somalia claims the region as part of Greater Somalia and as a result have gone to war with Ethiopia twice in 1962 and 1977 see Ogaden War. The area is currently administered by Ethiopia.
Several islands in the Congo River Republic of the Congo
 Democratic Republic of Congo
Several islands in the Ntem River Cameroon
 Equatorial Guinea
Several villages near the Okpara River Benin
Orange River border line Namibia
 South Africa
Namibia claims the border lies along the middle of the river, while South Africa claims it lies along the north bank.
Peñón de Alhucemas Spain
Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera Spain
Perejil Island Spain
After the 2002 incident, both countries agreed to return to the status quo previous to the incident.[10]
Ras Doumeira and Doumeira Island Eritrea
The Rufunzo Valley and Sabanerwa Rwanda
Rukwanzi Island and the Semliki River valley Democratic Republic of Congo
Sindabezi Island Zambia
 Zimbabwe[citation needed]
Socotran Archipelago Yemen
Somalia, while not formally claiming the archipelago, asked for the United Nations to look into "the status" of the Socotran archipelago (i.e., whether or not it "should" belong to Yemen or rather Somalia).[11]
South East Algeria Algeria
Tiran Island and Sanafir Island Egypt
 Saudi Arabia
Tromelin Island France
De facto part of the French territory of French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
Tsorona-Zalambessa Ethiopia
Wadi Halfa Salient Egypt

Asia and the Pacific[edit]

Aasal, Al-Qaa, Al-Qasr, Deir Al-Aashayer, Kfar Kouq and Tufail Lebanon
Abu Musa Iran
 United Arab Emirates
Part of Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area United Kingdom
Artchvašen (Bashkend) exclave of Gegharkunik province of Armenia Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan has controlled this Armenian exclave as part of the wider Nagorno-Karabakh War.
Jammu and Kashmir [1]China China (PRC)
At the time of the partition of India, Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of the state, preferred to remain independent and did not want to join either the Union of India or the Dominion of Pakistan. He wanted both India and Pakistan to recognise his princely state as an independent neutral country like Switzerland.

With independence no longer an option, the Maharaja turned to India, requesting troops for safeguarding Kashmir. Although the Indian Prime Minister Nehru was ready to send troops, the Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, advised the Maharaja to accede to India before India would send its troops. Hence, considering the emergent situation, the Maharaja signed an Instrument of Accession to the Dominion of India against the wishes of kashmiri's majority. [12] Currently, India controls most of Jammu & Kashmir with some parts of North Western Kashmir under Control of Pakistan and some parts of North Eastern Kashmir under control of China

Aksai Chin[1]China China (PRC)
Possibly also the ROC.[note 1]
Baekdu Mountain North Korea
China China (PRC)
Also possibly claimed by Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1] and South Korea.[note 2]
Bhutanese enclaves in Tibet, namely Cherkip Gompa, Dho, Dungmar, Gesur, Gezon, Itse Gompa, Khochar, Nyanri, Ringung, Sanmar, Tarchen and ZuthulphukChina China (PRC)
Possibly also the ROC.[note 1]
Boraibari Bangladesh
Boraibari falls under the adverse possession category with the map suggesting that it should be within Indian control.
Daikhata-Dumabari India
Daikhata-Dumabari fall under the adverse possession category with the map suggesting that it should be within Bangladeshi control.
Various areas: Dak Jerman/Dak Duyt, Dak Dang/Dak Huyt, the La Drang area and the islands of Baie/Koh Ta Kiev, Milieu/Koh Thmey, Eau/Koh Ses, Pic/Koh Thonsáy and the Northern Pirates/Koh Po[citation needed] Cambodia
David Gareja monastery complex boundary dispute Georgia
Demchok, Chumar, Kaurik, Shipki Pass, Jadh, and LapthalChina China (PRC)
Taiwan Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1]
Disputed areas located between Aksai Chin and Nepal, all administered by India except for most of the Demchok tract (administered by China.)
Part of Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area United Kingdom
Doi Lang Burma
Durand Line/Federally Administered Tribal Areas Pakistan
Region part of Pakistan but, claimed by Afghanistan.[13][14][15]
Fasht Ad Dibal and Qit'at Jaradeh Bahrain
These were not included in the 2001 International Court of Justice judgement, as low-tide elevations.
Several areas in the Fergana Valley Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan: A tiny Kyrgyz village, Barak, in the Fergana Valley region (where Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan meet) is bordered on the north, west and south by Uzbekistan. Tajikistan: There are three Tajik exclaves, all of them in the Fergana Valley. One of them, the village of Sarvan, is surrounded by Uzbek territory, whereas the remaining two, the village of Vorukh and a small settlement near the Kyrgyz railway station of Kairagach, are each surrounded by Kyrgyz territory. Uzbekistan: There are four Uzbek exclaves, all inside Kyrgyz territory in the Fergana Valley. Two of them are the towns of Sokh and Shakhimardan and the other two the tiny territories of Chong-Kara and Dzhangail. There may be a fifth Uzbek exclave inside of Kyrgyzstan.[16] Most of the border in the area is still not demarcated.
Gilgit–Baltistan Pakistan
Golan Heights Israel
Syrian territory captured by Israel in 1967 (the Six-Day War), and annexed by Israel in 1981 (In 2008, a plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly voted by 161–1 in favor of a motion on the "occupied Syrian Golan" that reaffirmed support for UN Resolution 497; United Nations, December 5, 2008).
Greater and Lesser Tunbs Iran
 United Arab Emirates
Indo-Bangladesh enclaves India
Inside the main part of Bangladesh, there are 103 Indian enclaves, while inside the main part of India, there are 71 Bangladeshi enclaves. In 1974 Bangladesh approved a proposed treaty to exchange all enclaves within each other's territories, but India never ratified it. Another agreement was announced in 2011. It requires a constitutional amendment in India for ratification.
Isfara Valley Kyrgyzstan
JiandaoChina China (PRC)
 North Korea
 South Korea[note 2]
Also possibly claimed by Republic of China (Taiwan).[note 1]
Karang Unarang Indonesia
Kalapani region, the smaller Susta River dispute and the smaller still Antudanda and Nawalparasi disputes India
All administered by India. See Territorial disputes of India and Nepal.
Karki exclave of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan; Yukhari Askipara and Barkhudarli, both exclaves of Qazakh Rayon of Azerbaijan; "Yaradullu" (north and south) exclaves of Azerbaijan near Tatli Armenia
Armenia has controlled these five Azerbaijani exclaves that are within Armenia as part of the wider Nagorno-Karabakh War.
Khuriya Muriya Islands Oman
Korean Peninsula (Korea) North Korea
 South Korea
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea administers North Korea, but Article 1 of the Constitution of North Korea reads: "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is an independent socialist State representing the interests of all the Korean people." The Republic of Korea administers South Korea, but Article 3 of the Constitution of South Korea reads: "The territory of the Republic of Korea shall consist of the Korean peninsula and its adjacent islands."
Kula Kangri and mountainous areas to the west of this peak, plus the western Haa District of BhutanChina China (PRC)
Possibly also the ROC.[note 1]
South Kuril Islands (Northern Territories)[1] Russia
Lathitila[citation needed] India
Controlled by India but claimed by Bangladesh.
Liancourt Rocks South Korea
Macclesfield BankChina China (PRC)
Taiwan Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1]

Matthew and Hunter Islands[1] Vanuatu
Minerva Reefs Tonga
Fiji claims that the entire reef is submerged at high tide, negating use of Minerva as a basis for any sovereignty or maritime EEZ claim by Tonga under the rules of UNCLOS.
Muhurichar river island India
Controlled by India but claimed by Bangladesh.
Certain islands in the Naf River Bangladesh
Small areas of Oecusse District East Timor
Paracel Islands[1]China China (PRC)
Taiwan Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1]

Entirely controlled by China but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan
"Pedra Branca"; several islets at the eastern entrance to the Singapore Strait Singapore
The International Court of Justice rendered its decision on 23 May 2008 that sovereignty over Pedra Branca belongs to Singapore; sovereignty over Middle Rocks belongs to Malaysia. It said sovereignty over South Ledge would remain disputed until the states could determine the ownership of the territorial waters in which it is located.[17]
"Point 20"; a small area of land reclaimed from the sea by Singapore Singapore
Malaysia claims the land was reclaimed in its territorial waters
Part of Poipet commune Thailand
Prachinburi area Thailand
Preah Vihear Temple area (Khao Phra Wihan) Thailand
Temple complex awarded to Cambodia by an International Court of Justice ruling in 1962; "promontory" measuring 0.3 km2 immediately adjacent to temple awarded to Cambodia by ICJ ruling in 2013; both countries acknowledge continuing dispute over an additional 4.3 km2 immediately northwest of the 2013 rulling's area.
Pyrdiwah India
Controlled by India but claimed by Bangladesh.
Qarooh and Umm Al Maradim Kuwait
 Saudi Arabia
Sabah (North Borneo) Malaysia
The Philippines retains a claim on Sabah on the basis that it is a historical part of the Sultanate of Sulu, to which the Philippines is the successor state (see North Borneo dispute).[1]
Saudi Arabia–United Arab Emirates border dispute United Arab Emirates
 Saudi Arabia
Scarborough Shoal China
Philippines Philippines
Taiwan Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1]
Controlled by China (PRC) since the 2012 Scarborough Shoal standoff.
Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Tai or Diaoyu Dao)[1] Japan
China China (PRC)
Taiwan Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1]
Shaksgam ValleyChina China (PRC)
Possibly also the ROC.[note 1]Currently controlled by China.
Shatt al-Arab Iran
Shebaa Farms Israel
Siachen Glacier and Saltoro Ridge area India
Taken over by India in 1984 and currently controlled by India but claimed by Pakistan.
Sir Creek India
A dispute over where in the estuary the line falls; only small areas of marsh land are disputed, but significant maritime territory is involved.
South Tibet (part of India-controlled Arunachal Pradesh)India Republic of India China China (PRC)

Taiwan Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1]
Controlled by India but claimed by China and Taiwan who dispute the validity of the McMahon Line
Spratly IslandsTaiwan Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1]
China China (PRC)
 Philippines (part)
 Malaysia (part)
 Brunei (part)
See Spratly Islands dispute.
Swains Island[1] United States
This claim is unsupported by New Zealand, of whom Tokelau is a dependency. New Zealand formally recognises the USA's sovereignty over Swains Island.[18][dead link][clarification needed]
Parts of Three Pagodas Pass Burma
The islands of Ukatny, Zhestky and the disputed 'island' of Malozhemchuzny[19] Russia
Vozrozhdeniya Island (now a peninsula) Kazakhstan
Wake Island[1] United States
 Marshall Islands


Aegean dispute Greece
Broad number of delimitation disputes about a.o. national airspace, territorial waters and exclusive economic zones. Includes Imia/Kardak dispute.
Mont Blanc summit dispute France
Carlingford Lough boundary dispute Ireland
 United Kingdom
Some areas by the Danube
Parts of Osijek and Sombor districts
Ivangorod and Pechorsky District Russia
Russia recognized them as a part of Estonia with Treaty of Tartu, 1920. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia continued administering it. Some sources argue Estonia has no claims in the area.[20][21]
Ems estuary and Dollart Bay (western part) Netherlands
Settled in the 1960s (agreeing to disagree) Subject to treaty negotiations as a result of implications for the territorial sea north of the Dollart.
Crimean Peninsula Russia
See 2014 Crimean crisis
Gibraltar United Kingdom
Spain claims territory under the Treaty of Utrecht conditions.
Gulf of Piran Slovenia
An agreement was signed (and ratified by Croatia's parliament on 20 November 2009) to pursue binding arbitration to both the land and maritime portions of this continuing dispute
Isthmus between Gibraltar and Spain United Kingdom
Spain claims territory as illegally occupied since it was not included into the Treaty of Utrecht.
Imia/Kardak Greece
Part of Aegean dispute.
Tuzla Island and Strait of Kerch; Sarych Russia
The conflict arose in 2003 when the Russian authorities started to build a dam towards the island. Since then Ukraine established a border garrison on the island for a closer surveillance. The reason for the conflict is the fact that Tuzla island strategic location gives Ukraine full rights over the main channel in the Strait of Kerch and, thus, the access to the Sea of Azov.
Sarych Russia
The conflict is based on the division of the Black Sea Fleet and a lease agreement of the Sevastopol Naval facilities.
Lake Constance Austria
There is no actual dispute or conflict, but there isn't a defined border.
Lough Foyle boundary dispute Ireland
 United Kingdom
An area near Montmalús peak Andorra
 Spain[citation needed]
Olivenza (including the municipality of Táliga) Spain
In 1801, during the War of the Oranges, Spain, with French military support, occupied the territory of Olivenza (in Portuguese Olivença). By the Treaty of Vienna (1815), the signatory powers pledged to mediate in favor of Portugal, but, until today, Spain never returned the territory.
Prevlaka Croatia
Sastavci Serbia
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Island of Šarengrad Serbia
Military complex near Sveta Gera, in the area of Žumberak/Gorjanci Slovenia
Veliki Školj and Mali Školj (near Neum) Croatia
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Island of Vukovar Croatia

North America[edit]

Hans Island Canada
Claimed by both Canada and Denmark (on behalf of Greenland).
Continental shelf in the eastern Gulf of Mexico beyond 200 nautical miles Cuba
 United States
Overlap on the eastern gap of the Gulf of Mexico between an area of continental shelf extending beyond 200 nautical miles from Cuba, an area of continental shelf extending beyond 200 nautical miles from Mexico and an area of continental shelf extending beyond 200 nautical miles from the United States. (The case of the western gap was solved by a treaty between Mexico and the United States of America on the delimitation of the continental shelf in the western Gulf of Mexico beyond 200 nautical miles, of June 9, 2000.)[22]

Territory disputed between Canada and the United States[edit]

TerritoryCanada Canadian claimantUnited States U.S. claimant
Machias Seal IslandNew BrunswickMaine
North RockNew BrunswickMaine
Strait of Juan de FucaBritish ColumbiaWashington
Dixon EntranceBritish ColumbiaAlaska
Portland CanalBritish ColumbiaAlaska
Beaufort SeaNorthwest Territories, YukonAlaska
Northwest Passage and some other Arctic watersCanadian territorial watersU.S. claims navigation rights

Central America and the Caribbean[edit]

Isla Aves Venezuela
Dominica abandoned the claim to the island in 2006, but continues to claim the adjacent seas, as do some neighboring states.
Bajo Nuevo Bank Colombia
 United States
Honduras has recognized the sovereignty of Colombia; other claimants have not.
Southern half of Belize Belize
Guatemala formerly claimed all of Belize.
Calero Island's northernmost part Costa Rica
Conejo Island Honduras
 El Salvador
Navassa Island [1] United States
Sapodilla Cay Belize
Guatemala formerly claimed all of Belize.
Serranilla Bank Colombia
 United States
Jamaica has recognized the sovereignty of Colombia; other claimants have not.

South America[edit]

Guayana Esequiba (Guyana west of the Essequibo River) Guyana
Venezuela and Guyana have overlapping maritime area claims as well. Barbados and Guyana have since signed joint cooperation agreement over this area.
Ankoko Island/Isla de Anacoco Venezuela
Arroyo de la Invernada or Rincón de Artigas and Vila Albornoz Brazil
Dispute in the 237 km2 (92 sq mi) Invernada River region near Masoller, over which tributary represents the legitimate source of the Quaraí River/Cuareim River
Falkland Islands [1] United Kingdom
See Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute
French Guiana west of the Marouini River France
Guaíra Falls/Sete Quedas Brazil
The disputed islands were submerged by the reservoir of Itaipú.
Guyana east of the Upper Courantyne River Guyana
Isla Brasilera/Ilha Brasileira Brazil
Uruguayan officials claim that the island falls under their Artigas Department
Isla Suárez/Ilha de Guajará-mirim Bolivia
Gulf of Venezuela Sea Border Venezuela
Colombia claims it has right to waters in this Gulf.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands[1] United Kingdom
Including Shag Rocks. See South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands sovereignty dispute
Southern Patagonian Ice Field between
Monte Fitz Roy and Cerro Murallón[23]
Parts of the border still officially undefined.

Disputes between recognized sovereign states and other states[edit]

Abkhazia Republic of Abkhazia
Village of Aibga and surrounding area[24][25] Republic of Abkhazia
Eastern part of Bhutan Bhutan
 Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1]
North Cyprus Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Republic of Cyprus claims the whole island. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (self declared state) claims the northern part of the island
Mainland China, Hainan, and other islands controlled by the PRC. People's Republic of China
 Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1]
Moldovan-controlled area of Dubăsari district Moldova
 Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic
A small area of Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan
 Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1][note 3]
Kokkina/Erenköy exclave Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
This area is separated from the rest of the land controlled by North Cyprus by land controlled by the Republic of Cyprus.
Heixiazi / Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island
(eastern half)
 Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1][note 3]
Split by the People's Republic of China and Russia in 2004
Heixiazi / Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island
(western half)
 People's Republic of China
 Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1]
Split by the People's Republic of China and Russia in 2004
Kachin State Burma
 Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1][note 3]
North part west of the Gaoligong Mountains (高黎貢山) in western Yunnan, China, and the Division of Sagaing: Jiangxinpo (江心坡) and Nankan (南坎).
106.40 square kilometres of formerly Chinese territory in Kazakhstan Kazakhstan
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
Kosovo Republic of Kosovo
Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, while Serbia claims it as part of its own sovereign territory. Its independence is recognised by 107 UN member states.
Kutuzov Island Russia
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts Nagorno-Karabakh
Much of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast and some surrounding territory is under the control of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which is claimed by Azerbaijan.[1]
Outer Mongolia Mongolia
 Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1]
Outer Mongolia has been excluded from Enforcement Rules for the Act Governing Relations between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area since 2002. However, Outer Mongolia remains part of the ROC in the Constitution of the Republic of China.
Part of the Rasŏn administrative division North Korea
 Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1]
Sixty-Four Villages East of the Heilongjiang River Russia
 Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 3]
Somaliland Somaliland
South Ossetia Republic of South Ossetia
'Border' checkpoint near Strovilia United Kingdom
 Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
UK's claim in regard to its Sovereign Base Areas
Technically, of course, this also involves  Cyprus; the checkpoint is partially on UN-administered land, and Cyprus claims all of the island. (See: Europe)
Matsu Islands,
Pratas Islands
 Republic of China (Taiwan)[26]
 People's Republic of China[27]
See also:
Anti-Secession Law,
Legal status of Taiwan
Transnistria Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic
Tuva Russia
 Republic of China (Taiwan)[note 1]
Varnita, Copanca and Bendery (also known as Tighina or Bender) Moldova
 Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic
The Palestinian territories Israel
 Palestinian Authority
See Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Western Sahara Morocco
 Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
The United Nations keeps the Western Sahara in its list of Non-Self-Governing Territories and considers the sovereignty issue as unresolved pending a final solution. To that end, the UN sent a mission in the territory to oversee a referendum on self-determination in 1991, but it never happened. Administration was relinquished by Spain in 1976.

Disputes between a state and its subnational entities, or between subnational entities[edit]

TerritoryCountryInternal ClaimantsNotes
Belgaum India Karnataka
Disputed since 1956 when Belgaum district was not transferred to Maharashtra.
As much as a 2821 km2-wide area in and around the Ibiapaba mountain range Brazil Ceará
This dispute originated in an 1880 imperial decree. In 1920 a solution to the dispute was arbitrated but in practice it was never carried out. In 2008 there were new attempted negotiations, but they broke down in 2011, and as of 2013 it is pending either a supreme court decision, a referendum or a possible mutual agreement.[28]
Hogenakkal India Tamil Nadu
Currently administered by Tamil Nadu
Disputed territories of Northern Iraq Iraq Iraq proper
 Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraq's autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan claims and controls parts of the governorates of Nineveh, Arbil, Kirkuk and Diyala.
Lubicon traditional territory between the Peace River and Athabasca River and north of Lesser Slave Lake Canada Alberta
 Lubicon Lake Indian Nation (Cree)
Northern Alberta
Southern edge of Labrador Canada Newfoundland and Labrador
This was formerly an international dispute between Canada, which includes Quebec, and the Dominion of Newfoundland, at the time a separate country. Although Canada accepted the current border, Quebec never did.
Songling District and Jiagedaqi District People's Republic of China Inner Mongolia
The two districts are owned by Inner Mongolia, but Jiagedaqi District(urban) was established as capital of Daxinganling Prefecture, Heilongjiang Province, resulting it and adjacent Songling District under effective control of Heilongjiang Province. Hulunbuir City(Prefecture), Inner Mongolia actively disputes these two districts, as they formerly belongs to Oroqen Autonomous Banner, Hulunbuir.
A wide section from the 35th parallel north to one-mile south. United States Tennessee
Due to an inaccurate measurement in 1818, Georgia claims the correct 35th latitude north, and does so in a chance of a drought, it would have access to the Tennessee River.[29] See Tennessee River#Water rights and border dispute with Georgia.
parts of Fort Bonifacio Philippines Makati
Disputed since 1983, Taguig claims more than 729 hectares of land in Fort Bonifacio, an area administered by Makati. On August 5, 2013, The Court of Appeals Sixth Division ruled that Makati has legal jurisdiction over the area thus invalidating Taguig's claim.[30] Taguig has not abandoned its claims and will appeal to the Court of Appeals to revoke the decision.[31] Pateros also claims the area and has filed a petition before the Taguig Regional Court Branch 271 in 2012 concerning its claim. Pateros reiterated its claims in 2013 following the decision of the Court of Appeals awarding Makati jurisdiction over the area.[32][33]


The Antarctic Treaty System, formed on 1 December 1959 and entered into force on 23 June 1961, establishes the legal framework for the management of Antarctica and provides administration for the continent, which is carried out through consultative member meetings. It freezes the territorial claims of all signatories (all claimants have acceded) for as long as the treaty is in force. However, it is not a final settlement; parties can choose to withdraw from the System at any time. Furthermore, only a minority of states have signed it, and it is not formally sanctioned by the United Nations. Thus, Antarctica remains the only part of the planet any (non-signatory) state can still lay claim to as terra nullius (on the grounds of it not having been part of any existing state's legal and effective territory).

TerritoryClaimantsAntarctic territory
Area between 25°W and 53°W United Kingdom
 British Antarctic Territory
 Argentine Antarctica
Area between 53°W and 74°W United Kingdom
 British Antarctic Territory
 Argentine Antarctica
 Antártica Chilena Province
Area between 74°W and 80°W United Kingdom
 British Antarctic Territory
 Antártica Chilena Province

Historical disputes, subsequently settled[edit]


TerritoryFormer claimantsDispute startedDispute settledNotes
Aouzou Strip Chad
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Libya
c. 19731994In 1994 International Court of Justice decision found in favour of Chad sovereignty over the Aouzou strip, and ended the Libyan claim.
Yenga (border hamlet), and left bank of the Makona and Moa rivers Sierra Leone
c. 19952013The two heads of state settled this dispute in 2013. [34]

Asia and Pacific[edit]

TerritoryFormer claimantsDispute startedDispute settledNotes
South Talpatti/New Moore/Purbasha Island India
c. 19752010This former dispute over a small island never more than two meters above sea level was contested from the island's appearance in the 1970s to its disappearance, likely due to climate change,[35] in the first decade of the 2000s. While land disputes here no longer exist, the maritime boundary is yet to be defined.[36][37][38]
Sakhalin Island Russian Empire
 Empire of Japan
18451875Japan unilaterally proclaimed sovereignty over the whole island in 1845, but its claims were ignored by the Russian Empire. The 1855 Treaty of Shimoda acknowledged that both Russia and Japan had joint rights of occupation to Sakhalin, without setting a definite territorial demarcation. As the island became settled in the 1860s and 1870s, this ambiguity led to increasing friction between settlers. Attempts by the Tokugawa shogunate to purchase the entire island from the Russian Empire failed, and the new Meiji government was unable to negotiate a partition of the island into separate territories.

In the Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1875), Japan agreed to give up its claims on Sakhalin in exchange for undisputed ownership of the Kuril Islands.

Pamir Mountains Tajikistan
 People's Republic of China
18772011The PRC relinquished its claim over this territory in January 2011 with final ratification of a treaty ceding 1,158 square kilometres (447 sq mi) to it by the Tajik government.[39]
Palmas Island (modern day Miangas Island)Philippines Philippine Islands
 Dutch East Indies
19061928Dispute between the United States and the Netherlands over the Palmas island located south of the Philippines, which was then American territory. The Netherlands believed that the islands were part of the Dutch East Indies. The territorial dispute was solved through the Island of Palmas case which decided that the Palmas Island belongs to the Netherlands. Palmas Island, now Miangas Island, is currently a part of modern Indonesia.
Hatay Province Turkey
19382004Territory ceded from Syria to Turkey during the French Mandate of Syria, never formally recognized by Syria, but gave it up in 2004.
Yalu River (disputed sovereignty of certain islands)[1][note 2] People's Republic of China
 North Korea
 South Korea
19492005The allocation to North Korea of all of the large islands in the lower Yalu River, including Pidan and Sindo at the mouth, is now clear.[40] The river's maritime rights remain shared between the two nations.
Shaksgam Valley Pakistan
(still claimed by:
 People's Republic of China)
19471963Pakistan relinquished its claim to China; India did not.
Sinai Peninsula Israel
19671982During the Six-Day War Israel claimed Sinai. It was returned in 1982 under the terms of the 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty.
West Bank, including East Jerusalem Israel
19671988During the Six-Day War Israel conquered these territories from Jordan. Jordan later renounced the claim on the territory, supporting instead its inclusion in a future Palestine.
Ligitan and Sipadan Malaysia
19692002The 2002 International Court of Justice ruling awarded both islands to Malaysia, but left unsettled the maritime boundary immediately southwest and west of the islands between Malaysia and Indonesia.
Hawar Islands Qatar
19712001Formerly disputed between Qatar and Bahrain, it was settled by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. In the June 2001 decision, Bahrain kept the Hawar Islands and Qit'at Jaradah but dropped claims to Janan Island and Zubarah on mainland Qatar, while Qatar retained significant maritime areas and their resources. The agreement has furthered the goal of definitively establishing the border with Saudi Arabia and Saudi-led mediation efforts continue.
Pulau Batek/Fatu Sinai Indonesia
 East Timor
20022004Ceded by Timor-Leste to Indonesia in August 2004.


TerritoryFormer ClaimantsDispute StartedDispute SettledNotes
Alaska Boundary Dispute United States
18211903Disputed between the United States and Canada (then a British Dominion with its foreign affairs controlled from London). The dispute had been going on between the Russian and British Empires since 1821, and was inherited by the United States as a consequence of the Alaska Purchase in 1867. It was resolved by arbitration in 1903 with a delegation that included 3 Americans, 2 Canadians, and 1 British delegate that became the swing vote. By a 4 to 2 vote, the final resolution favored the American position. Canada did not get an outlet from the Yukon gold fields to the sea. The disappointment and anger in Canada was directed less at the United States, and more at the British government for betraying Canadian interests in pursuit of a friendly relationship between Britain and the United States.
Aroostook War United States
United Kingdom British North America
18381842Disputed border between the state of Maine and the provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec.
Atacama border dispute Bolivia
Chamizal dispute United States
18981963Disputed border within the El Paso/Ciudad Juárez region.
Delaware Wedge Delaware
1750s1921A gore created when the borders of the colonies Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania were defined. Dispute over the borders between the three colonies dates to the foundation of each during the middle 17th century. A series of defined lines and arcs were laid out by statute to settle the disputes, the most famous of which was the Mason-Dixon Line. The Wedge was left out of all three colonies (and later U.S. states), and remained a matter of dispute until it was formally resolved to assign the Wedge to Delaware in 1921.
Eastern shore of the Narragansett BayColony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Plymouth Colony (to 1691)
Province of Massachusetts Bay (from 1691)
16361898Claimed by both Rhode Island and Plymouth Colony. Plymouth's claim was inherited by the newly created Province of Massachusetts Bay when the latter was created in 1691 from the merger of earlier Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth Colonies. A royal decree in 1746 assigned the land to Rhode Island, but Massachusetts continued to press its claim until 1898.
Isla Martín García Argentina
18791973After the Conquest of the Desert was formally launched in 1879, many indigenous leaders captured were confined there. The island was transferred to Argentine Navy jurisdiction in 1886. The island's distance from the Uruguayan territory is less than two miles, and its jurisdictional status was formally established by the Treaty of Río de la Plata between Uruguay and Argentina on November 19, 1973.
Cordillera del Cóndor-Cenepa River Peru
Cordillera of the Andes Boundary Case Argentina
18811902After the signature of the Boundary treaty of 1881 between Chile and Argentina differing interpretations on whether the highest Andean peaks (favouring Argentina) or the continental divide (favouring Chile) was to be considered the boundary.
Puna de Atacama dispute Argentina
Clipperton Island Mexico
18971931Disputed between France and Mexico. On January 28, 1931, King Victor Emanuel, selected as a neutral arbitrator, finally declared Clipperton to be a French possession, and it has remained relatively undisputed ever since.
Beagle conflict Argentina
Río Encuentro-Alto Palena dispute Argentina
Laguna del Desierto Argentina
Border of New Hampshire and Canada United States
 United Kingdom
17831842Ill-defined terms of the Treaty of Paris at the end of the Revolutionary War left the boundary of the state of New Hampshire and Canada in doubt. The lack of a precise definition of the "northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River" as defined by the Treaty of Paris left a tract of land in what is now the town of Pittsburg, New Hampshire outside of the jurisdiction of both the United States and Canada. In the 1830s, land speculators established a short-lived independent republic in the area; the minuscule population of the putative nation never exceeded about 300. The boundary was finally settled definitively by the Webster–Ashburton Treaty of 1842.
San Andrés and Providencia Colombia
Tacna–Arica compromise Chile
Pacific Ocean Sea border Chile


TerritoryFormer ClaimantsDispute StartedDispute SettledNotes
Bregovo Bulgaria
 Kingdom of Serbia
18851886Bulgaria And Serbia briefly had a war over a small border village called Bregovo and this has been the recognized border ever since then.
Åland Islands Finland
19171920Sweden and Finland argued over the control of the Åland Islands (located between Sweden and Finland). The Åland movement (Ålandsrörelsen) wanted Åland to reunite with its old mother country Sweden (Finland and Åland belonged to Sweden before 1809). The movement gathered signatures from over 7000 inhabitants of legal age at the Åland Islands in 1917 (that was about 96% of the population) - they all supported a union with Sweden. When Finland became independent (December 6, 1917) Sweden wanted a plebiscite about the future of the Åland Islands to solve the problem. Finland refused and argued that the Åland Islands had always been a natural part of Finland - even when Finland was under Swedish rule. Sweden appealed to the League of Nations referring to the right of the population to determine which country they should belong to. After studying the matter closely the League of Nations decided Finland should retain sovereignty over the province but that the Åland Islands should be made an autonomous territory. The Swedish Prime Minister said he didn’t accept the verdict but he also said that Sweden was not going to use military force to get their claims.[43]
Tenedos Turkey
19201923On 11 August 1920, following World War I, the Treaty of Sèvres with the defeated Ottoman Empire granted the island to Greece, who joined the war in Allies' side in May 1917. The new Turkish Government of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, based in Ankara, which was not party to the treaty, overthrew the Ottoman government, which signed but did not ratify the treaty. After the Turkish War of Independence ended in Greek defeat in Anatolia, and the fall of Lloyd George and his Middle Eastern policies, the western powers agreed to the Treaty of Lausanne with the new Turkish Republic, in 1923. This treaty made Tenedos and Imbros part of Turkey, and it guaranteed a special autonomous administrative status there to accommodate the Greeks.
Northern Ireland United Kingdom
19201999Formerly disputed between Ireland and the United Kingdom since partition on 23 December 1920, it was settled by the Good Friday Agreement in 1999, when Ireland amended its constitutional claim. Both countries acknowledged that the territory can rejoin the rest of Ireland if separate referendums in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland approve of the former's cession.
Pytalovo (Abrene in Latvia) Russia
19912007Pytalovo was part of independent Latvia as Abrene until Latvia was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union and Abrene was attached to Russian SSR in 1948. Latvia disputed Russian jurisdiction over the region until giving it up in a border treaty with Russia in 2007.
Sevastopol Russia
19931997On July 28, 1993, one of the leaders of the Russian Society of Crimea, Viktor Prusakov, stated that his organisation was ready for an armed mutiny and establishment of the Russian administration in Sevastopol. In May 1997, Russia and Ukraine signed the Peace and Friendship Treaty, ruling out Moscow's territorial claims to Ukraine.[44]
Black Sea and Snake Island Ukraine
20042009In 2004 Romania filed a case to International Court of Justice claiming the Snake Island is an uninhibited rock. During the Soviet times the island was a small naval station with a lighthouse. In 2007 the Ukrainian parliament approved an establishment of a small hamlet (settlement) Bile as part of Vylkove city Odessa Region.
Vilnius Region Lithuania
19201945During the Polish-Soviet War Polish armies entered the Vilnius Region which was at the time part of the Soviet Lithuanian-Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1920, Polish General Lucjan Zeligowski lead a coup and established the Republic of Central Lithuania which was annexed to the Second Polish Republic after the war as part of the historic Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and due to ethnic Poles in the region. Lithuania moved its capital to Kaunas while never giving up its claim to Vilnius. The Lithuanians found support in the Soviet Union for their cause signing the Soviet-Lithuanian Mutual Assistance Treaty in 1939. Following the Soviet invasion of Poland, the region came under Soviet control and became part of the Lithuanian SSR after World War II which was followed by a large number of ethnic Poles beginning deported two times. Following the fall of the Soviet Union and Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania the Vilnius region became part of Lithuania again.
Passetto di Borgo in the vicinity of the Vatican City Italy
 Holy See
18701991Pope John Paul II recognized the sovereignty of Italy over the Passetto on May 18, 1991.[45][46]


TerritoryFormer ClaimantsDispute StartedDispute SettledNotes
Bouvet Island Norway
 United Kingdom
19271929The United Kingdom claimed this Antarctic island as Lindsay/Liverpool Island based on sightings going back to 1808, but Norway landed there in 1927. In November 1929, Britain renounced its claim to the island.[47]
Muller Island Denmark
 United Kingdom
19361937The United Kingdom effectively claimed the island in 1875 after it was sighted by John Muller's expedition. However, little information was provided about the territory in the following years and there was little British activity in the area. In 1936, Lars Christensen sighted the island, erroneously assuming it was a different island after making a minor navigational error. Denmark claimed the island until Christian X acknowledged the error and renounced the claim during a visit to London in 1937.[48]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v The Republic of China (ROC), now based in Taiwan, is involved in territorial disputes with many governments bordering China. Due to the One-China policy, it has no formal diplomatic relations with any of these states. The ROC recognises neither the People's Republic of China (PRC) nor its border agreements or treaties with any other countries. Article 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of China states that "The territory of the Republic of China according to its existing national boundaries shall not be altered except by resolution of the National Assembly." Section 5 of Article 4 of the Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China now overrides this provision, with the power of the National Assembly to alter transferred to the Legislative Yuan and the electorate.
  2. ^ a b c The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) do not recognize each other.
  3. ^ a b c d Relinquished by the People's Republic of China but still claimed by the Republic of China.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Field Listing - Disputes - international, The World Factbook
  2. ^ a b African Affairs - Sign In Page
  3. ^ a b Zapatero stirs anger of Morocco - International Herald Tribune
  4. ^ "Why are Egypt and Sudan in dispute over the Hala'ib Triangle?(Quizzical)(Brief Article)". [dead link]
  5. ^ "SWAZILAND: Land claim falls on deaf SA ears". IRIN. June 16, 2003. Retrieved March 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Congo Acknowledges Disputed Border Area Is In Angola Origin". Embassy Kinshasa cable. March 16, 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Angola, DR Congo end border row". BBC. 31 Jul 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Guinea,Cote d'Ivoire Border Dispute Reportedly Resurfaces". Guinee News. 
  9. ^ Compte rendu du déplacement d'une délégation du groupe interparlementaire France-Afrique centrale au Gabon, en Guinée équatoriale et à Sao Tomé-et-Principe, parliamentary report of the Senate of France, 2003.
  10. ^ Comunicados y notas de prensa de la OID
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ PAKISTAN-AFGHANISTAN RELATIONS IN THE POST-9/11 ERA, October 2006, Frédéric Grare
  14. ^ Grare, Frédéric (October 2006). "Carnegie Papers - Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations in the Post-9/11 Era". Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  15. ^ End of Imaginary Durrand Line: North Pakistan belongs to Afghanistan by Wahid Momand
  16. ^ Enclaves III: The Fergana Valley
  17. ^ Pedra Branca case, operative clause; Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge (Malaysia/Singapore), International Court of Justice, 23 May 2008 . See also ICJ awards Pedra Branca's sovereignty to Singapore, Channel NewsAsia, 23 May 2008, retrieved 23 May 2008 ; Court awards islet to Singapore, BBC News, 23 May 2008 .
  18. ^ "Treaty on the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Tokelau and the United States of America (with map). Signed at Atafu on 2 December 1980. Authentic texts: English and Tokelauan. Registered by the United States on 25 July 1991." (PDF) (in English and Tokelauan). July 25, 1991. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ [2]
  22. ^ "Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf".
  23. ^ Acuerdo para precisar el recorrido del Límite desde el Monte Fitz Roy hasta el Cerro Daudet
  24. ^ "Moscow, Sokhumi Dispute Village in 'Border Talks'". 2 April 2011. 
  25. ^ "Russia e Abkhazia litigano per i confini". AgoraVox Italia. 23 May 2011. 
  26. ^ Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China, Article 9, Section 2
  27. ^ Constitution of the People's Republic of China, Preamble
  28. ^
  29. ^ Shaila Dewan, Georgia Claims a Sliver of the Tennessee River, The New York Times, February 22, 2008
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Sierra Leone government takes media to disputed border with Guinea". News Kenya. 
  35. ^ Wade, Matt (March 25, 2010). "Rising sea level settles border dispute". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 
  36. ^ "Bay of Bengal island 'disappears'". BBC News. 2010-03-24. 
  37. ^ Of Indo-Bangladesh distrust by A. G. Noorani
  38. ^ Disputed isle in Bay of Bengal vanishes by Nirmala George March 24, 2010
  39. ^ "China's area increases by 1000 sq km". Times of India. 12 January 2011. 
  40. ^ Even official Chinese maps award these islands to North Korea, such as the provincial map on p. 41 in the 2005 Chinese atlas "Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Jiaotong Dituji" ISBN 7-80104-652-8, (
  41. ^ Fallo de 2012 de la Corte Internacional de Justicia. "Territorial and maritime dispute (Nicaragua vs Colombia)" (in inglés). Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  42. ^ [3]
  43. ^
  44. ^ "Review of Ukraine base lease 'fatal,' Russia warns". People's Daily (Beijing, China). 28 December 2005. Archived from the original on 17 January 2006. 
  45. ^ Hemeroteca ABC
  46. ^ Catholic Herald
  47. ^ Barr, Susan (1987). Norway's Polar Territories. Oslo: Aschehoug. p. 63. ISBN 82-03-15689-4. 
  48. ^ Hopley, Julian (2003). A History of the British Antarctic Territory. Norwich: King Press. p. 463. 

External links[edit]