Country Page: Barotseland

De facto, Barotseland is a region of western Zambia. It’s a kingdom with a sitting ruling king, administering most of the affairs. Prior to Zambia independence in 1964, Barotseland was a Protectorate of the British Crown (separate from Northern Rhodesia which later became Zambia), fully recognized as a kingdom (Britain guaranteed semi-sovereignty in exchange for mining rights). When Zambia achieved independence in 1964, the newly-minted Zambia and Barotseland signed the Barotseland Agreement creating a single country, allotting the Barotse Litunga people full autonomy and self-government in their kingdom. Within just a year of this agreement, Zambian prime-minister abrogated most of the articles of the agreement and assessed control. In 1969, Zambia annulled the agreement altogether. Barotse appealed to the UK for recognition and support, but the British washed their hands off the potential problem. Long story short – today Barotseland is part of Zambia, although de jure it’s not. The king still rules over its people, although most now view themselves as part of a bigger Zambia. In 2013, Barotseland became a member of the UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization).