Demilitarized zone

In military terms, a demilitarized zone (DMZ) is an area, usually the frontier or boundary between two or more groups, where military activity is not permitted, usually by treaty or other agreement. Often the demilitarized zone lies upon a line of control and forms a de-facto international border.

Demilitarized zones have also unintentionally become wildlife preserves as they cause the land which they sit on to be too dangerous for construction. See also Korean Demilitarized Zone.

Generally, "demilitarized" means converted to non-military use or purpose, returned to a civilian field. In such meaning the term is oftenly used in former Soviet countries both in Western and local (transliterated) languages.

The term demilitarized zone (DMZ) also exists in the domain of computer networks. In this case it defines a zone where any servers which access the internet are placed. Servers inside this zone may be configured to access certain servers within an internal network. See demilitarized zone (computing).


Current Demilitarized/Neutral Zones


(see:Cyprus dispute)

  • A neutral territory exists between Gibraltar and Spain. A strip of land of width "600 toises, being more than 2 cannon shots distance between the British guns and the Spanish guns" would be considered "the neutral ground" stipulated by the Treaty of Seville in 1729. In 1908 the British constructed a fence at the British side of the neutral territory. In order not to offend the Spanish, the fence was actually 1 metre inside British territory. Even though both the United Kingdom and Spain are part of the European Union, the border fence is still relevant today since Gibraltar maintains its tax haven status. The border crossing is open 24-hours a day to facilitate customs collection by Spain.

Middle East and Asia

Famous demilitarized zones

  • Lebanon: The Green Line was also a line of demarcation in Beirut, Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War from 1975 to 1990. It served to separate the Muslim Lebanese in West Beirut from the Christian Lebanese in East Beirut. It was so named because the line was always drawn in green on local maps. Many of the buildings along the "Green Line" were severely damaged or destroyed during the war. Since the end of hostilities, however, many of the buildings have been rebuilt.
  • China: Japanese forces conquered Manchuria between September 1931 and February 1932, when they proclaimed the region to be the puppet state of Manchukuo. In May of 1933, the Tanggu Truce between China and Japan was concluded, which established a demilitarized zone between Manchukuo and China proper.

Fictional demilitarized zones

In the Star Trek universe, a demilitarized zone was establised in 2370, as a a boundary between the United Federation of Planets and the Cardassian Union. The Treaty that established the Zone was deeply opposed on both sides. Some Federation colonies ended up on the Cardassian side and vice versa. The Maquis were formed by Federation colonists on both sides and from within the DMZ.

See also

et:Demilitariseeritud tsoon nl:DMZ pl:Strefa zdemilitaryzowana


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