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Why does ethnic conflict occur How can it be avoided - Essay Example

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Ethnic conflict refers to a situation where two or more distinct ethnic group comes up against each other due to ethnic nationalism. In some cases they results to war crimes or genocide which makes them of great interest to the international community…
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Why does ethnic conflict occur How can it be avoided
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Download file to see previous pages They usually fall under the following categories namely instrumentalist, primordialist and constructivist. Instrumentalist seeks to explain the role of community leaders in ethnic conflict while primordialist relates ethnic conflicts as being caused by a common feeling of kinship which makes a group to think along the same line. On the other hand constructivist tries to explain conflicts as being caused by individuals’ learning process1; however, most of the ethnic conflicts are largely caused by social and economic injustices. Gross violations of human rights have played a great role in fuelling ethnic violence; as a result, this has brought about a lingering question as to whether human rights can be enforced and at the same time end violence. Therefore, human rights have a strong negative effect in the management of ethnic conflicts. This has led to the establishment of the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda as well as the special courts for Sierra Leon as an indication of the need of involvement of the international community to address the issues of human rights violations.2 In the 1990s most ethnic conflict were religious base for instance the Palestinian-Israel conflict, Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, the Tamil rebellion in Sri Lanka, the southerners in the Sudan conflict with their northern counterparts just to mention but a few.3 Iran and Sudan are the best example of ethno religious conflicts, and this makes them attract international attention as well as journalistic and diplomatic coverage. The minority tag as in the case of the Kurds in Iran, Iraq and turkey is also a source of ethnic conflict due to their relationship with the state which is governed by the majority ethnic groups. This has exposed them to political and economic discrimination which has resulted in protest and rebellions to air their grievances. Consequently, they have resulted to the use of violent and rebellious organizations and other extra legal means geared towards attaining their rightful status in the society. The media is also to blame for ethnic conflicts that have occurred in various countries around the globe. This is owing to the fact that at times it abuses the freedom of speech and peddles propaganda pitting ethnic groups against each other, and a good example is on what happened in Rwanda and Yugoslavia.4 The media was used to fuel ethnic animosity against the minority Tutsi in Rwanda that resulted in the death of thousands of Tutsi civilians. Furthermore, the absence of a democratic government leads to formation of violent organization by the minority group e.g. in Sudan. Democracy ensures that the minority goals are achieved through a democratic process, and gives room for due process to be followed be it legal means or peaceful organizations. Therefore, the lack of proper democracy being practiced in a country makes violence to be the last resort.5 Mobilization of ethnic groups has also played a major role in fuelling ethnic clashes, which can take the form of being offensive, defensive and preparatory that are all to blame for ethnic uprising. As a result, it leads to the formation of unruly militia groups that bring chaos in the society. Preparatory mobilization is highly counterproductive while at the same time creates unnecessary ethnic tension considering that some minor flare up in most cases leads to ethnic conflict due to this nature of preparedness. Ethnic security dilemma whereby there is no sovereign authority to oversee the security of every group security is another major factor that leads to conflicts. The government may be weak or entirely absent which creates a situation where the respective group acquires a group concern of feeling threatened, as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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