- By Dr. Peter Ejirika
I have reproduced the adaptations of materials from various sources in order to save the lives of Young Persons of Eastern Nigerian Origin who have been misled to have a regular run ins with the Law Enforcement Agencies of Nigeria in the guise that they are fighting for the restoration of the Third Biafran Republic while in actuality they are loosing their lives in vain.
From speaking with some of them, I observed that they lacked the capacity to assess the achievements of their leadership in relation to their mission hence the decision to review certain terms and erroneous assumptions. The first of which is the term recognition.
Recognition poorly defined is the declaration to an effect by the recognizing government, or an act of recognition such as entering into a treaty with the other state. A vote by a country in the United Nations in favor of the membership of another country is an implicit recognition of that country by the country so voting.
A number of polities have declared independence and sought diplomatic recognition from the international community as de jure sovereign states, but have not been universally recognized as such. These entities often have de facto control of their territory. A number of such entities have existed in the past.
There are two traditional doctrines that provide indicia of how a de jure sovereign state comes into being. The declarative theory defines a state as a person in international law if it meets the following criteria:
a defined territory
a permanent population
a government, and
a capacity to enter into relations with other states.
According to the declarative theory, an entity’s statehood is independent of its recognition by other states. By contrast, the constitutive theory defines a state as a person of international law only if it is recognized as such by other states that are already a member of the international community.
Though in International Law, the term recognition refers to the formal acknowledgment by one state that another state exists as a separate and independent government and recognition is not a mere technicality.
Proto-states often reference either or both doctrines in order to legitimize their claims to statehood.
There are, for example, entities which meet the declarative criteria (with de facto partial or complete control over their claimed territory, a government and a permanent population), but whose statehood is not recognized by any other states. Non-recognition is often a result of conflicts with other countries that claim those entities as integral parts of their territory.
In other cases, two or more partially recognized states may claim the same territorial area, with each of them de facto in control of a portion of it (as have been the cases of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and North and South Korea). Entities that are recognized by only a minority of the world’s states usually reference the declarative doctrine to legitimize their claims.
In many situations, international non-recognition is influenced by the presence of a foreign military force in the territory of the contested entity, making the description of the country’s de facto status problematic. The international community can judge this military presence too intrusive, reducing the entity to a puppet state where effective sovereignty is retained by the foreign power. Historical cases in this sense can be seen in Japanese-led Manchukuo or the German-created Slovak Republic and Independent State of Croatia before and during World War II. In the 1996 case Loizidou v. Turkey, the European Court of Human Rights judged Turkey for having exercised authority in the territory of Northern Cyprus.
There are also entities which do not have control over any territory or do not unequivocally meet the declarative criteria for statehood but have been recognized to exist de jure as sovereign entities by at least one other state. Historically this has happened in the case of the Holy See (1870–1929), Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (during Soviet annexation), and more recently the State of Palestine at the time of its declaration of independence in 1988.
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is currently in this position. See list of governments in exile for unrecognized governments without control over the territory claimed.
Why has the United States not recognized Biafra?
The reason why the United States will never recognize Biafra before the United Nations General Assembly can be inferred from the following excerpt:
The United States of America (USA) is one of the most powerful countries in the world. The country has a rich history of constitutionally recognized freedom and is often referred to as the “free world”. Recognition from the United States is an important thing for any emerging country, as the sway of the United States still holds global importance. The United States currently recognizes a total of 195 countries.
Basis for Recognition
When a country’s recognition is questioned, the US has its own rules and regulations it follows. Self-respect is one of the bases for recognition. To pass the self-respect test, a country must have an established and well-structured governing body that respects the sovereignty of its citizens while also respecting basic humanitarian foundations.
Under “section 508”, the USA prohibits foreign assistance to “any country whose duly elected head of state is deposed by decree or any method related to a political coup.” For recognition of a country, the USA also examines if a country underwent a military coup as a means for power transition.
Disputed Areas Recognized by the USA
According to the U.S. Department of State’s website, the USA has established and outlined a number of states which it considers as independent. These countries share a profound diplomatic relationship with the USA including widespread economic and political aid. The Department of State’s website recognizes a total of 195 independent countries. These countries are mostly members of the United Nation and share a strong diplomatic relationship with the USA. One example of this is Kosovo.
Areas Lacking US Recognition
According to the Department of State, there are a number of self-proclaimed countries that do not have a diplomatic relationship with the USA. There are other countries which merged with larger powers to form a single country but the USA still maintains a diplomatic relationship with them as an independent country. An example of this is how the USA still has an embassy in Jordan.
Bhutan is one country which does not share a formal diplomatic relationship with the USA, however, the two states share an informal relationship. Taiwan is another independent state which is seen as part of the larger China according to the USA. The United States does not recognize Western Sahara or Palestine as independent states.
The superpower nature and its vast resources as well as the well-established leadership gives USA a say in the world economy and its political structure. It is important to note that most states which are recognized as countries by the larger world are also recognized by the USA.
However, The Eastern States of Nigeria should be ever grateful to the United States for giving the descendant of Eastern Nigeria who are mostly professionals the wherewithal with which to feed their families and extended families in Nigeria since most of these families resident in Nigeria have no jobs, those that have jobs have not been paid several months and those on pension are dying gradually for lack of food and health but the United States gave jobs to Descendants of Eastern Nigerians and the proceeds of these jobs are used to maintain the economies of the Eastern States of Nigeria for the reasons advanced earlier.
However, these states should always remember the United States in their prayers and ask God to bless America for since the fist of the month I have sent money to families in Calabar, Abonnema, Port Harcourt, Umuahia, Aba, and Lagos.
So may God Bless America because if any one visits Chicago General Hospital, he or she would hear the nurses and doctors speaking Ngwa language and Ibo language in Ben Taub Hospital Houston, Texas. God will always make a way for his people.
Dr. Peter Ejirika, Certified Public Accountant
Round Rock, Texas.
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