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Four Border Wars Around the World That Nobody Talks About

We call them border wars. They are the conflicts between nations, large and small, that take place close to an unshared border. Fortunately, not all border wars result in armed conflict, as they did at the time of the Falkland War or as the eternal Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On the contrary, most of the time states limit themselves to non-violent claims. Some of these "wars" have ancient origins, others are the result of recent landslides.

border wars

We call them border wars. They are the conflicts between nations, large and small, that take place close to an unshared border. Fortunately, not all border wars result in armed conflict, as they did at the time of the Falkland War or as the eternal Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On the contrary, most of the time states limit themselves to non-violent claims. Some of these “wars” have ancient origins, others are the result of recent landslides.

Border Wars: Cyprus

The conflict that most troubled Europe in the second half of the 1900s was the Cyprus issue.

For centuries, in fact, Greece and Turkey clashed, taking and regaining control of the island.

After several recent invasions on both sides, the island is now divided in two. 37% of the north is under Turkish control while 63% of the south belongs to the Republic of Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004. Between the two is a NATO-administered buffer zone. Cyprus has also entered into discussions on Brexit, as it is home to some British bases.

Kosovo

Since the end of World War II, Kosovo has been part of Serbia. After decades of violent conflict, Kosovo finally declared independence in 2008. However, Serbia still considers it a “rebel” province.

Since then, 88 countries have recognised it as a legitimately independent state, including 3 of the 5 members of the UN Security Council with veto power (USA, UK and France). The other 2, China and Russia, with ancient relations with Serbia, have expressed concern. The issue between Serbia and Kosovo concerns an exchange of territories, discussed at a recent meeting in Austria.

Sandwich Islands

It is not only the Falklands that divide Argentina and the United Kingdom. The dispute over South Georgia and the Southern Sandwich Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean began around the turn of the 20th century. At that time, in fact, an Argentine whaling company organized operations on the islands at the very time when the United Kingdom annexed them.

During the Falkland War, they fell under Argentinean control for a short time. However, they were then taken over again by the United Kingdom after the conflict was resolved. But Argentina never stopped claiming them, despite the fact that they are remote and inhospitable islands on which no one lives. There are only scientists and staff from the British Antarctic Survey working on some scientific basis.

Other Border Wars: Tibet

Although most people believe that Tibet is an autonomous region of China, the Government of Tibet and the Central Tibetan Administration are actually exiled to India. As a result, they are far from the territory to which they refer.

To date, despite the support of powerful organisations such as the CIA, Tibet has not been able to gain its independence from China. In fact, the Chinese Government, after having stifled the 1959 rebellion in blood, has exiled the Dalai Lama.

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