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List of active separatist movements recognized by intergovernmental organizations

This is a list of separatist movements recognized by intergovernmental organizations.



The United Nations General Assembly, by resolution 3247 (XXIX) of 29 November 1974, decided to invite also the nationalist movements recognized by the Organization of African Unity (OAU, later transformed into the AU) and/or by the League of Arab States (AL) in their respective regions to participate in the United Nations Conference on the Representation of States in Their Relations with International Organizations as observers.[1]

The Conference adopted a resolution on the status of "national liberation movements",[2] and similar provisions were also adopted by the UNGA.[3][4]

The UNGA recognized some of these nationalist movements as representatives of the people of their respective territories, along with their right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty there. In 1973 South West Africa People's Organization was recognized as representative of the Namibian people and gained UN observer entity status in 1976.[5] In 1974 the UN took similar decision for the Palestine Liberation Organization and it was also given the status of UN observer entity[6] The OAU and the UN have contacts with the Polisario Front[7] and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (established by the Polisario Front) is member state of the OAU since 1982. Since 1991 the UN is maintaining a peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara overseeing a cease-fire between Morocco and the Polisario Front. The goal of the mission is to conduct a referendum on the status of Western Sahara.

The aim of these movements is to eventually establish independent states and some of them have already succeeded. After independence most of the liberation movements transform into political parties - governing or oppositional. The most recent of these that finished the process of decolonization in its territory was SWAPO that established Namibia in 1990.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC, formerly the Organisation of the Islamic Conference) also recognized some nationalist movements.[8][9]


Nationalist movement Nation Territory Recognized by Current administering power Established state Former administering power
Movement for the National Liberation of Comoro Comorians Comoro Islands OAU, AL   Comoros   France
Ogaden National Liberation Front - ONLF Ogadenia Ogaden OAU,Somali   Ethiopia   Ogaden   Italy
National Liberation Front of Angola Angolans Angola OAU   Angola   Portugal
People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola Mbundu
Palestine Liberation Organization Palestinian people Palestine AL, OIC, UN   Israel   Palestine   United Kingdom
Pan Africanist Congress of Azania Black people South Africa OAU   South Africa   South Africa
South West African People's Organization Namibians South-West Africa OAU, UN   Namibia
Southern Cameroon Liberation Movement Southern Cameroons Southern Cameroons UN   Cameroon   France
Zimbabwe African People's Union Black people Southern Rhodesia OAU   Zimbabwe   Rhodesia
Moro National Liberation Front Moro people Mindanao[10] OIC   Philippines   Spain
  United States
Turkish Muslim community of Cyprus Turkish Cypriots Northern Cyprus OIC   Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus   Republic of Cyprus
Cyprus dispute unresolved
Polisario Front[11] Sahrawi people Western Sahara OAU, UN   Spain (de iure)
  Morocco (de facto)
  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (de facto)
  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic   Spain
Biafraland Government Biafrans Biafra Region UN via UNICEF Biafraland Government
  Biafra   United Kingdom (via   Nigeria)
  France (via   Cameroon)
  Germany (via   Cameroon)

See alsoEdit


i.   ^ Israel is the administering power of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and retains the ultimate control over the whole of it. Nevertheless, Israel allows the PNA (established by the PLO following the Oslo Accords with Israel) to execute some functions there, depending on special area classification. Israel maintains minimal interference (retaining control of borders: air,[12] sea beyond internal waters,[12][13] land[14]) in the Gaza strip and maximum in "Area C" of the West Bank.[15][16][17][18][19]


  1. ^ United Nations Conference on the Representation of States in Their Relations with International Organizations, 1975, Volume II, page 190:"The following national liberation movements accepted this invitation: ..."
  2. ^ United Nations Conference on the Representation of States in Their Relations with International Organizations, 1975
  3. ^ Observer status of national liberation movements recognized by the Organization of African Unity and/or by the League of Arab States
  4. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 43 Resolution 160. A/RES/43/160 Retrieved 2010-08-31.
  5. ^ UNGA Resolution A/RES/31/152 Archived 28 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Observer status for the South West Africa People's Organization
  6. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session -1 Resolution 3237. A/RES/3237(XXIX) Retrieved 2010-09-23.
  7. ^ Point 7, Res. 34/37 -Question of Western Sahara- 34th General assembly UN, 21-11-1979 Archived 21 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ OIC Observer Muslim Organisations and Communities[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Cyprus and the Organization of Islamic Conferences
  10. ^ Another Insurgency in the Philippines continues in the same region with the Islamist groups of Abu Sayyaf, Rajah Sulaiman Movement, Jemaah Islamiyah, Ampatuan and al-Khobar.
  11. ^ Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro
  12. ^ a b Israel's control of the airspace and the territorial waters of the Gaza Strip
  13. ^ Map of Gaza fishing limits, "security zones"
  14. ^ Israel's Disengagement Plan: Renewing the Peace Process: "Israel will guard the perimeter of the Gaza Strip, continue to control Gaza air space, and continue to patrol the sea off the Gaza coast. ... Israel will continue to maintain its essential military presence to prevent arms smuggling along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt (Philadelphi Route), until the security situation and cooperation with Egypt permit an alternative security arrangement."
  15. ^ Gold, Dore; Institute for Contemporary Affairs (26 August 2005). "Legal Acrobatics: The Palestinian Claim that Gaza is Still "Occupied" Even After Israel Withdraws". Jerusalem Issue Brief, Vol. 5, No. 3. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  16. ^ Bell, Abraham (28 January 2008). "International Law and Gaza: The Assault on Israel's Right to Self-Defense". Jerusalem Issue Brief, Vol. 7, No. 29. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  17. ^ "Address by Foreign Minister Livni to the 8th Herzliya Conference" (Press release). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel. 22 January 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  18. ^ Salih, Zak M. (17 November 2005). "Panelists Disagree Over Gaza's Occupation Status". University of Virginia School of Law. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  19. ^ "Israel: 'Disengagement' Will Not End Gaza Occupation". Human Rights Watch. 29 October 2004. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

External linksEdit