Sunday, August 07, 2016

The strangest border dispute in the world has ended ...

A few days ago, after many years of arguments, India and Bangladesh exchanged a number of enclaves, thereby resolving a seventy-year old border dispute, and probably almost certainly the most complex and strange in the world.

For cartographers and others who take an interest in geopolitical oddities, it is the end of an era. The exchange between India and Bangladesh means that the world will not only lose one of its most unique borders, but it will also lose the only third-order enclave in the world – an enclave surrounded by an enclave surrounded by an enclave surrounded by another state.

To spell it out in more detail, Dahala Khagrabari, the third-order enclave in question, was a part of India, surrounded by a second-order enclave which was part of Bangladesh, which itself was surrounded by an Indian enclave, which was surrounded by Bangladesh.

If you're still confused, here is a map:

The problem of this enclave and a large number of others has been resolved by each country ceding all their first-order enclaves in the region and any other territory they hold within them. Citizens in each of the enclaves being exchanged, of which there are more than 160 , can choose either to change citizenship and stay put or keep their original citizenship and be relocated.

More details of the story in the Washington Post here.

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