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Ethnic Cleansing

Ethnic Cleansing



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Published by Alrifai Ziad Ahmed

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Published by: Alrifai Ziad Ahmed on Jun 04, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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In this essay, ethnic cleansing will be defined and explained. Someinstances of ethnic cleansing committed throughout history will behighlighted demonstrating that this practice considered today a war crimeand a crime against by the international community continues.Ethnic cleansing is definedin the Merriam-Webster dictionaryas “thepersecution through imprisonment, expulsion, or killing of members of anethnic minority by a local majority to achieve ethnic homogeneity inmajority-controlled territory”. The United Nations defines ethnic cleansing as"rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or to remove froma given area persons of another ethnic or religious group”. At one end it isvirtually indistinguishable from forced emigration and population exchangewhile at the other it merges withdeportationand genocide. At the mostgeneral level, however, ethnic cleansing can be understood as the expulsionof a population from a given territory. The International Criminal Court andthe United Nations consider ethnic cleansing as a crime against humanity.Ethnic cleansing is generally used as a tactic to achieve military orpolitical dominance over a geographic area. When used as a military tactic,ethnic cleansing has a number of significant impacts. It enables a force toeliminate civilian support for a resistance by eliminating the civilianpopulation that sympathizes and support it. This ensures the total removalof a different ethnic faction and an assured long term victory. When used asa political tactic, it insures the absence of any potential political oppositionestablishing a homogenous population with similar political tendencies. Throughout history, there were examples of the use of ethnic cleansing asa tactic for both political and/or military gains. Some examples of ethniccleansing covering ancient history:
 The Assyriansemployed the practice of mass-deportation as apunishment for rebellions starting in the 13th century BC. By the 9thcentury BC, the Assyrians were regularly deporting thousands of localsto other lands.
 The Romans both practiced and were subjected to ethnic cleansing.For example, Julius Caesar's campaign against the Celtic inhabitants of modern Switzerland resulted in approximately 60% of the tribe beingkilled, another 20% taken into slavery and the rest being deported.Similarly, there were ethnic cleansing and massacres of the Romanpopulation of Roman Britain by Celtic Britons in 60-61 AD. The practice of ethnic cleansing continued in medieval history:
In 1002, the Anglo-Saxons ordered the death of all the Danes living inEngland.
 Jews were frequently massacred and exiled from various Europeancountries.
At the beginning of the 13th century the eastern part of the Islamicworld was devastated by the Mongol invasion, which turned northernand eastern Iran into a desert. Over much of Central Asia speakers of Iranian languages were replaced by speakers of Turkic languages.
In the 12th to 15th centuries, the Kingdom of France organized thenear-total massacre of inhabitants of the southern provinces.
large Muslim and Jewish minorities, inherited from thatcountry's former Islamic kingdoms, were expelled following Alhambradecree in 1492, while converts to Catholicism were expelled between1609 and 1614.In modern history, examples of ethnic cleansing include:
In the United States during the 1830s, the US government forced relocationof various Native American peoples from their
traditional areas to morewestern, often remote reservations elsewhere in the country, a processknown as Indian Removal.
In the early 1900s after the Balkan countries (e.g., Serbia, Greece, andBulgaria) achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire, theyexpelled Turkish, Muslim, and Jewish populations from within theirterritories.
In the 19
century, imperial Russia forced the Expulsion of Muslimpopulations in the Northern Caucasus.
Massacres of the Turkish population by Greek troops after their defeatin the Greco Turkish War.
 The mass deportation of Ukrainian speaking ethnic minorities from theterritory of Poland after World War II,
In 1948, after India's annexation of the Muslim-ruled state of Hyderabad by India, they interned or deported about 7,000 HadramiArabs.
In the period of 1991-1999, the widespread ethnic cleansingaccompanying the Yugoslav wars was bloody. The most significantexamples occurred in eastern Croatia, Bosnia and in Kosovo. Largenumbers of Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks and Albanians were forced to fleetheir homes and were expelled. In total, political troubles in theBalkans displaced about 2,700,000 people by mid-1992, of which over700,000 of them sought asylum in Europe.

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