Borders are geographical boundaries separating regions for political or legal rights. International borders separate countries. There have always been disputes around the world arising from vague and improper boundaries. Disputes have also occurred due to claim of regions. Historically, rivalry from such conditions has made the borders extremely hostile and unsafe. Forces are kept along the borders to safeguard in dire situations. Many lives have been lost from battles, wars, shootings and violence. So, which are the most dangerous borders in the world today?
Here is the list of the 10 most dangerous borders in the world some of which has heavy military presence and is highly volatile:
10. Saudi Arabia & Yemen
Saudi Arabia and Yemen have a border of 1,800 Km (1,100 mi). The Saudi-Yemen barrier is a structure filled with concrete which stands 10 feet in height. This acts as a security barrier which was built in 2003 in order to stop terrorism and infiltration. The border conflicts between the two nations date back to 2015. An armed conflict broke open between the troops of Saudi Arabia and Houthi insurgents in the border. In 2016, Yemeni forces fired 70 missiles and mortar shells killing over 10 Saudi troops. In 2017, the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels launched a missile that hit Riyadh. Thousands of lives have been lost due to the border conflicts between the two nations. It remains as one of the most dangerous borders in the world today.
9. Sudan & South Sudan
The relationship between Sudan and South Sudan has been distressed and poor from the beginning. The Heglig Crisis is the most famous dispute between the two. South Sudan shares a border of 1,937 km with Sudan. Before the Heglig Crisis, South Sudan got its independence from Sudan in 2011. In 2005, the two signed a peace treaty which ended the second Sudanese civil war. The peach treaty didn’t last for long. Unfortunately in 2012, the two nations went to war with each other in what is known as the Heglig Crisis. The crisis left millions homeless and displaced. Several people lost their lives. After the crisis in 2013, South Sudan went in its own civil war. Today, the border region is highly unpredictable and unstable due to various reasons, past violence and relationship between the two nations.
8. Niger & Chad
Niger-Chad border is home to one of the deadliest terror organization – Boko Haram. Due to the fear of an attack from Boko Haram, thousands of people have fled from Niger to Chad. The entire region surrounding Niger & Chad is unsafe and unstable due to Boko Haram. The two countries share a border of 1,196 km. Several areas across the borders are unsafe, prone to bandits and extremely remote. Niger and Chad forces have come together to fight the Boko Haram making the border one of the most dangerous in the world. The border experiences several instances of violence, attacks, trafficking and banditry.
7. Iran & Iraq
The relationship between Iran and Iraq has always been unstable. Iran has proved time and again that it is almost impossible for Iraq to invade. Iran has nuclear weapons and the number of nuclear warheads or missiles is unknown. The two nations fought several wars. All the wars were won by Iran because Iraq couldn’t conquer what was required. The two countries went to war for border issues. They share a large 1,458 kilometers border from Shatt al-Arab River to tri-point boundary with Turkey.
The conflict between the nations lasted for 8 years which ended in a stalemate. A total of 500,000 soldiers lost their lives due to the war between the two nations. The border also experiences illegal smuggling and violence related to smuggling. After the border issues, wars and loss of lives the two countries signed a UN peace treaty. But, the dispute continues.
6. India & Bangladesh
India and Bangladesh share a border of 4,156 km (2,582 mi) in length which is the fifth-longest land border in the world. Due to the border’s porous nature, many illegal activities happen here. Very small portions of the border are fenced. The main problem for India is tackling the illegal smuggling of livestock, medicines, foods and drugs from India to Bangladesh. India also faces the problem of illegal migration from Bangladesh to India. The Indian border patrols have in place the controversial shoot-on-sight policy which has led to loss of lives. There are reports of border skirmishes between Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and the Border Guards Bangladesh.
In 2009, there were reports coming from news channels about the killings of several Bangladeshis by the BSF along the Indo-Bangladeshi Barrier. The main purpose of the barrier was to stop cross-border terrorism. In the 21st century, the report says about the deaths of thousands of Bangladeshis. Due to the border’s high volatile nature and indiscriminate shootings, this border is one of the most dangerous in the world.
5. USA & Mexico
USA-Mexico border is one of the most dangerous borders in the world. It is simply because of the power of US armed forces, the rugged terrains, isolated deserts and inhabitable lands across the border. The length of the border is 1,954 miles (3,145 km). Illegal border crossing from Mexico to USA have been a problem to the US Government. Today, it is not the case. The security is extremely tight and illegal people migrations are pushed to isolated regions to cross. The Border Patrol Team has rescued many people, recovered bodies and skeletons across the isolated regions. US have also plans of building wall across the border.
The Rio de Grande Valley area of the border is considered as the most dangerous border region in the US. Illegal smugglers and people are left to die while the Border Patrol Team is busy fighting the drug cartels. Several hundred die trying to cross the border. More than 50,000 people have died since 2007 in Mexico trying to cross the borders. El Paso, Texas has been named the most dangerous border town in the United States in 2011. Two Mexican cities namely Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez along the US border have become the most dangerous cities in the country. These two border cities see the highest rates of crimes such as drug smuggling, drug cartel violence, weapon violence and homicides.
4. Pakistan & Afghanistan
The border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is one of the most volatile in the world. The countries are in several regional disputes. The border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is known as the Durand Line which is 1,510 miles. The line divides the Pashtun ethnic homeland between the two countries. Due to this division, there are disputes in the borders. Historically, Afghan has resisted Pakistan from fencing the Pashtun region. Several attacks by Afghanistan and Pakistan army have been carried out near the borders. Due to the presence of terror outfits like Taliban in the region, Pakistan has been severe on cross border terrorism, illegal smuggling of goods and to control arms trafficking.
3. Israel & Syria
The border between Israel and Syria is dangerous due to the increasing instability in Syria and terrorism. In 1923, a consensus between United Kingdom and France created the borders of present day Syria and Israel. The border was drawn by British Mandate of Palestine and the French Mandate of Syria. The dispute between the two nations is due to a region known as Golan Heights. For many decades both the countries claim Golan Heights as theirs. In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan Heights with the Golan Heights Law. The UN considers this region as Israeli-occupied. Both the countries have fought several wars and are technically at war even today. There have been no peaceful results yet. Several lives have been affected and lost due to the dispute.
2. North Korea & South Korea
The border between North Korea and South Korea is a strip of 250 Km (160 miles) long. This zone is known as DMZ or Korean Demilitarized Zone. The history of the border dates back to 1953. In 1953, the border was established by agreement between North Korea, China and the UN. It is one of the most militarized zones on earth. The border between the two nations serves as a buffer to conduct peace talks and negotiations. The border is one of the most dangerous in the world due to its high volatile nature. More than a million soldiers are deployed in this region. There have been severe casualties in and around the DMZ.
If we were to take a trip to this border, you will encounter live barbed wires, tank mines, live minefields, incursion tunnels and heavy weapons. At the center of the DMZ buffer is a Military Demarcation Line (MDL) which is the actual political border between the two nations. This is the most dangerous region of the border as you will be shot if you try to cross from any of the sides. Hundreds of people have died on either side from 1953.
1. India & Pakistan
The two nuclear nations share a border of approximately 2,900 Km (1,800 mi) with extreme weather and difficult terrains. The history of the border dispute and enmity of both the nations date back to 1947 when both of countries got their independence from the British Raj. Numerous conflicts and disputes have risen after the partition of India. The two countries have seen 3 deadly wars after the partition where the total casualties have been more than 20,000. Due to a variety of terrains and inhospitable regions of this border, it is one of the most complex borders in the world. It is the only border seen from space due to 150,000 flood lights installed by India along the border.
The tension between the two nations has always been compared to an electricity live wire. Both claim Kashmir as their territory and have been fighting for the same. They have also fought for a glacier in the region. Kashmir is one of the most militarized regions in the world. Thousands of soldiers are deployed by both the armies along the border. There have always been shelling on both the sides due to which several lives have been lost in the past. India and Pakistan border is the most dangerous border in the world today.