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Ethnic cleansing

Ethnic cleansing (from Serbo-Croatian etni ko i enje[1]) is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.[2]

An earlier draft by the Commission of Experts described ethnic cleansing as "the planned deliberate removal from a specific territory, persons of a particular ethnic group, by force or intimidation, in order to render that area ethnically homogenous." which it based on "the many reports describing the policy and practices conducted in the former Yugoslavia, 'ethnic cleansing' has been carried out by means of murder, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, extra-judicial executions, rape and sexual assaults, confinement of civilian population in ghetto areas, forcible removal, displacement and deportation of civilian population, deliberate military attacks or threats of attacks on civilians and civilian areas, and wanton destruction of property. Those practices constitute crimes against humanity and can be assimilated to specific war crimes. Furthermore, such acts could also fall within the meaning of the Genocide Convention".[3]

Ethnic cleansing is not to be confused with genocide. These terms are not synonymous, yet the academic discourse considers both as existing in a spectrum of assaults on nations or religio-ethnic groups. Ethnic cleansing is similar to forced deportation or population transfer whereas genocide is the intentional murder of part or all of a particular ethnic, religious, or national group.[4] The idea in ethnic cleansing is "to get people to move, and the means used to this end range from the legal to the semi-legal."[5] Some academics consider genocide as a subset of "murderous ethnic cleansing."[6] Thus, these concepts are different, but related, "literally and figuratively, ethnic cleansing bleeds into genocide, as mass murder is committed in order to rid the land of a people."[7]

Synonyms include ethnic purification.[8]



The official United Nations definition of ethnic cleansing is "rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove from a given area persons of another ethnic or religious group."

The term ethnic cleansing has been defined as a spectrum, or continuum by some historians. In the words of Andrew Bell-Fialkoff:

[E]thnic cleansing [...] defies easy definition. At one end it is virtually indistinguishable from forced emigration and population exchange while at the other it merges with deportation and genocide. At the most general level, however, ethnic cleansing can be understood as the expulsion of a population from a given territory.[9]

Terry Martin has defined ethnic cleansing as "the forcible removal of an ethnically defined population from a given territory" and as "occupying the central part of a continuum between genocide on one end and nonviolent pressured ethnic emigration on the other end."[10]

In reviewing the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Bosnian Genocide Case in the judgement of Jorgic v. Germany on July 12, 2007 the European Court of Human Rights quoted from the ICJ ruling on the Bosnian Genocide Case to draw a distinction between ethnic cleansing and genocide.

The term 'ethnic cleansing' has frequently been employed to refer to the events in Bosnia and Herzegovina which are the subject of this case ... General Assembly resolution 47/121 referred in its Preamble to 'the abhorrent policy of 'ethnic cleansing', which is a form of genocide', as being carried on in Bosnia and Herzegovina. ... It [i.e. ethnic cleansing] can only be a form of genocide within the meaning of the [Genocide] Convention, if it corresponds to or falls within one of the categories of acts prohibited by Article II of the Convention. Neither the intent, as a matter of policy, to render an area "ethnically homogeneous", nor the operations that may be carried out to implement such policy, can as such be designated as genocide: the intent that characterizes genocide is "to destroy, in whole or in part" a particular group, and deportation or displacement of the members of a group, even if effected by force, is not necessarily equivalent to destruction of that group, nor is such destruction an automatic consequence of the displacement. This is not to say that acts described as 'ethnic cleansing' may never constitute genocide, if they are such as to be characterized as, for example, 'deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part', contrary to Article II, paragraph (c), of the Convention, provided such action is carried out with the necessary specific intent (dolus specialis), that is to say with a view to the destruction of the group, as distinct from its removal from the region. As the ICTY has observed, while 'there are obvious similarities between a genocidal policy and the policy commonly known as 'ethnic cleansing' ' (Krsti , IT-98-33-T, Trial Chamber Judgment, August 2, 2001, para. 562), yet '[a] clear distinction must be drawn between physical destruction and mere dissolution of a group. The expulsion of a group or part of a group does not in itself suffice for genocide. |ECHR quoting the ICJ.[11]

Origins of the term

The practice is much older than the term, known throughout history. The term itself appears to have been popularised by the international media approximately early in 1992, following the discovery of Bosnian-Serb Concentration camps established in April 1992, and the subsequent assault on Sarajevo.[12]

During the 1990s, the term was used extensively by the media in the former Yugoslavia in relation to the wars in Croatia and Bosnia. The conflicting parties used widespread and systematic acts of persecution (murder, violence, detention, intimidation) against opposing populations, creating a such coercive and frightening atmosphere that the targeted population had no option but to flee or be forcibly deported. These acts were carried out from (at least) August 1991. Croats and Bosniaks were expelled by Serbs, Serbs and Bosniaks by Croats, and Bosniaks expelled the perceived rival populations from their domains.

As early as 1914, a Carnegie Endowment report on the Balkan Wars points out that village-burning and ethnic cleansing had traditionally accompanied Balkan wars, regardless of the ethnic group in power. However, the term "cleanse" was probably used first by Vuk Karad i , to describe what happened to the Turks in Belgrade when the city was captured by the Karadjordje's forces in 1806.[13] Konstantin Nenadovi wrote, in his biography of the famous Serbian leader published in 1883, that after the fighting "the Serbs, in their bitterness (after 500 years of Turkish occupation), slit the throats of the Turks everywhere they found them, sparing neither the wounded, nor the woman, nor the Turkish children".[14] Serbs are expelled by Usta e in 1941. During World War II, Mile Budak laid down the Croatian plan to purge Croatia of Serbs: by killing one third, expelling one third and assimilating the rest.

On May 16, 1941, a commander in the Croatian extremist Usta e faction, Viktor Guti , said:

"Every Croat who today solicits for our enemies not only is not a good Croat, but also an opponent and disrupter of the prearranged, well-calculated plan for cleansing [ i enje] our Croatia of unwanted elements [...]."[15]

Only a month later (June 30, 1941), Stevan Moljevi (a lawyer from Banja Luka who was also an ideologue of the Chetniks), published a booklet with the title "On Our State and Its Borders". Moljevi asserted:

"One must take advantage of the war conditions and at a suitable moment seize the territory marked on the map, cleanse [o istiti] it before anybody notices and with strong battalions occupy the key places (...) and the territory surrounding these cities, freed of non-Serb elements. The guilty must be promptly punished and the others deported the Croats to (significantly amputated) Croatia, the Muslims to Turkey or perhaps Albania while the vacated territory is settled with Serb refugees now located in Serbia."[16]

In fact, the Usta e carried out widespread persecution and massacre of the Serbs in Croatia during World War II, and on several occasions used the term "cleansing" to describe these acts.[17]

However, the concept of ethnic cleansing was not restricted to Yugoslavia during this period. The Russian term "cleansing of borders" (ochistka granits ), was used in Soviet Union documents of the early 1930s to describe the forced resettlement of Polish people from the 22 km border zone in the Byelorussian SSR and Ukrainian SSR. This process was repeated on an even larger and wider scale in 1939 1941, involving many other ethnicities with allegedly external loyalties: see Involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union and Population transfer in the Soviet Union.[10]

Most notoriously, the Nazi administration in Germany under Adolf Hitler applied a similar term to their systematic replacement of the Jewish people. When an area under Nazi control had its entire Jewish population removed, by driving the population out, by deportation to Concentration Camps and/or murder, that area was declared judenrein (lit. "Jew Clean"): "cleansed of Jews" (cf. racial hygiene).

Ethnic cleansing as a military, political and economic tactic

The 12th anniversary of ethnic cleansing in Abkhazia, which was held in Tbilisi in 2005.

The purpose of ethnic cleansing is to remove competitors. The party implementing this policy sees a risk (or a useful scapegoat) in a particular ethnic group, and uses propaganda about that group to stir up FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) in the general population. The targeted ethnic group is marginalized and demonized. It can also be conveniently blamed for the economic, moral and political woes of that region.

Physically removing the targeted ethnic community provides a very clear, visual reminder of the power of the current government. It also provides a safety-valve for violence stirred up by the FUD. The government in power benefits significantly from seizing the assets of the dispossessed ethnic group.

The reason given for ethnic cleansing is usually that the targeted community is potentially or actually hostile to the "approved" population. Suddenly your neighbour becomes a "danger" to you and your children. In giving in to the FUD, you become as much a victim of political manipulation as the targeted group. Although ethnic cleansing has sometimes been motivated by claims that an ethnic group is literally "unclean" (as in the case of the Jews of medieval Europe), it has generally been a deliberate (if brutal) way of ensuring the complete domination of a region.

In the 1990s Bosnian war, ethnic cleansing was a common phenomenon. It typically entailed intimidation, forced expulsion and/or killing of the undesired ethnic group, as well as the destruction or removal of key physical and cultural elements. These included places of worship, cemeteries, works of art and historic buildings. According to numerous ICTY verdicts, both Serb[18] and Croat[19] forces performed ethnic cleansing of their intended territories in order to create ethnically pure states (Republika Srpska and Herzeg-Bosnia). Serb forces were also judged to have committed genocide in Srebrenica at the end of the war.[20] Mass expulsion of Poles]] in 1939 as part of the German ethnic cleansing of western Poland annexed to the Reich. Based on the evidence of numerous attacks by Croat forces against Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks), the ICTY Trial Chamber concluded in the Kordi and erkez case that by April 1993, the Croat leadership from Bosnia and Herzegovina had a designated plan to ethnically cleanse Bosniaks from the La va Valley in Central Bosnia. Dario Kordi , the local political leader, was found to be the instigator of this plan.[21]

In the same year (1993), ethnic cleansing was also occurring in another country. During the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, the armed Abkhaz separatist insurgency implemented a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the large population of ethnic Georgians. This was actually a case of trying to drive out a majority, rather than a minority, since Georgians were the single largest ethnic group in pre-war Abkhazia, with a 45.7% plurality as of 1989.[22] As a result of this deliberate campaign by the Abkhaz separatists, more than 250,000 ethnic Georgians were forced to flee, and approximately 30,000 people were killed during separate incidents involving massacres and expulsions (see Ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia).[23][24] This was recognized as ethnic cleansing by Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe conventions, and was also mentioned in UN General Assembly Resolution GA/10708.[25]

As a tactic, ethnic cleansing has a number of systemic impacts. It enables a force to eliminate civilian support for resistance by eliminating the civilians recognizing Mao Zedong's dictum that guerrillas among a civilian population are fish in water, it removes the fish by draining the water. When enforced as part of a political settlement, as happened with the forced resettlement of ethnic Germans to the new Germany after 1945, it can contribute to long-term stability.[26] Some individuals of the large German population in Czechoslovakia and prewar Poland had encouraged Nazi jingoism before the Second World War, but this was forcibly resolved.[27] It thus establishes "facts on the ground" radical demographic changes which can be very hard to reverse.

For the most part, ethnic cleansing is such a brutal tactic and so often accompanied by large-scale bloodshed that it is widely reviled. It is generally regarded as lying somewhere between population transfers and genocide on a scale of odiousness, and is treated by international law as a war crime. Ethnic cleansing may be seen as a policy aimed to stabilise the borders of the State. Armenian civilians, being cleansed from their homeland during the Armenian Genocide

Ethnic cleansing as a crime under international law

There is no formal legal definition of ethnic cleansing.[28] However, ethnic cleansing in the broad sense the forcible deportation of a population is defined as a crime against humanity under the statutes of both International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[29] The gross human-rights violations integral to stricter definitions of ethnic cleansing are treated as separate crimes falling under the definitions for genocide or crimes against humanity of the statutes.[30]

The UN Commission of Experts (established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780) held that the practices associated with ethnic cleansing "constitute crimes against humanity and can be assimilated to specific war crimes. Furthermore ... such acts could also fall within the meaning of the Genocide Convention." The UN General Assembly condemned "ethnic cleansing" and racial hatred in a 1992 resolution.[31]

There are however situations, such as the expulsion of Germans after World War II, where ethnic cleansing has taken place without legal redress (see Preussische Treuhand v. Poland). Timothy V. Waters argues that if similar circumstances arise in the future, this precedent would allow the ethnic cleansing of other populations under international law.[32]

Silent ethnic cleansing

Silent ethnic cleansing is a term coined in the mid-1990s by some observers of the Yugoslav wars. Apparently concerned with Western media representations of atrocities committed in the conflict which generally focused on those perpetrated by the Serbs atrocities committed against Serbs were dubbed "silent", on the grounds that they were not receiving adequate coverage.[33]

Since that time, the term has been used by other ethnically oriented groups for situations that they perceive to be similar examples include both sides in Ireland's Troubles, and the expulsion of ethnic Germans from former German territories during and after World War II.

Some observers, however, assert that the term should only be used to denote population changes that do not occur as the result of overt violent action, or at least not from more or less organized aggression the absence of such stressors being the very factor that makes it "silent", although some form of coercion is still used. The United States practiced this during the Indian Wars of the 19th century.

Instances of ethnic cleansing

This section lists incidents that have been termed "ethnic cleansing" by some academic or legal experts. Not all experts agree on every case; nor do all the claims necessarily follow definitions given in this article. Where claims of ethnic cleansing originate from non-experts (e.g., journalists or politicians) this is noted.

Ancient history

  • Ancient Chinese text recorded that General Ran Min ordered the extermination of the Wu Hu especially the Jie people during the Wei Jie war in the fourth century AD. People with racial characteristics of high-bridged nose and bushy beard were killed, and 200,000 were reportedly massacred.[34]

Early modern history

  • Edward I of England expelled all Jews living in England in 1290. Hundreds of Jewish elders were executed.[35]

  • Spain expelled its Jews in 1492, then its Muslims in 1502, forcibly Christianizing the remaining Muslims.[36] The descendents of these converted Muslims were called Moriscos. After the 1571 suppression of the Morisco Revolt in the Alpujarras region, almost 80,000 Moriscos were expelled from there to other parts of Spain and some 270 villages and hamlets were repopulated with settlers brought in from Northern Spain. This was followed by the overall Expulsion of the Moriscos from the entire Spanish realm in 1609 1614.
  • After the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland and Act of Settlement in 1652, the whole post-war Cromwellian settlement of Ireland has been characterised by historians such as Mark Levene and Alan Axelrod as ethnic cleansing, in that it sought to remove Irish Catholics from the eastern part of the country, but others such as the historical writer Tim Pat Coogan have describe the actions of Cromwell and his subordinates as genocide.[37]
  • Albert Breton (Editor, 1995). Nationalism and Rationality. Cambridge University Press 1995. Page 248. "Oliver Cromwell offered Irish Catholics a choice between genocide and forced mass population transfer"
  • Ukrainian Quarterly. Ukrainian Society of America 1944. "Therefore, we are entitled to accuse the England of Oliver Cromwell of the genocide of the Irish civilian population.."
  • David Norbrook (2000).Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric and Politics, 1627 1660. Cambridge University Press. 2000. In interpreting Andrew Marvell's contemporarily expressed views on Cromwell Norbrook says; "He (Cromwell) laid the foundation for a ruthless programme of resettling the Irish Catholics which amounted to large scale ethnic cleansing.."
  • Frances Stewart (2000). War and Underdevelopment: Economic and Social Consequences of Conflict v. 1 (Queen Elizabeth House Series in Development Studies), Oxford University Press. 2000. p. 51 "Faced with the prospect of an Irish alliance with Charles II, Cromwell carried out a series of massacres to subdue the Irish. Then, once Cromwell had returned to England, the English Commissary, General Henry Ireton, adopted a deliberate policy of crop burning and starvation, which was responsible for the majority of an estimated 600,000 deaths out of a total Irish population of 1,400,000."
  • Alan Axelrod (2002). Profiles in Leadership, Prentice-Hall. 2002. Page 122. "As a leader Cromwell was entirely unyielding. He was willing to act on his beliefs, even if this meant killing the king and perpetrating, against the Irish, something very nearly approaching genocide"
  • Tim Pat Coogan (2002). The Troubles: Ireland's Ordeal and the Search for Peace. ISBN 978-0-312-29418-2. p 6. "The massacres by Catholics of Protestants, which occurred in the religious wars of the 1640s, were magnified for propagandist purposes to justify Cromwell's subsequent genocide."
  • Peter Berresford Ellis (2002). Eyewitness to Irish History, John Wiley & Sons Inc. ISBN 978-0-471-26633-4. p. 108 "It was to be the justification for Cromwell's genocidal campaign and settlement."
  • John Morrill (2003). Rewriting Cromwell A Case of Deafening Silences, Canadian Journal of History. Dec 2003. "Of course, this has never been the Irish view of Cromwell.
    Most Irish remember him as the man responsible for the mass slaughter of civilians at Drogheda and Wexford and as the agent of the greatest episode of ethnic cleansing ever attempted in Western Europe as, within a decade, the percentage of land possessed by Catholics born in Ireland dropped from sixty to twenty. In a decade, the ownership of two-fifths of the land mass was transferred from several thousand Irish Catholic landowners to British Protestants. The gap between Irish and the English views of the seventeenth-century conquest remains unbridgeable and is governed by G.K. Chesterton's mirthless epigram of 1917, that "it was a tragic necessity that the Irish should remember it; but it was far more tragic that the English forgot it."
  • James M Lutz, Brenda J Lutz, (2004). Global Terrorism, Routledge:London, p.193: "The draconian laws applied by Oliver Cromwell in Ireland were an early version of ethnic cleansing. The Catholic Irish were to be expelled to the northwestern areas of the island. Relocation rather than extermination was the goal."
  • Mark Levene (2005). Genocide in the Age of the Nation State: Volume 2. ISBN 978-1-84511-057-4 Page 55, 56 & 57. A sample quote describes the Cromwellian campaign and settlement as "a conscious attempt to reduce a distinct ethnic population".
  • Mark Levene (2005). Genocide in the Age of the Nation-State, I.B.Tauris: London:
    [The Act of Settlement of Ireland], and the parliamentary legislation which succeeded it the following year, is the nearest thing on paper in the English, and more broadly British, domestic record, to a programme of state-sanctioned and systematic ethnic cleansing of another people. The fact that it did not include 'total' genocide in its remit, or that it failed to put into practice the vast majority of its proposed expulsions, ultimately, however, says less about the lethal determination of its makers and more about the political, structural and financial weakness of the early modern English state.
    The Haitian revolution also caused the mass displacement of white Haitians.
  • Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the first ruler of an independent Haiti, orders the killing of the remaining white population of French creoles on Haiti by the 1804 Haiti Massacre.[38]
  • On May 26, 1830, president Andrew Jackson of the United States signed the Indian Removal Act which resulted in the Trail of Tears.[39][40][41][42]
  • Michael Mann, basing his figures on those provided by Justin McCarthy, states that between 1821 and 1922, a large number of Muslims were expelled from south-eastern Europe as Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia gained their independence from the Ottoman Empire. Mann describes these events as "murderous ethnic cleansing on a stupendous scale not previously seen in Europe". These countries sought to expand their territory against the Ottoman Empire, which culminated in the Balkan Wars of the early 20th century.[43]

  • In 2005, the historian Gary Clayton Anderson of the University of Oklahoma published The Conquest of Texas: Ethnic Cleansing in the Promised Land, 1830 1875. This book repudiates traditional historians, such as Walter Prescott Webb and Rupert N. Richardson, who viewed the settlement of Texas by the displacement of the native populations as a healthful development. Anderson writes that at the time of the outbreak of the American Civil War, when the Texas population was nearly 600,000, the still new state was "a very violent place. ... Texans mostly blamed Indians for the violence an unfair indictment, since a series of terrible droughts had virtually incapacitated the Plains Indians, making them incapable of extended warfare."[44] The Conquest of Texas was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
  • The forced expulsion of the Acadians in 1755, from settlements in Nova Scotia, and the subsequent deaths of over 50% of the deported population, has been described by many scholars as being an act of ethnic cleansing following the French and Indian Wars.[45]
  • The nomadic Roma people have been expelled from European countries several times.[46]

20th century

  • In December 2008 200 Turkish intellectuals and academics issued an apology for the ethnic cleansing of Armenians during World War I, an event that most Western historians view as amounting to a genocide.[47] At a conference of Hellenes victims of ethnic cleansing, held in February 2011 in Nicosia, an apology was demanded [48]
  • The Bolshevik regime killed or deported an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 Don Cossacks during the Russian Civil War, in 1919 1920.[49] Geoffrey Hosking stated "It could be argued that the Red policy towards the Don Cossacks amounted to ethnic cleansing. It was short-lived, however, and soon abandoned because it did not fit with normal Leninist theory and practice".[50]

Massacres of Poles in Volhynia in 1943. Most Poles of Volhynia (now in Ukraine) had either been murdered or had fled the area.

  • The Nazi German government's persecutions and expulsions of Jews in Germany, Austria and other Nazi-controlled areas prior to the initiation of mass genocide. Estimated number of those who died in the process is nearly 6 million Jews.[51]
  • In the last months of the Second World War, ethnic Germans were ethnically cleansed from Yugoslavia, Poland and Czechoslovakia, beginning in the fall of 1944 and going through the spring and summer of 1945. At the Potsdam Conference July 17 August 2, 1945 the Allies agreed to transferring the rest (article XIII of the Potsdam communiqu ). In all 14 million ethnic Germans were expelled and it has been asserted that as many as two million might have perished in the process.[52] Due to horrifying revelations of Nazi genocidal practices at the same period, and to the collaboration of many ethnic Germans with Nazi occupation in various countries, their expulsion was mostly tolerated by international public opinion at the time. Historians such as Thomas Kamusella, Piotr Pikle, Steffen Prauser and Arfon Rees all describe it as ethic cleansing. Kamusella links it to the development of ethnic nationalism in central and eastern Europe.[53]
  • At least 330,000 Serbs, 30,000 Jews and 30,000 Roma were killed during the NDH (see Jasenovac concentration camp) (today Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina).[54][55] The same number of Serbs were forced out of the NDH, from May 1941 to May 1945. The Croatian Fascist regime managed to kill more than 45 000 Serbs, 12 000 or more Jews and approximately 16 000 Roma at the Jasenovac Concentration Camp.[56][57]
  • At least 40,000 Hungarians civilians were killed by Serbians in Vojvodina as a revenge (so called "Cold Days"), in 1944.[58]
  • During World War II, in Kosovo & Metohija, approximately 10,000 Serbs were killed by Nazi German soldiers and Albanian colloborators.,[59][60] and about 80[59] to 100,000[59][61] or more[60] were ethnically cleansed.[61] After World War II, the new communist authorities of Yugoslavia banned Serbians and Montenegrins expelled during the war from returning to their abandoned estates.[62]
  • The 1923 Population exchange between Greece and Turkey has been described as an ethnic cleansing.[63]
  • During the four years of wartime occupation from 1941 1944, the Axis (German, Hungarian and NDH) forces committed numerous war crimes against the civilian population of Serbs, Roma and Jews in the former Yugoslavia: about 50,000 people in Vojvodina (north Serbia) (see Occupation of Vojvodina, 1941 1944) were murdered and about 280,000 were arrested, raped or tortured.[64] The total number of people killed under Hungarian occupation in Ba ka was 19,573, in Banat 7,513 (under German occupation) and in Syrmia 28,199 (under Croatian occupation).[65]

Usta e]] guard in a mass grave at the Jasenovac concentration camp.

  • During the Axis occupation of Albania (1943 1944), the Albanian collaborationist organization Balli Komb tar with Nazi German support mounted a major offensive in southern Albania (Northern Epirus) with devastating results: over 200 Greek populated towns and villages were burned down or destroyed, 2,000 ethnic Greeks were killed, 5,000 imprisoned and 2,000 forced to concentration camps. Moreover, 30,000 people had to flee to nearby Greece during and after this period.[66][67]
  • Towards the end of World War II, nearly 30,000 ethnic Albanian Muslims were expelled from the coastal region of Epirus in northwestern Greece, an area known among Albanians as Chameria.
  • During the Partition of India 6 million Muslims fled ethnic violence taking place in India to come to what became Pakistan and 5 million Hindus and Sikhs fled from what became Pakistan into India. The events which occurred during this time period have been described as ethnic cleansing by Ishtiaq Ahmed (an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, Stockholm University) [68][69]
  • The Azerbaijani population was subjected to deportation from the territory of Democratic Republic of Armenia and Armenian SSR several times during the 20th century.[70][71][72] In the course of several Armenian-Azerbaijani conflicts, hundred of thousands of Azerbaijanis were resettled by force and many of them were killed and injured. During those same conflicts, hundreds of thousands of Armenians also were resettled by force, and many were killed and injured during pogroms which authorities ignored or encouraged.[73][74][75][76][77][78][79]

1920s 1930s

Greek refugees from Smyrna, 1922

  • The Burning of 'The Negro Wall St,' also known as the 'Tulsa Race Riot': in which the wealthiest African-American community in the USA was burned to the ground. During the 16 hour offensive, over 800 people were hospitalized, more than 6,000 Greenwood District residents were arrested and detained in a prison camp, and 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences were destroyed by fire caused by bombing resulting in an estimated 10,000 African-American Residents left homeless.[80] Property damage totaled $1.5 million (1921).[80] Although the official death toll claimed that 26 blacks and 13 whites died during the fighting, most estimates are considerably higher. At the time of the riot, the American Red Cross listed 8,624 persons in need of assistance, in excess of 1,000 homes and businesses destroyed, and the delivery of several stillborn infants.[81]
  • Second Sino-Japanese War, in which the Imperial Japanese Army army invaded China in the 1930s. Millions of Chinese were killed, civilians and military personnel alike. The Three Alls Policy that was used by the Imperial Japanese Army resulted in many deaths of these Chinese. The Three Alls Policy was Kill all, Burn all Seize all.
  • Pacification of Libya, Italian authorities committed ethnic cleansing in the Cyrenaica region of Libya by forcibly removing and relocating 100,000 people of the Cyrenaican indigenous population from their valuable land property that was slated to be given to Italian settlers.[82]
  • The Chinese Kuomintang Generals Ma Qi and Ma Bufang launched campaigns of expulsion in Qinghai and Tibet against ethnic Tibetans. The actions of these Generals have been called Genocidal by some authors.
  • However, that was not the last Labrang saw of General Ma. Ma Qi launched a war against the Tibetan Ngoloks, which author "Dinesh Lal" calls "genocidal", in 1928, inflicting a defeat upon them and seizing the Labrang Buddhist monastery.[83] The Muslim forces looted and ravaged the monastery again.[84]
  • Authors Uradyn Erden Bulag called the events that follow genocidal and David Goodman called them ethnic cleansing:: The Republic of China government supported Ma Bufang when he launched seven extermination expeditions into Golog, eliminating thousands of Tibetans.[85] Some Tibetans counted the number of times he attacked him, remembering the seventh attack which made life impossible.[86] Ma was highly anti-communist, and he and his army wiped out many Tibetans in the northeast and eastern Qinghai, and also destroyed Tibetan Buddhist Temples.[87][88][89]


Ukrainian]] populations were expelled, or ethnically cleansed.

  • The deportation of Azerbaijanis from Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1947 1950 took place as an act of forced resettlement and ethnic cleansing.[70][71][72][90] The reason for Armenian unity and coherence was the fact that progressively through the seventy years of Soviet power, the republic grew more Armenian in population until it became the most ethnically homogeneous republic in the USSR. On several occasions local Muslims were removed from its territory and Armenians from neighboring republics settled in Armenia.
  • The deportation of Romanians from Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina (1940 1941, 1944 1951), by the USSR to Siberia and Central Asia.
  • Deportation of the Crimean Tatars in May 18, 1944 to Uzbek SSR and other parts of the Soviet Union .
  • The expulsion of millions of ethnic Germans from the former territory of Nazi Germany after World War II. This policy was decided at the Potsdam Conference by the victorious powers.[91][92][93]
  • Although controversial and disputed among scholars, some contend that the 1948 Palestinian exodus of approximately 700,000 Palestinian Arabs who either fled or were expelled during the 1948 Palestine war that accompanied the establishment of the State of Israel was ethnic cleansing.[94][95][96][97]
  • Between the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Six Day War in 1967, there was a Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim lands. Many Jews living in Arab and Muslim nations were forcibly expelled by authorities, while others fled due to antisemitic pogroms which broke out during the conflict.[98][99][100][101][102] Between 800,000 1,000,000 Jews fled or were expelled from the Arab World, and another 200,000 Jews from non-Arab Muslim nations fled due to increasing insecurity and growing hostility. A number were also killed in antisemitic violence. Most migrated to Israel, where today, they and their descendants constitute about 40% of Israel's population.
  • After the Republic of Indonesia achieved independence from the Netherlands in 1949, around 300,000 people, predominantly Indos, or people of mixed Indonesian and Dutch ancestry, fled or were expelled.[103]
  • In the aftermath of the 1949 Durban Riots (an inter-racial conflict between Zulus and Asians in South Africa), hundreds of Indians fled Cato Manor.[104]
  • Mario Roatta's war on ethnic Slovene civil population in Province of Ljubljana during Fascist Italy's occupation of Yugoslavia in accord with the 1920s speech by Benito Mussolini's speech:
  • Foibe killings


  • On September 5 and 6, 1955 the Istanbul Pogrom or "Septembrian "/" ", secretly backed by the Turkish government, was launched against the Greek population of Istanbul. The mob also attacked some Jews and Armenians of the city. The event contributed greatly to the gradual extinction of the Greek minority in the city and country, which numbered 100,000 in 1924 after the Turko-Greek population exchange treaty. By 2006 there were only 2,500 Greeks.[105]
  • Between 1957 1962 President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt carried out an Anti-European policy, which resulted in the expulsion of 100 200,000 Greeks from Alexandria and the rest of Egypt. Many other Europeans were expelled, such as Italians and French.


  • On July 5, 1960, five days after the Congo gained independence from Belgium, the Force Publique garrison near L opoldville mutinied against its white officers and attacked numerous European targets. This caused the fear amongst the approximately 100,000 whites still resident in the Congo and led to their mass exodus from the country.[106]
  • Ne Win's rise to power in 1962 and his relentless persecution of "resident aliens" (immigrant groups not recognised as citizens of the Union of Burma) led to an exodus of some 300,000 Burmese Indians. They migrated to escape racial discrimination and wholesale nationalisation of private enterprise a few years later in 1964.[107][108]
  • The creation of the apartheid system in South Africa, which began in 1948 but reached full flower in the 1960s and 1970s, involved some ethnic cleansing, including the separation of blacks, Coloureds, and whites into separate residential areas and private spheres. The government created Bantustans, which involved forced removals of non-white populations to reserved lands.[109][110]
  • As Algeria fought for independence, it expelled the pied-noir population of European descent and Jews; most fled to France, where they had citizenship. In just a few months in 1962, 900,000 of these European descendants and native Jewish people left the country.[111][112]
  • Zanzibar expelled Arabs and Indians from the nation in 1964.[113][114]
  • In 1966, there was an unrest in the northern part of Nigeria that led to the death of about 80,000 people. Those killed were originally from the South Eastern region of the country and this act was seen as an attack on the Igbo people. This led C. Odumegwu Ojukwu, the military governor of the Eastern region, to declare that region as a Sovereign state, Biafra. The Nigerian Civil War began on July 6, 1967, but ended in 1970 with the help of the United Kingdom and China. Although there is relative peace in Nigeria, today, there is still some religious unrest in the North being caused by the Boko Haram group.
  • Between 1967 and 1973, the British government expelled and resettled all of the roughly 2,000 Chagossian inhabitants of Diego Garcia to make way for a U.S. air and naval base on the island.[115]
  • By 1969, more than 350,000 Salvadorans were living in Honduras. In 1969, Honduras enacted a new land reform law. This law took land away from Salvadoran immigrants and redistributed this land to native-born Honduran peoples. Thousands of Salvadorans were displaced by this law (see Football War).


Dead bodies of Bengali intellectuals killed by the ruling military junta of Pakistan. The Bengalis rebelled in response which led to their eventual independence. (Image courtesy: Rashid Talukdar, 1971)

  • Shortly after Muammar al-Gaddafi gained power in Libya, the Libyan government forcibly expelled some 150,000 Italians living in the country on October 7, 1970, in retaliation for Italy's 1911 colonization of the country. The expulsion is known in Libya as the "Day of Vengeance".[116]
  • During the Bangladesh War of Independence of 1971, the military of Pakistan carried out genocide killing between 100,000 to 3 million people and around 10 million Bengalis, mainly Hindus, fled the country. Furthermore, many intellectuals and other religious minorities were targeted by death squads and razakars. Thousands of temples were desecrated and hundreds of women were raped.[117] (see1971 Bangladesh atrocities)
  • Idi Amin's regime forced the expulsion in 1972 of Uganda's entire ethnic Asian population, mostly of Indian descent.[118]
  • The ethnic cleansing in 1974 76 of the Greek population of the areas under Turkish military occupation in Cyprus during and after the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus.[119]
  • Following the U.S. withdrawal from South Vietnam in 1973 and the communist victory two years later, the Kingdom of Laos' coalition government was overthrown by the communists. The Hmong people, who had actively supported the anti-communist government, became targets of retaliation and persecution. Tens of thousands trekked to the Mekong River and sought refuge in Thailand, often under communist attack. The exodus continued for several years.
  • The communist Khmer Rouge government in Cambodia disproportionately targeted ethnic minority groups, including ethnic Chinese, Vietnamese and Thais. In the late 1960s, an estimated 425,000 ethnic Chinese lived in Cambodia; by 1984, as a result of Khmer Rouge genocide and emigration, only about 61,400 Chinese remained in the country. The small Thai minority along the border was almost completely exterminated, only a few thousand managing to reach safety in Thailand. The Cham Muslims suffered serious purges with as much as half of their population exterminated. A Khmer Rouge order stated that henceforth "The Cham nation no longer exists on Kampuchean soil belonging to the Khmers" (U.N. Doc. A.34/569 at 9).[120][121][122]
  • Subsequent waves of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled Burma and many refugees inundated neighbouring Bangladesh including 250,000 in 1978 as a result of the King Dragon operation in Arakan.
  • The Sino-Vietnamese War resulted in the discrimination and consequent migration of Vietnam's ethnic Chinese. Many of these people fled as "boat people". In 1978 79, some 450,000 ethnic Chinese left Vietnam by boat as refugees (many officially encouraged and assisted) or were expelled across the land border with China.


  • Aftermath of Indira Gandhi assassination in 1984, the ruling party Indian National Congress supporters formed large mobs and killed around 3000 Sikhs around Delhi which is known as the 1984 anti-Sikh riots during the next four days. The mobs using the support of ruling party leaders used the Election voting list to identify Sikhs and kill them.
  • In 1987 and 1988 Al-Anfal Campaign, the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein and headed by Ali Hassan al-Majid started Al-Anfal against the Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdish civilian in Northern Iraq. Massacred 100,000 to 182,000 non-combatant civilians including women and children;, destroyed about 4,000 villages (out of 4,655) in Iraqi Kurdistan. Between April 1987 and August 1988, 250 towns and villages -were exposed to chemical weapons;, destroyed 1,754 schools, 270 hospitals, 2,450 mosques, 27 churches; and wiped out around 90% of Kurdish villages in targeted areas.
  • Between March 16 17, 1988, the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein carried out a poison gas attack in the Kurdish town of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan. Between 3,200 and 5,000 civilians died instantly, and between 7,000 and 10,000 civilians were injured, and thousands more would die in the following years from complications, diseases, and birth defects caused by the attack.
Aftermath of the Halabja poison gas attack.  
    • The forced assimilation campaign during 1984 1985 directed against ethnic Turks by the Bulgarian State resulted in the expulsion of some 360,000 Bulgarian Turks to Turkey in 1989.[123][124]
  • The Nagorno Karabakh conflict has resulted in the displacement of population from both sides. 700.000 Azerbaijanis and some thousand Kurds from Nagorno Karabakh Armenian controlled territories including Nagorno-Karabakh,[125] and 185,000[126] to 250,000 Azerbaijanis,[127] 18,000 Kurds and 3,500 Russians fled from Armenia to Azerbaijan from 1987 to 1989.[128] 280,000 to 304,000[126] persons virtually all ethnic Armenians fled Azerbaijan during the 1988 1993 war over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.[129]
  • In 1980s, Rath Yatra was initiated in India causing and spreading riots leading to demolition of [Babri Masjid].
  • Since April 1989, some 70,000 black Mauritanians members of the Fula, Toucouleur, Wolof, Soninke and Bambara ethnic groups have been expelled from Mauritania by the Mauritanian government.[130]
  • In 1989, after bloody pogroms against the Meskhetian Turks by Uzbeks in Central Asia's Ferghana Valley, nearly 90,000 Meskhetian Turks left Uzbekistan.[131][132]


  • In 1991, following a crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, 250,000 refugees took shelter in the Cox's Bazar district of neighbouring Bangladesh.[133]
  • In 1991, Kuwait expelled 450,000 Palestinians living in the country, in retribution for the PLO's support of Saddam Hussein against Kuwait during the 1990 Invasion of Kuwait.[134]
  • Widespread riots commenced in India following the demolition of [babri masjid]
  • As a result of the 1991 1992 South Ossetia War, about 100,000 ethnic Ossetians fled South Ossetia and Georgia proper, most across the border into North Ossetia. A further 23,000 ethnic Georgians fled South Ossetia and settled in other parts of Georgia.[135] According to Helsinki Watch, the campaign of ethnic-cleansing was orchestrated by the Ossetian militants, during the events of Ossetian Ingush conflict, which resulted in expulsion of approximately 60,000 Ingush inhabitants from Prigorodny District.[136]

Ethnic cleansing of a Croatian home

  • The widespread ethnic cleansing accompanying the Croatian War of Independence that was committed by Serb-led JNA and rebel militia on the occupied areas of Croatia (self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina) (1991 1995). Large number of Croats and non-Serbs were removed, either by murder, deportation or being forced to flee. According to the ICTY indictment against Slobodan Milosevic, there was an expulsion of around 170,000 Croats and other non-Serbs from their homes.[137]
  • Following the abrogation of Krajina, around 200,000 Serbs[138] left Croatia during or after Operation Storm, out of which at least 20,000 were deported, according to the ICTY verdict.[139] Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Ivan ermak were eventually convicted by the Tribunal.
  • Widespread ethnic cleansing accompanied the War in Bosnia (1992 1995). Large numbers of Croats and Bosniaks were forced to flee their homes by the Army of Republika Srpska and .[140] Beginning in 1991, political upheavals in the Balkans displaced about 2,700,000 people by mid-1992, of which over 700,000 of them sought asylum in Europe.[141][142]
  • More than 800,000 Kosovar Albanians fled their homes in Kosovo during the Kosovo War in 1998-9.

Destroyed Serbian house in Croatia. Most of Serbians were expelled in 1995 Operation Storm.

  • The forced displacement and ethnic-cleansing of more than 250,000 people, mostly Georgians but some others too, from Abkhazia during the conflict and after in 1993 and 1998.[143]
  • The 1994 massacres of nearly 1,000,000 Tutsis by Hutus, known as the Rwandan Genocide[144]
  • The mass expulsion of southern Lhotshampas (Bhutanese of Nepalese origin) by the northern Druk majority of Bhutan in 1990.[145] The number of refugees is approximately 103,000.[146]
  • In October 1990, the militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), forcibly expelled the entire Muslim population (approx 65,000) from the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. The Muslims were given 48 hours to vacate the premises of their homes while their properties were subsequently looted by LTTE. Those who refused to leave were killed. This act of ethnic cleansing was carried out so the LTTE could facilitate their goal of creating a mono-ethnic Tamil state in Northern Sri Lanka.[147]
  • In Jammu and Kashmir, a separatist insurgency has targeted the Hindu Kashmiri Pandit minority and 400,000 have been displaced, and 1,200 killed since 1991[148] This has been condemned and labeled as ethnic cleansing in a 2006 resolution passed by the United States Congress.[149] Also in 2009 Oregon Legislative Assembly introduced a resolution to recognize September 14, 2007, as Martyrs Day to acknowledge ethnic cleansing and campaigns of terror inflicted on non-Muslim minorities of Jammu and Kashmir by militants seeking to establish an independent Kashmir, and also to recognize the region as Indian territory rather than disputed territory - the resolution failed to pass.[150]
  • Separatist regime policy of proscription of non-Chechens (mostly Russians) from Chechnya in 1990s. Before First Chechen War tens of thousands of people of non-Chechen ethnicity had left the republic, thousands of people were turned into slaves or killed. Since 1996 the violence against non-Chechens were continued and almost all of them left Chechnya to this moment.[151][152][153][154] The policy were expressed in ignoring of widespread lawlessness against non-Chechens (especially Russians) jointly with nationalistic propaganda.[155]
  • The Jakarta riots of May 1998 targeted many Chinese Indonesians. Suffering from looting and arson many Chinese Indonesians fled from Indonesia.[156][157]
  • There have been serious outbreaks of inter-ethnic violence on the island of Kalimantan since 1997, involving the indigenous Dayak peoples and immigrants from the island of Madura. In 2001 in the Central Kalimantan town of Sampit, at least 500 Madurese were killed and up to 100,000 Madurese were forced to flee. Some Madurese bodies were decapitated in a ritual reminiscent of the headhunting tradition of the Dayaks of old.[158]

21st century

  • In 2002 Gujarat, India violence was a series of incidents including the Godhra train burning and the subsequent communal riots between Hindus and Muslims. Human Rights Watch criticised Indian government for failure to address resulting humanitarian condition of people, the "overwhelming majority of them Muslim," who fled their homes for relief camps in aftermath of the events; as well as Gujarat state administration for engaging in a cover-up of state's role in the massacres.
  • In 2003, Sinafasi Makelo, a representative of Mbuti Pygmies, told the UN's Indigenous People's Forum that during the Congo Civil War, his people were hunted down and eaten as though they were game animals. Both sides of the war regarded them as "subhuman" and some say their flesh can confer magical powers. Makelo asked the UN Security Council to recognise cannibalism as a crime against humanity and an act of genocide.[159][160]
  • From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, Indonesian paramilitaries organized and armed by Indonesian military and police killed or expelled large numbers of civilians in East Timor.[161][162][163][164][165][166][167] After the East Timorese people voted for independence in a 1999 referendum, Indonesian paramilitiaries retaliated, murdering some supporters of independence and levelling most towns. More than 200,000 people either fled or were forcibly taken to Indonesia before East Timor achieved full independence.[168]
  • Since the mid-1990s the central government of Botswana has been trying to move Bushmen out of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. As of October 2005, the government has resumed its policy of forcing all Bushmen off their lands in the Game Reserve, using armed police and threats of violence or death.[169] Many of the involuntarily displaced Bushmen live in squalid resettlement camps and some have resorted to prostitution and alcoholism, while about 250 others remain or have surreptitiously returned to the Kalahari to resume their independent lifestyle.[170] "How can we continue to have Stone Age creatures in an age of computers?" asked Botswana's president Festus Mogae.[171][172]
  • Since 2003, Sudan has been accused of carrying out a campaign against several black ethnic groups in Darfur, in response to a rebellion by Africans alleging mistreatment. Sudanese irregular militia known as the Janjaweed and Sudanese military and police forces have killed an estimated 450,000, expelled around two million, and burned 800 villages.[173]

", (p. 156), Tsehai Publishers (US), (2005) ISBN 0-9748198-7-5 .[174] A July 14, 2007 article notes that in the past two months up to 75,000 Arabs from Chad and Niger crossed the border into Darfur. Most have been relocated by the Sudanese government to former villages of displaced non-Arab people. Some 450,000 have been killed and 2.5 million have now been forced to flee to refugee camps in Chad after their homes and villages were destroyed.[175] Sudan refuses to allow their return, or to allow United Nations peacekeepers into Darfur.

  • In 2005, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and part of the northern West Bank. The 8,500 Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip and 600 settlers in the northern West Bank were given a deadline to voluntarily leave their homes, and those who did so were given assistance. Settlers who had not left by the time the deadline expired were forcibly evicted from their homes by Israeli security forces. The settlers were paid compensation and resettled in Israel or Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
  • Currently in the Iraq Civil War (2003 to present), entire neighborhoods in Baghdad are being ethnically cleansed by Shia and Sunni militias.[176][177] Some areas are being evacuated by every member of a particular group due to lack of security, moving into new areas because of fear of reprisal killings. As of June 21, 2007, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that 2.2 million Iraqis had been displaced to neighboring countries, and 2 million were displaced internally, with nearly 100,000 Iraqis fleeing to Syria and Jordan each month.[178][179][180]
  • Although Iraqi Christians represent less than 5% of the total Iraqi population, they make up 40% of the refugees now living in nearby countries, according to UNHCR.[181][182] In the 16th century, Christians constituted half of Iraq's population.[183] In 1987, the last Iraqi census counted 1.4 million Christians.[184] But as the 2003 invasion has allowed the growth of militant Islamism, Christians' total numbers slumped to about 500,000, of whom 250,000 live in Baghdad.[185] Furthermore, the Mandaean and Yazidi communities are at the risk of elimination due to the ongoing atrocities by Islamic extremists.[186][187] A May 25, 2007 article notes that in the past 7 months only 69 people from Iraq have been granted refugee status in the United States.[188]
  • In October 2006, Niger announced that it would deport Arabs living in the Diffa region of eastern Niger to Chad.[189] This population numbered about 150,000.[190] Nigerein government forces forcibly rounded up Arabs in preparation for deportation, during which two girls died, reportedly after fleeing government forces, and three women suffered miscarriages. Niger's government eventually suspended the plan.[191][192]
  • In 1950, the Karen had become the largest of 20 minority groups participating in an insurgency against the military dictatorship in Burma. The conflict continues as of 2008. In 2004, the BBC, citing aid agencies, estimates that up to 200,000 Karen have been driven from their homes during decades of war, with 120,000 more refugees from Burma, mostly Karen, living in refugee camps on the Thai side of the border. Many accuse the military government of Burma of ethnic cleansing.[193] As a result of the ongoing war in minority group areas more than two million people have fled Burma to Thailand.[194]

Post-election ethnic violence in Nairobi, Kenya

  • Civil unrest in Kenya erupted in December 2007.[195] By January 28, 2008, the death toll from the violence was at around 800.[196] The United Nations estimated that as many as 600,000 people have been displaced.[197][198] A government spokesman claimed that Odinga's supporters were "engaging in ethnic cleansing".[199]
  • The 2008 attacks on North Indians in Maharashtra began on February 3, 2008. Incidences of violence against North Indians and their property were reported in Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Beed, Nashik, Amravati, Jalna and Latur. Nearly 25,000 North Indian workers fled Pune,[200][201] and another 15,000 fled Nashik in the wake of the attacks.[202][203]
  • South Africa Ethnic Cleansing erupted on May 11, 2008 within three weeks 80 000 were displaced the death toll was 62, with 670 injured by the violence when South Africans ejected non-nationals in a nationwide ethnic cleansing/xenophobic outburst. The most affected foreigners have been Somalis, Ethiopians, Indians, Pakistanis, Zimbabweans and Mozambiqueans. Local South Africans have also been caught up in the violence. Refugee camps a mistake Arvin Gupta, a senior UNHCR protection officer, said the UNHCR did not agree with the City of Cape Town that those displaced by the violence should be held at camps across the city.[204] During the 2010 FIFA world cup, rumors were reported that xenophobic attacks will be commenced after the final. A few incidents occurred where foreign individuals were targeted, but the South African police claims that these attacks can not be classified as xenophobic attacks but rather regular criminal activity in the townships. Elements of the South African Army were sent into the affected townships to assist the police in keeping order and preventing continued attacks.
  • In August 2008, the 2008 South Ossetia war broke out when Georgia launched a military offensive against South Ossetian separatists, leading to military intervention by Russia, during which Georgian forces were expelled from the separatist territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. During the fighting, 15,000[205] ethnic Georgians living in South Ossetia were forced to flee to Georgia proper, and Ossetian militia burned their villages to prevent their return.
  • The killings of hundreds of ethnic Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan during the 2010 South Kyrgyzstan riots resulting in the flight of thousands of Uzbek refugees to Uzbekistan have been called ethnic cleansing by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and international media.[206][207]
  • 2011 Libyan civil war. The killings, imprisonment and mass expulsions of African workers, migrants and native black Libyans in Libya by rebel forces who directly and indirectly accused them of being African mercenaries from neighboring countries of Chad, Niger or Sudan and pro-Gaddafi supporters. The majority African Libyan town of Tawergha, 36 kilometers south of Libya's third largest city Misrata was ethnically cleansed of its inhabitants by members of the Misrata Brigade as a retaliation against supposed Gaddafi supporters.
  • Members of the Azusa 13 gang, associated with the Mexican Mafia, were accused of attempting a racial cleansing of African Americans in Azusa, California.[208]
  • 2012 Rakhine State riots. An estimated 90,000 people have been displaced in the recent sectarian violence between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists in Burma's western Rakhine State.[209]
  • Approximately 400,000 people have been displaced in the 2012 Assam ethnic violence between indigenous Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslims in Assam, India.[210]

Criticism of the term

Gregory Stanton, the founder of Genocide Watch, has criticised the rise of the term and its use for events that he feels should be called "genocide": as "ethnic cleansing" has no legal definition, its media use can detract attention from events that should be prosecuted as genocide.[211][212]

See also

  • Identity cleansing
  • Aegis Students, an international student-based genocide prevention movement
  • Bosnian Genocide
  • 1971 Bangladesh atrocities
  • 1989 events
  • Caste War of Yucat n
  • Communal violence
  • Crime against humanity
  • Ethnic Cleansing, a computer game.
  • Ethnocide
  • Expulsion of Asians in Uganda in 1972
  • Forced settlements in the Soviet Union
  • Generalplan Ost
  • German exodus from Eastern Europe
  • Germanisation
  • Iraqi Turkmen
  • List of events named massacres

  • Occupation of Vojvodina, 1941 1944
  • Partition of India
  • Persecution of Christians
  • Persecution of Hindus
  • Persecution of Jews
  • Persecution of Muslims
  • Polish minority in the Soviet Union
  • Population transfer
  • Population transfer in the Soviet Union
  • Refugees of Iraq
  • Religious cleansing
  • Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project (RULAC)
  • Sinophobia
  • Social cleansing
  • The Holocaust
  • Trail of Tears
  • Transmigration program
  • World War II evacuation and expulsion
  • World War II persecution of Serbs



  • de Zayas, Alfred M.: Nemesis at Potsdam,Routledge, London 1977.
  • de Zayas, Alfred M.: A terrible Revenge. Palgrave/Macmillan, New York, 1994. ISBN 14039730833.
  • de Zayas, Alfred M.: Die deutschen Vertriebenen. Leopold Stocker, Graz, 2006. ISBN 3-902475-15-3.
  • de Zayas, Alfred M.: Heimatrecht ist Menschenrecht. Universitas, M nchen 2001. ISBN 3-8004-1416-3.
  • de Zayas, Alfred M.: "The Right to One's Homeland, Ethnic Cleansing and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia", Criminal Law Forum (2005)
  • de Zayas, Alfred M.: "Forced Population Transfer" in Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Oxford online 2010.
  • Douglas, R.M.: Orderly and Humane. The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War. Yale University Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0300166606.
  • Howard Sachar, A History of Israel From the Rise of Zionism to our Time, Knopf, 2007.
  • Merten, Ulrich: The forgotten Voices. The Expulsion of the Germans from Eastern Europe after World War 2". New Brundwick (USA) and London (UK), 2012. ISBN 978-1-4128-4302-7.
  • Naimark, Norman: Fires of Hatred. Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2001.
  • Prauser, Steffen and Rees, Arfon: The Expulsion of the "German" Communities from Eastern Europe at the End of the Second Century. Florence, Italy, European University Institute, 2004.

External links

ar: bg: bs:Etni ko i enje ca:Neteja tnica da:Etnisk udrensning de:Ethnische S uberung et:Etniline puhastus el: es:Limpieza tnica eo:Etna purigado fa: fr:Nettoyage ethnique gl:Limpeza tnica ko: hr:Etni ko i enje it:Pulizia etnica he: sw:Utakaso wa kikabila nl:Etnische zuivering ja: no:Etnisk rensning nn:Etnisk reinsing pl:Czystka etniczna pt:Limpeza tnica ro:Purificare etnic ru: si: sr: sh:Etni ko i enje fi:Etninen puhdistus sv:Etnisk rensning ta: tr:Etnik temizlik uk: zh:

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