Duchy of the Two Melillas

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Duchy of the Most Holy Trinity and of Our Lady Virgin Mary of the Two Melillas
Ducado de la Santísima Trinidad y de Nuestra Señora Santa María de las Dos Melillas

Flag of the Two Melillas.png
Coat of Arms of the Two Melillas.png
Flag
Coat of Arms

Motto:
"Serpens decepit me"
The serpent deceived me

National anthem:
Ducal March of Ordinance[1]

CapitalNone

Official languagesSpanish

Official religionCatholicism

DemonymMelillan

GovernmentAbsolute monarchy
 • MonarchHH Duke Denis
 • ChancellorJorge Mar, Count of Mar

LegislatureNone

Established24 October 2018

Population2

CurrencyNone

Patron SaintVirgin Mary
Government website

The Duchy of the Two Melillas, officially the Duchy of the Most Holy Trinity and of Our Lady Virgin Mary of the Two Melillas (Spanish: Ducado de la Santísima Trinidad y de Nuestra Señora Santa María de las Dos Melillas), is a minor state located on the previously unclaimed land strips between Morocco and the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta. The Principality formally declared independence on 24 October 2018, while claiming to be a sovereign state, it is commonly referred to as a micronation.

The declared aim of the Duchy is to "promote the Catholic Faith, the culture of Hispanicity and the principles of liberty and equality under Catholic rule"[2].

History

Pre-Independence

The history of what is now the Duchy of the Two Melillas started back in the age of the Phoenicians, who as early as in the VII century BC had already been governing Mellila and Ceuta, now Spanish enclaves on the North African coast, as independent city-states. The Phoenicians were succeeded by the Greeks and the Carthaginians, who succumbed to the Roman Empire, alongside the Iberian Peninsula. The Romans ultimately lost the enclaves to the Vandals and the Visigoths, who maintained possession of them until the VII century when they were conquered by the Arabs, who’d later proceed to conquer the entire Spain. The reconquest of Spain, known in Spanish as La Reconquista, was started in 722 by the successors of the Visigothic kingdoms with the Battle of Covadonga, and would last till the end of the XV century. In 1415 the Kingdom of Portugal reconquered Ceuta, and in 1497 the Duchy of Medina Sidonia reconquered Melilla, which became territory of the Spanish Crown itself in 1556.

In 1580 the Kingdom of Portugal reintegrated into the Kingdom of Spain, including, of course, Ceuta. Portugal would secede from Spain in 1640, however Ceuta independently chose to stay under the Spanish sovereignty, which was recognized by Portugal in 1668. Effectively, since 1580 and without interruptions both cities have been an integral part of Spain, although not without foreign attempts at conquering them. Ceuta was sieged by the Arabs in 1694 and by the British in 1704, as part of the War of the Spanish Succession. Melilla, too, has been suffering Arab sieges since 1774, which led to the Kingdom of Spain declaring war on the Sultanate of Morocco in 1859 (the Hispano-Moroccan War). The war ended in 1860 with a Spanish victory and a peace treaty which, among other things, provided for the establishment of neutral land strips between Morocco and the Spanish enclaves. The existence of these strips has been since then reaffirmed in a number of Spain-Morocco documents, such as in the Acts of Demarcation of Ceuta and Melilla and of the neutral strips, signed in 1860 and 1862, and in the Convention of 1894.

Foundation

On 24 October 2018 Dutch micronationalist Dionisiy Tedzhan-Smahin declared these neutral strips, so far unclaimed and not under jurisdiction of any country in the world, as territory of the newly-founded Duchy of the Two Melillas: the Two Melillas being the two strips. Tezdzhan-Smahin took the regnal name of Denis Fernando Alfonso de Todos los Santos and the title of Duke

Border issue

Illegal immigrants from Africa assaulting the Spanish border in Melilla from the Duchy's territory.

Being the only land border of the EU in Africa, Ceuta and Melilla attract thousands of illegal immigrants from Morocco and Subsaharan countries. Since it is physically impossible to enter Ceuta and Melilla by land except through the Duchy, illegal immigrants who enter those cities from Morocco inevitably violate the Duchy's border as well. Recognizing the impossibility of exercising actual control of the border, at least in the foreseeable future, Duke Denis passed a Decree entrusting the custody of the border to the Spanish and Moroccan authorities.

Governance and politics

The Duchy is an absolute monarchy, under the rule of the Duke. The government of the Duchy is defined according to the the Ducal Decree № 1. The Duke is the highest authority in the Principality, the Monarch may approve and enact Decrees. On a daily basis the Monarch exercises full power, with the Count Jorge Mar helping to co-ordinate the activities of the Ducal Government. In Two Melillas, the Monarch rules based on his "divine right to rule" which can be seen from his title "by the Grace of Christ the God". Justification of the position of the Monarch can be drawn from the words of Richard I of England: "I am born in a rank which recognizes no superior but God, to whom alone I am responsible for my actions"[3] during his trial in Speyer. Likewise it also considers it a divine duty of all Christians, as in the New Testament, in which the first pope, St. Peter, commands that all Christians shall honour the Roman Emperor (1 Peter 2:13–20) St. Paul agreed with St. Peter that subjects should be obedient to the powers that be because they are appointed by God, as he wrote in his Epistle to the Romans 13:1–7. Likewise, Jesus Christ proclaims in the Gospel of Matthew that one should "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's"; that is at first, literally, the payment of taxes as binding those who use the imperial currency (Matthew 22:15–22). Jesus also told Pontius Pilate that his authority as Roman governor of Judaea came from heaven according to John 19:10–11.

As the Two Melillas is ruled solely by Ducal decree, there is no legislature in the Duchy.

Law and Order

The Princely Guard of Montescano is responsible for both military tasks and law enforcement. Jurisprudence operates without any form of civil law legal system, crimes being tried before the Ducal Court. Due to extreme low number of crimes committed, there are no permanent courts, instead being summoned upon a person being charged with a crime.

Foreign Relations

The foreign relations of the the Two Melillas are implemented by the Chancellor. The power to grant official diplomatic recognition of sovereignty lies primarily with the Duke, but is made on the advise of the Chancellor. Although the Two Melillas is not internationally recognized by any member of the United Nations, it does hold (in)formal diplomatic relations with various micronational entities.

References