Bir Tawil
Bir Tawil or Bi'r Tawīl is a 2060 km² (795 sq mi) area along the border between Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 which is claimed by neither country. It is sometimes referred to as the Bir Tawil Triangle, despite the area's quadrilateral
In Euclidean plane geometry, a quadrilateral is a polygon with four sides and four vertices or corners. Sometimes, the term quadrangle is used, by analogy with triangle, and sometimes tetragon for consistency with pentagon , hexagon and so on...

 shape, with the longer side in the north of the area running along the 22° north
22nd parallel north
The 22nd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 22 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, North America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean....

 circle of latitude
Circle of latitude
A circle of latitude, on the Earth, is an imaginary east-west circle connecting all locations that share a given latitude...

. It is the only area where the administrative boundary of 1902 between the two countries runs south of the political boundary of 1899, which had been defined as the 22° north circle of latitude. East-to-west, the area is between 46 kilometres (28.6 mi) long in the south, and 95 kilometres (59 mi) long in the north, and between 26 kilometres (16.2 mi) and 31 kilometres (19.3 mi) wide north-to-south, and 2060 km² (795.4 sq mi) in size.

The Bir Tawil area came under Egyptian administration in 1902, because it was grazing land of the Ababda
The Ababda or Ababde – the Gebadei of Pliny, and possibly the Troglodytes of other classical writers – are nomads living in the area between the Nile and the Red Sea, in the vicinity of Aswan in Egypt...

 tribe based near Aswan
Aswan , formerly spelled Assuan, is a city in the south of Egypt, the capital of the Aswan Governorate.It stands on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract and is a busy market and tourist centre...

, Egypt. At the same time, the Hala'ib Triangle
Hala'ib Triangle
The Hala'ib Triangle is an area of land measuring located on the Red Sea's African coast...

 north of latitude 22° north, and northeast of the area, came under Sudanese administration, because the tribes of this area were based in Sudan. The two "triangles" border at one point, a quadripoint
A quadripoint is a point on the Earth that touches the border of four distinct territories. The term has never been in common use—it may not have been used before 1964, by the Geographer of the United States...

. Egypt still administers the territory, but it does not appear on Egyptian government maps.


In 1899, when the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 held hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

 in the area, the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium Agreement for Sudan set the border between the territories at the 22nd parallel. However, in 1902 the UK drew a separate "administrative boundary", under which a triangle of land north of the parallel was placed under Sudanese administration, because its inhabitants were closer to Khartoum than Cairo, both geographically and culturally. The area thus became the responsibility of the British Governor in Khartoum
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...


Egypt claims the original border from 1899, the 22° north circle of latitude, which would place the Hala'ib Triangle within Egypt and the Bir Tawil area within Sudan. Sudan however claims the administrative border of 1902, which would put Hala'ib within Sudan, and Bir Tawil within Egypt. As a result, both states claim the Hala'ib Triangle and neither claims the much less valuable Bir Tawil area, which is only a tenth the size and is landlocked. There is no basis in international law for Sudan or Egypt to claim both territories, and it would be difficult, if not impossible, for any third state to claim the area, since it is accessible only through Sudan or Egypt. As a result, Bir Tawil is one of the few land areas of the world which is not claimed by any state
Terra nullius
Terra nullius is a Latin expression deriving from Roman law meaning "land belonging to no one" , which is used in international law to describe territory which has never been subject to the sovereignty of any state, or over which any prior sovereign has expressly or implicitly relinquished...



In the north of the area is the mountain Jabal Tawil (جبل طويل in Arabic, located at 21°57′56"N 33°48′05"E), with a height of 459 meters. In the east is Jabal Ḩajar az Zarqā', with a height of 662 meters.

In the south is the Wadi
Wadi is the Arabic term traditionally referring to a valley. In some cases, it may refer to a dry riverbed that contains water only during times of heavy rain or simply an intermittent stream.-Variant names:...

 Tawil (وادي طويل in Arabic, also called Khawr Abū Bard, located at 21°49′25"N 33°43′42"E).

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