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Uti Possidetis


Latin for “as you possess.” A principle originating in Roman law that territory and other property remains with its possessor at the end of a period of change, unless otherwise provided by agreement. The principle is most applicable in the case of States obtaining independence after colonization. The purpose of this international legal principle is to prevent the independence and stability of new States being endangered by fratricidal struggles provoked by the changing of frontiers following the withdrawal of the administering power.

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