June 21, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

The curved African bridge is one of the strangest borders in the world

Last May 10 It was left open The Presidents of the respective countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, attended the Kasungula Bridge and ceremony between Botswana and Zambia. The bridge is about a kilometer long and has the Zambezi River and an unusual curved shape. The reason is not structural: it is designed because of the very strange border that passes precisely between Botswana and Zambia, actually crossing a distance of one hundred meters, separating two different points where the borders meet. Three states.

Three borders and a 135 meter border between Botswana and Zambia (Wikimedia Commons)

With a slight curve, the Kasungula Bridge starts at the Zambezi Bank in Botswana, where it joins the Soap Branch River, coming to the other side of Zambia and connecting the two countries directly, without crossing Zimbabwe and Namibia. Worry without other customs crossings, which would have compromised their business usefulness.

It has long been considered the only place where the four different states of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia meet. In fact, the political interpretation that has been confirmed for decades is that it is not four times the border, but two very close three-fold boundaries separated by the world’s narrowest border, 135 meters between Zambia and Botswana.

The bridge has been under construction since 2014 and has cost a total of $ 250 million (approximately 0 210 million). It is funded by the Japanese agency Zika, which finances projects in developing countries and is provided by the African Development Bank. On the other hand, these works were carried out by the Korean company Daewoo E&C.

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For some time there has been talk of building a bridge, mainly to address an aging problem of local transport. To get to South Africa, in fact, most of the freight traffic goes to what is known as the “infamous” border of Beatbridge in Zimbabwe, which is known to be permanently congested (lines of lorries can last even days). The bridge over Zambezi will open a new route and allow traffic to cross the Beatbridge, which is why former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe decided not to take part in the project, fearing it would reduce traffic on the crossing. His country. .

Because the border between Zambia and Botswana is so narrow that it is not possible to represent very small maps, and in the past there have been heated debates over whether or not the border between African countries is fourfold. In the 1960s, South Africa – which controlled Namibia – and Rhodesia (then known as Zimbabwe) considered it possible to claim ownership of four times the border between Zambia and Botswana, and declared a boat that would allow trade between the two countries illegal from South Africa. In 1970, again due to the border dispute, there were even some military conflicts, and a few years later the Rhodesian army sank the boat as an excuse.

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In later years, the dispute was later settled, and today the 135-meter small limit is generally considered valid. The recently opened bridge will cross this border and replace the boat that was previously in use, capable of carrying only two trucks at a time. As the site writes Great thoughtThis means that, thanks to the bridge, there will be a new and easier trade route for the extraction of extracted raw materials in the southern part of the Congo, which is especially lined with mines.

Bridge under construction (Wikimedia Commons)