Skip to Content

The border fence between El Paso and Juarez has an elaborate gate structure to allow floodwaters to pass under. The grates prevent people being able to cross under, and can be raised for floodwaters carrying debris. Beyond the fence is a canal and levee before the Rio Grande; the Border Patrol cars are parked on the levee. Wikipedia
Paris

Across the world border walls are multiplying

The world has more border walls than ever, a report co-authored by three independent European research centres revealed. The current trend is even known as “the walling of the world”, according to Damien Simonneau, researcher at the Collège de France and author of the study.

Published: March 17, 2021, 2:57 pm

    Read more

    From six in 1989, we have grown to nearly 63 physical walls today, according to a November 2020 report, co-authored by the Dutch think-tank Transnational Institute, the Center Delàs d’Estudis per la Pau in Barcelona and the Dutch group Stop Wapenhandel.

    The last two decades have seen a particularly prolific expansion in the erection of walls and other electrified fences. But while the Berlin Wall was intended to prevent residents of the Eastern Bloc from fleeing, these new walls serve to prevent migrants from entering.

    “Walling and militarizing a border has become very common,” explained Damien Simonneau, researcher at the Collège de France and author of L’Obsession du mur. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the border has been associated with an idea of ​​security and control, which was not the case before, he added.

    The construction of walls therefore seems to be a business of the future. In 2009, the militarization of the border between Saudi Arabia and Iraq turned out to be a profitable contract for the Franco-German company EADS. In 2018, a report from the Transnational Institute estimated the international border security market at 17,5 billion euros and predicted growth of at least 8 percent in the years to come.

    In February this year, the Dominican government announced the project to erect a new wall which extends for about 380km between Haiti and the Dominican Republic to end illegal migration. Not only will the new wall help curb illegal immigration, but also drugs and the flow of stolen vehicles between the two countries, which share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

    Haiti, one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere, is a headache for the Dominicans already struggling with a population of about 11 million. Thus some stretches of fencing have already been erected along the border. In “conflictive” sections the new barrier will include a double-fence with motion sensors, infrared systems and facial recognition cameras.

    Erecting walls is therefore becoming a trend as almost 60 percent of the world’s population live in a country that has walled up its borders, most often to fight terrorism, smuggling or unauthorized immigration.

    The European Union is no exception. Contrary to the image of openness conveyed by the free movement allowed by the Schengen agreements, some 1000 kilometers of walls have been built along its borders over the past twenty years, mainly to fight against unauthorized immigration.

    “The erection of walls presents a strong state that controls its borders and its territory,” according to Simonneau. An example is the wall built in 2015 by Viktor Orbàn on the border between Hungary and Serbia which stretches 175 kilometers with its barbed wire of four meters high. Designed to “preserve the Christian roots” of Hungary against the migratory danger, it inspired Austria, Slovenia and Macedonia, to do the same at their borders. Bulgaria, too, has erected nearly 176 kilometers of barbed wire fence along its border with Turkey, the main land entry point for migrants to Europe.

    However, according to Simonneau, “the erection of walls against immigration is more part of political shows than the issue of controlling mobility. Rather than reducing migration, the construction of a wall mainly involves shifting it”.

    It is indeed complicated to estimate the real impact of these walls on unauthorized immigration. Deprived of land access routes, migrants now take to the sea to reach Europe, with the dramatic effects announced in news headlines.

    In the United States, the closure of the border with Mexico has pushed South Americans to the desert areas of Arizona, making the migration route more dangerous and deadly, without necessarily putting an end to it. But the situation has since changed dramatically.

    This week, tens of thousands of migrants, mostly from Central America, were heading for the Mexican border to try to enter the United States, one of the biggest challenges facing President Joe Biden since he encouraged the rush.

    In a highly publicized series of day-one executive orders, the anti-wall Biden had overturned Trump-era immigration policies like the Migrant Protection Protocols. He attempted to institute a 100-day moratorium on deportations – a senseless move that was eventually struck down by courts. The new president even ordered a broad review of DHS and ICE practices, to reverse the measures instituted by the pro-wall President Trump.

    Presidents are supposed to fix problems, not create them: In February alone, more than 100 000 illegal migrants were arrested at the Mexico-USA border, including more than 70 000 single adults, nearly 20 000 family members and 9 457 unaccompanied minors.

    In Africa, the images of hundreds of migrants climbing the barbed wire in Ceuta and Melilla, the Spanish enclaves in the north of Morocco, have been reported due to the mass violence associated with it as well as the repetition. “Walls are short-term responses, placebos,” Simonneau argued. “They do not solve the political causes that lead to migration, terrorism or smuggling, but simply push them back.”

    In March 2020, Greek police officers shot migrants crossing the border with Turkey. The act was all the more notable on an ordinarily quiet border, where it is not customary to shoot. This is because of the heightened tension between European nations and the Turkish leader, President Erdogan. Turkish authorities had bused thousands of migrants to the border. According to AP, tens of thousands did attempt the crossing, although many were stopped by Greek forces and the natural river barrier. Apart from the migration issue, the two countries are also at loggerheads over energy rights in the Mediterranean.

    And new wall is being built which will extend the existing barrier by about 26 kilometers to strenghten an existing 10 kilometer section of fence, reported the Associated Press. The project involves four Greek construction companies, and has been estimated to cost about €63 million when completed in April 2021.

    Walls which were built in areas of conflict, were erected to limit mobility and separate the belligerents, but today, most of them testify to the “stagnation” of the situation, according to Simonneau. In both Cyprus and Belfast, in Northern Ireland, they survived the armed conflict, which ended decades ago, but mark, according to the researcher, the “freezing of tensions and the absence of a diplomatic process”. However, they effectively allow for a more lasting solution between the two parties.

    Ditto for the demilitarized border which has separated South Korea from North Korea since 1953, or for the 2 700 km fortified sand wall between Morocco and the areas controlled by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, proclaimed in 1976 by the Front Polisario. Thus walls in conflict zones bear witness to the unfinished nature of a conquest, blocked for military or diplomatic reasons.

    In Georgia, Russia and the de facto authorities have since the end of the 2008 conflict established a physical border between the separatist territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the rest of the country. The construction of barbed wire fences has secured a cease fire zone, while maintaining a Russian presence on the territory to dissuade an adventurous NATO.

    While the wall erected in 2002 by Israel along the “green line” in the West Bank was originally designed to combat terrorist attacks in the context of the Second Intifada, it now has a different function, according to the researcher. “The wall was thought out by certain Israeli actors as a policy of annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank,” he asserted, “and as a means of control of the Palestinian populations, on whom it prolongs the grip of the Israeli state.”

    Condemned since 2004 by the International Court of Justice, 85 percent of the nine-meter-high concrete wall in fact runs along the West Bank and isolates almost 10 percent of the Palestinian Territory. Still under construction, the structure should eventually reach 712 kilometers in length.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Parallel society: Ukrainian children in German schools

    MunichAround one million Ukrainians have left their homeland due to the war in recent months and sought refuge in Germany. Among the refugees are tens of thousands of children who are now going to school in Germany. But there are simply too many and the problems are mounting.

    Zelensky entrusts management of private investments in Ukraine to BlackRock

    KievThe Ukrainian government is teaming up with American investment firm BlackRock to "reboot its economy". A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on November 10, the Ukrainian Economy Ministry announced the next day. This agreement concerns the creation of a platform to attract private capital.

    Climate fanatics target airports

    BerlinThe climate fanatics of the Last Generation are no longer an annoying nuisance but have become a danger to life and limb due to the benevolent approval of Germany's spy chief Thomas Haldenwang. Their actions are increasingly radical, on the verge of terrorism aimed at airports and concert halls.

    Moroccans trash Belgian cities after WC victory

    BrusselsVictory turned into a riot on Sunday 27 November, as violence broke out in Brussels after the victory of the Moroccan team against Belgium in the football World Cup. The Atlas Lions won by two goals to nil and thus triumphed over the Belgian team.

    ‘Migrants only ever lose their passports, never their knives’

    TraiskirchenAgainst the background of the continuing mass influx of asylum seekers, the Austrian FPÖ presents itself again with a winning campaign to deal with the crisis. At a press conference on Wednesday, three leading FPÖ politicians gave more details – in Traiskirchen, Lower Austria, of all places, which is the seat of a large first reception center and has been a "hot spot" for the mass influx for months.

    Twitter’s Brussels office dismantled

    BrusselsThe move by Elon Musk to rid the online platform of "woke" ideologues, has sparked EU concern over online content control. With Twitter dismantling its entire Brussels office, some EU officials claim the platform will no longer comply with their new rules on controlling online content.

    In 4 years, 343 terror convicts have been released in France

    ParisPrisoners convicted of terrorism-related offences are monitored by the judiciary and intelligence services upon their release. This has been a huge cost to French taxpayers.

    Green MP complains about ‘cold Bundestag’

    BerlinAnyone who dares to complain about gas prices, which have increased at least six fold in the last year, is denounced as a traitor in Germany. In reality, many families do not know how they will stay warm since they are no longer able to afford heating.

    Vlaams Belang calls on government to cancel WEF membership

    BrusselsIn 2022, the Flemish government will pay €175 763.87 in membership fees to the World Economic Forum (WEF) and 27 000 Swiss francs (about €27 300) as participation fees to the annual meeting of the WEF in Davos. This is according to Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon's response to a parliamentary question by Flemish MP Sam van Rooy.

    Human traffickers shoot at Hungarian police during highway chase

    BudapestTo keep illegals flooding into the EU, human traffickers are now willing to accept the deaths of police officers. During a chase on the Hungarian highway, alleged Iraqi traffickers opened fire at the police. In the end, the traffickers could only be arrested and disarmed by a counter-terrorism unit.

    Go to archive