There has been an explosion of border walls ever since World War II. By the time the war was coming to an end, it is estimated that there were only seven border walls or fences in the world. But, back in 1989 when the Berlin wall fell, there were about 15 border walls. The proposed wall that is to be built between Mexico and the united states of America has been heavy the news of late, and many people are talking about it. Did you know that there are many countries now in the world who have built walls already?
A border barrier that is separating countries or territories is not something new in this world. In fact, before the geographical positioning technology ever came into existence, physical features or human-made walls were the ones used to separate different territories. There were many reasons for such to be built like for protection, defense and many other reasons. Like the Great Wall of China was made many years ago so that it could separate the country from the empires in the north. The Berlin wall was erected so that it could separate the ideologically different west and East Berlin. Today, you will find many border barriers that exist between countries. There are many reasons as to why these countries have built these walls; the most common need is to control who goes in or out of the country.
The Great Wall of China
This has been one of the perfect examples of the countries which have border walls. It is a 13,000 miles long border wall and known to be one of the longest feats of human engineering. Its dating is more than 2,000 years and incorporated more than 1 million workers in building it. The primary purpose of this wall was to prevent the incursions in the 3rd century B.C. from the barbarian nomads. Currently, it is a tourist attraction on the legacy which follows it.
The Berlin Wall
This is another one of the best examples of border walls between countries. It is a monumental symbol of the Cold War which occurred from 1961 to 1989. This wall divided the democratic Western side and communist East Germany. However, due to the revolutions in Hungary, Poland, and other Eastern Bloc countries led East Germany in opening the blockade with the fall of the Berlin Wall leading to the reunifying of Germany in 1990.
The United States of America
What is unknown to many, the US constructed the 81 miles long border wall which separates it from Mexico. The border was erected so that it could curb illegal migration from Mexico into the US and stop illicit drug smuggling. There have been many calls for extending the border, but all these have not been implemented. In 2016, presidential candidate Donald trump arose the controversy by campaigning on the platform that included completion of the construction of that border wall.
Many people argue that the existing border wall has helped to protect Americans. Apart of this, many people still argue that the border contravenes the spirit of regional integration. Many people say that countries should open these boundaries and they should not close them. In addition, many people who are escaping many different forms of abuses from Mexico have been affected, and trade opportunities between the countries have significantly reduced.
The wall has also made it hard for any illegal migration to take place from Mexico into the US. Environmentally, this border has affected wildlife migration patterns and put many animals in danger from North America. There are also many people who have died while they tried to cross the border into the US while others have gone ahead to pay extravagant amounts of money so that they could be snuck in through cartel-controlled smuggling tunnels.
North Korea and South Korea have built a wall between them. The boundary barrier includes the Panmunjom military demarcation line and the demilitarized zone. The Panmunjom is located is where the 1953 Korean armistice agreement which stopped the Korean War was signed. This is the home for the joint security area where soldiers of the two countries meet and discuss security matters though each side all seat in their territories separated on either side of the military demarcation line. The DML, demarcation line also known as the armistice line is a 154-mile long separation that is between the two countries.
The DML is sandwiched between the demilitarized zone which was established in 1953. The Korean barrier has ensured security and cooperation between the two Korean. More so, the barriers have protected South Korea from unpredicted North Korea and confirmed communist system to the north and capitalism to the south. On the other side, there are borderlines which have separated these nations which share a common history as well as culture. In these two countries, there exist no border or trade activities since he North discourages citizens from the South crossing.
This is another country recorded to have several boundary walls which separate it from its neighbors. One of the main reason for having the border wall in this country is due to several international attacks this country has experienced in the countries which feel that Israel should not exist as a country. Its first border wall was built in the 1950s in Jerusalem separating Israeli territories and Jordanian. They also built the west bank wall in separating Jerusalem from the other parts of the city. Its other border walls include; Israel-Gaza barrier, Israel-Jordan walls, and a proposed Israel-Egypt boundary.
Other notable examples of countries which have boundary walls include;
- France – A mile-long wall located at Calais for preventing migrants into accessing the Channel Tunnel and funded by the United Kingdom.
- Spain – 20-foot concrete barriers to wall off Melilla and Ceuta for further border security from African migrants.
- Morocco – 1,700-mile sand wall in 1975 surrounded with millions of land mines on a disputed and ungoverned territory with the border of Western Sahara
- Finland – 450 miles barbed wire fencing to prevent reindeer from the wandering along the Russia border.
- Saudi Arabia – 550- Mile wall with Iraq built in 2014 due to the increase in the Islamic State militants that were getting into the country.
Other countries with border walls include; India, Pakistan, Ukraine, Turkmenistan, China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Iran, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Botswana, United Arab Emirates, Slovenia, Belize, South Africa, Kuwait, Hungary, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Brunei, Spain, and Egypt. Some of these boundary walls for the country are proposed, under construction while others are already constructed.
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Countries opt to have boundary walls due to some several reasons. Some of these reasons include the following;
- Allowing more people to use the designated ports of entry from the customer and border protection.
- These are also built for defense purpose.
- Having increased number of designated ports of entry for timely processing of more people.
- Prevention of drug cartels in moving drugs and cash back over the boundary lines.
- Protection against human traffickers who result into forced-labor and sex trade situations.
- It is a national security implication to most countries through which governments protect their citizens from any major attacks which can happen in the borders.