A government-in-exile is a group of people who claim they are the real government of a country, but who live in another country. These were common during World War II, when Germany took over several countries, and the leaders of those countries escaped to safety in Britain. When the war ended, most were able to return to their home countries.
Today, there are some governments-in-exile. They include:
- Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in the Tindouf Province of Algeria
- the government of the National Republic of Belarus exiled since 1920, currently led by Ivonka Survilla in Canada
- the Central Tibetan Administration, based in Dharamsala, India, founded by the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet; Tibet was taken over by the People's Republic of China in the 1950s
- the former Provisional Government of Bangladesh, also known as the Mujibnagar Government, declared independence from Pakistan in 1971; it was exiled to Kolkata after attacks by the Pakistan armed forces, and existed until Bangladesh was recognized as a country in 1972.
- the former provisional Government of Afghanistan was ousted by the Taliban, claiming to be the real leaders of Afghanistan, which was taken over by the American military, after they left in 2021 following the War on Terror.
Not many countries recognize (accept) these groups for different reasons.
There used to be more governments-in-exile in the past (more commonly during World War II), but many have either disbanded, were able to regain power of the country they left from, or transfer their assets to the new government.