Border dispute

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A border dispute is when two governments or more do not agree where border is between two their lands. An example is Israel and Palestine. Another example is Pakistan and India over the territory of Kashmir. An historical example is the Honey War between Iowa and Missouri.

Wars are sometimes fought over border disputes. Disputed territory means that two states are claiming the territory in question. It might be resolved through war or through diplomatic processes or even a Plebiscite. Some examples of disputed territory include Kosovo in the Balkans claimed by Serbia, the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean by the British and Kashmir in Asia, claimed by the Republic of India. There are scores of disputed areas throughout the world with 1.5% of the world's population living in disputed areas. These disputes are often related to the possession of natural resources such as rivers, fertile farmland, mineral or oil and gas resources, although the disputes can also be driven by culture, religion and ethnic nationalism. In many cases territorial disputes result from vague and unclear language in a treaty that set up the original boundary.

Territorial disputes are a major cause of wars and terrorism, as states often try to assert their real, or imagined, sovereignty over a territory through invasion, and non-state entities try to influence the actions of politicians through terrorism. International law does not support the use force by one state to annex the territory of another state. The UN Charter says:

"All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."

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