'No Joke, I Own a Country Now'

Tech CEO claims uninhabited land between Egypt, Sudan for himself
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2017 5:41 PM CST
Tech CEO Claims Uninhabited Land for Himself
An Indian tech CEO has claimed an uninhabited area of land between Egypt and Sudan for himself.   (Facebook)

All hail Suyash Dixit, first king of the Kingdom of Dixit. The Times of India reports 24-year-old Dixit, CEO of an Indian tech firm, was traveling to Egypt for a software developers' conference earlier this month when he read about Bir Tawil. The 800-square-mile Bir Tawil is located between Egypt and Sudan but has been claimed by neither country and is uninhabited. As the Telegraph puts it, Bir Tawil is "the only place on Earth where humans can live and survive that is not part of any state or country." Dixit decided to do something about that. In a Facebook post, he says he drove six hours and braved the Egyptian military, which has "'shoot at sight' orders" due to terrorists in the area, to establish his new kingdom.

Dixit brought a flag of his own design and planted sunflower seeds in Bir Tawil. “Following the early civilization ethics and rules, if you want to claim a land then you need to grow crops on it," he says. "I have added a seed and poured some water on it today. It is mine." While Dixit insists it's "no joke, I own a country now" and hundreds of people have signed his petition to the UN seeking recognition, the Kingdom of Dixit is likely to remain unofficial. In 2014, a legal expert at Georgetown University told the Washington Post that "under international law, only states can assert sovereignty over territory." That was the same year a father from Virginia tried to claim Bir Tawil for himself and make his daughter princess of the "Kingdom of North Sudan." (This famous person became the first citizen of the "Trash Isles.")

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