⌛ Ethnic Conflicts In Rwanda

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Ethnic Conflicts In Rwanda



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The Tatmadaw has never attempted to permanently control much of the rural periphery, or be the guarantor of security, instead preferring to back armed proxies to keep a semblance of stability. Hide Footnote It has rarely had difficulty finding groups willing to play this proxy role. The incentives for groups to do so are considerable and involve interlinked ethno-nationalist and economic imperatives: without an armed group to protect it, a community can be vulnerable to predation from its non-co-ethnic neighbours; conversely, armed groups are well positioned to profit from the illicit economy that has developed over decades in these areas, which produces the revenues necessary for arming and operating a powerful militia.

With so many different ethnic armed groups, and with the state and Tatmadaw unable to provide security in much of the periphery, many ethnic communities have raised armed militias not out of choice but out of necessity to protect themselves from rival ethnic communities. The case studies focus on regions of the country that are geographically distant from each other and have experienced very different patterns of conflict over the last seven decades, from relatively little until recently in the case of Rakhine , to intermittent in the case of the Shanni , to almost constant conflict as in northern Shan State.

They illustrate different stages of armed group development, from the once-powerful Kaungkha Militia in Kutkai to the newly formed Shanni Nationalities Army of northern Sagaing Region, and the desire of some Mro and Khumi in Rakhine and Chin states to form a militia to protect their people from other armed groups. In March , in northern Shan State, the Tatmadaw detained the leadership of the powerful Kaungkha Militia, then entered its territory and disarmed its 3, fighters see the map in Appendix E.

The move upset the balance of power in the area, which could be destabilising in the medium term. Many other minority groups live in or near Kaungkha, including Shan, Ta-ang, Kokang and Pansay people. Hide Footnote The area has long been controlled by the Kaungkha Militia, which in recent years fielded several thousand well-armed fighters. Most of these groups recruit from, and seek to represent, one of the many ethnic minority communities living in these areas. The Mandarin-speaking Kokang are one of the recognised minority groups, descended from Han Chinese people who fled to Myanmar in the 18th century.

Hide Footnote This list includes only the major groups; there are numerous other smaller militias based in villages or in Kutkai town. The town-based Kutkai Militia was long controlled by T Khun Myat, who is now speaker of the national parliament. In this way, something of a competitive arms race has developed among different minority communities living in the same area. This arms race explains why, despite many armed groups having surrendered or disarmed over the decades, new ones have usually emerged to take their place. Over time, it has become more difficult to determine whether a particular armed group is primarily ethno-nationalist, and engages in illicit economic activity to support itself, or whether it is primarily an illicit economic actor invoking ethno-nationalism for legitimacy purposes.

The Kaungkha Militia provides a good example of this ambiguity. Hide Footnote In , feeling that its military position was becoming increasingly untenable, the 4th Brigade split from the Kachin insurgency, signed a ceasefire with the Tatmadaw and renamed itself the Kachin Defence Army. Hide Footnote In , the Tatmadaw pressured the group to come more directly under the authority of the national army, and it was re-formed as the Kaungkha Militia, under the same leadership and still with de facto autonomy and control over its territory.

Hide Footnote As with other militias, it received no material or financial support from the Tatmadaw, so it had to be fully self-funding. Throughout its different incarnations, the armed group provided protection and a degree of governance to the predominantly Kachin population in its area, including a reliable electricity supply from two hydropower plants that it built. Myawaddy is the official daily newspaper of the Tatmadaw. Hide Footnote It supported Kachin culture, building one of the largest Manau traditional festival grounds in the country. At times when the military government would ban Manau festivals in areas under government control, the armed group would invite Kachin people from across northern Shan State to celebrate in its area, despite the risk of upsetting the authorities.

Hide Footnote The group also established schools that taught the Kachin language, at a time when the government restricted minority language education. Hide Footnote The group would not have been able to hold large Manau festivals or teach Kachin without the de facto autonomy that its significant armed strength afforded it. At the same time, the group became an increasingly prominent participant in the illicit economy, in particular hosting the narcotics production and trafficking operations of transnational criminal syndicates.

Hide Footnote When Crisis Group researchers visited the area in November , members of militias and other well-placed local sources were open about methamphetamine production being the main source of income for the Kaungkha Militia. Hide Footnote Militia leaders claim that businessmen who rented land in their area were responsible for drug production, not the militia itself — although they concede that some members might have been involved in their individual capacities. Hide Footnote According to a Tatmadaw news outlet, this operation was ordered by Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing, who dispatched a senior military officer from Naypyitaw to the North-Eastern Regional Command in Lashio — the nearest large town to Kaungkha — to take charge of ground operations, instead of the regional commander who would normally do so.

Hide Footnote This move suggests that the top brass wished to prevent possible local relationships from impeding the operation. They say the Tatmadaw told them that they were being disarmed temporarily, for a period of six months, but they doubt that their weapons will be returned or that they will be allowed to rearm. Hide Footnote In public, the Tatmadaw has indicated that the disarming is permanent and that it will actively support the militia to conduct legal business activities, including livestock breeding and mining. Already, the militia complains that it is unable to resist extortion by other armed groups. For the moment, the Tatmadaw is taking charge of security at Kaungkha, with several thousand troops from its elite mobile infantry divisions posted to temporary bases in the area.

Hide Footnote It also puts these troops close to various insurgent forces, increasing the likelihood of clashes. The future is therefore uncertain. The Kachin population of Kaungkha feels vulnerable to attack and does not believe the Tatmadaw can ensure their security. The Tatmadaw does not typically hold rural areas in hostile territory, preferring to delegate that task to allied militias, intervening only when necessary to address serious inter-group conflict or security issues. While it seems unlikely that the Tatmadaw would permit the rearming of the Kaungkha Militia, it is not inconceivable that it would allow a new militia to form. Hide Footnote This is plausible. The alternative possibility is that the operation against Kaungkha heralds the start of a new approach whereby the Tatmadaw no longer tolerates flagrant and large-scale criminal activities.

Its media outlets have hinted at such a change of tack, saying the Tatmadaw will carry out similar operations against other such armed groups in the future and urging them to avoid the drug trade in favour of legal business activities. Hide Footnote Whether the Tatmadaw will really enforce such an approach by confronting other militias and Border Guard Forces involved in illicit activities remains to be seen. This report, however, continues to use the former name, which is more widely recognised. If the people have no guns, we will not be safe. Also known as the Red Shan or Tai-Leng, the Shanni are thought to number up to , people — although some claim far more, as discussed below — and mostly live in the fertile plains of southern Kachin State and northern Sagaing Region see the map in Appendix E.

The Shanni are included on the official list of as Shan Gale and Tailem, but they have more recently demanded to be recognised as Shanni. Starting from around the 10th or 11th century, the Shanni were part of a chain of largely autonomous Shan kingdoms that stretched from northern India across northern Myanmar and into Thailand. At independence in , the government in Rangoon included some of the Shanni homelands in the newly formed Kachin State, allegedly to secure the support of Kachin leaders for the Panglong Agreement the previous year.

The Shanni, who usually occupy lowland areas, have a history of conflict with the Kachin, who have traditionally lived in the hills. After Burman incursions in the 17th and 18th centuries weakened the prosperous Shan kingdoms of southern Kachin State, the Kachin are said to have sacked the major town of Mogaung and laid waste to the surrounding villages. Areas that the Shanni once dominated were depopulated, and gradually Kachin settlers moved in.

The SNA is not the first armed group comprising Shanni soldiers. The Tatmadaw has cultivated the Shanni as an ally and armed a militia force, a tactic it has employed widely in other parts of the country see Section IV. A above. Hide Footnote After the Tatmadaw and KIO signed a ceasefire in , the military disbanded the Shanni militia, but it was quickly reorganised when conflict between the state and the KIO resumed in June The Tatmadaw has since provided militia units with weapons and training. Militia units have provided Shanni communities with important protection from Kachin armed groups, particularly the KIO.

By siding with the Tatmadaw, the Shanni also have less to fear from government forces. This dynamic is evident along the Bhamo-Myitkyina road, where there are deserted, overgrown Kachin villages interspersed with thriving but heavily guarded Shanni settlements. Hide Footnote From the Tatmadaw perspective, the militia has been mostly a useful bulwark against KIO efforts to expand into southern Kachin State, but occasionally its soldiers have also fought on the front lines alongside the Tatmadaw against the KIO. The militia is actually a collection of village-based units, usually in the range of soldiers each, and sometimes includes other ethnicities, such as Lisu and Burmans.

In total, the Shanni militia might comprise hundreds of soldiers, perhaps as many as 1, The conflict in Kachin State has created an uneasy and sometimes toxic relationship between the Shanni and the Kachin. In , Shanni militia members massacred dozens of Kachin residents in the majority Shanni town of Mohnyin, and many of the remaining Kachin residents fled to Myitkyina. Hide Footnote Competing narratives over these incidents have emerged; a Shanni interviewee described the killings as a heat-of-the-moment response to the killing of a Shanni woman by Kachin residents, while Kachin sources describe it as a premeditated massacre.

Since the Tatmadaw-KIO conflict resumed in , these tensions have returned to the fore. Shanni militia units have fought alongside the Tatmadaw against the KIO and taken part in other security activities. Hide Footnote Shanni leaders, meanwhile, have accused the KIO of forcibly recruiting Shanni from villages in southern Kachin State, and have staged mass protests in Myitkyina calling for an end to the practice. Hide Footnote Shanni interviewees also accused KIO soldiers of confiscating food and beating civilians, and blamed the group for a wide range of other ills in Shanni communities, including widespread use of illicit drugs, environmental destruction from mining and logging, and reduced access to forest resources because of landmines.

Hide Footnote At the same time, Shanni interviewees said there are usually no problems between Shanni and ordinary Kachin. Shanni now have political parties and media outlets, and are reviving use of the Shanni language, which had almost fallen out of use. All this has helped reactivate a dormant Shanni nationalism that risks putting the group on a collision course with other ethnic minorities. Shanni activists have created and circulated widely on Facebook a map of a proposed Shanni State that encompasses large areas of Sagaing Region and Kachin State, as well as parts of Mandalay Region and Shan State.

Hide Footnote Perhaps to justify these demands, some Shanni activists also claim the group has around two million members. Hide Footnote But the Shanni are not the only ones playing this game, even in their own neighbourhood: in early , Naga politicians lobbied Aung San Suu Kyi to expand the Naga Self-Administered Zone to include Homalin and Khamti townships — both of which the Shanni claim for themselves. Shanni political aspirations, however, have gone largely unfulfilled. Instead, they hold only ethnic affairs minister posts in the Kachin and Sagaing governments that represent all Shan peoples in those states and regions. The first-past-the-post voting system also makes it difficult for Shan parties to win seats in areas where the majority of Shanni live.

The experience of the Shanni contrasts with that of the Chin, who number perhaps , yet are accorded an entire state, with dozens of seats in national and regional parliaments; similarly, the Kachin have their own state, but are thought to comprise less than 50 per cent of the population there. The Shanni have also not been given a seat at the negotiating table in the peace process, because when talks began in they did not have a recognised ethnic armed group. Militia forces are generally accorded little if any role in the peace process.

Moreover, Shanni attitudes toward the Shanni militia have been mixed due to its links to the Tatmadaw, which many among them see as an oppressive force. In the eyes of many Shanni, the formation of the Shanni Nationalities Army is thus important politically because they believe it means the government can no longer ignore their voice. They think that Naypyitaw will inevitably have to allow the SNA into the peace process. Much about the SNA remains unknown, in part due to the remote location of its headquarters, in the township of Homalin in northern Sagaing Region. It is unclear whether this is true. Although as of there were Shanni fighting in Kachin and Shan states against the military government within other armed groups, there does not appear to be any reference to the SNA.

Claiming such a legacy may be an attempt to get around government policy that no new armed group should be admitted to the peace process see below. It is unclear which, if any, outside entities are providing support to the SNA. Hide Footnote Northern Sagaing Region has a significant illicit and grey economy due to its proximity to the Indian border and large deposits of natural resources, which could provide income for the group in the future. Hide Footnote This claim may be an exaggeration — Crisis Group could not confirm the presence of SNA forces in Kachin State, for example — but photos posted to Facebook suggest it has, at a minimum, hundreds of well-armed troops, and a source who met the group in estimated that troop numbers may be above 1, Hide Footnote Clashes appear to be increasing in frequency, which the SNA attributes in part to its anti-drug campaigns.

The group has found willing volunteers among the Shanni youth of Sagaing Region, both men and women. Unlike the Shanni militia, however, the SNA has the potential to affect regional and even national politics, particularly through the peace process. Politically, the armed group remains close to the Tai-Leng Nationalities Development Party, which helped to organise large demonstrations in Sagaing Region and Kachin State in late calling for the formation of a Shanni State. Tens of thousands joined demonstrations in Sagaing Region the following month and in Kachin State in October To date, the government has refused to acknowledge it. Hide Footnote Naypyitaw likely wishes to send the message that the SNA needs to continue building up its forces so that it becomes too big to ignore, contributing to further militarisation of Sagaing Region and possibly Kachin State.

Fierce fighting between the Tatmadaw and Arakan Army in Rakhine and southern Chin States since late has had a significant impact on civilians, with non-government sources estimating up to , displaced and hundreds killed. Less acknowledged is how the conflict has caused a significant deterioration in relations between the ethnic Rakhine and the numerous other minority groups in the region, many of whom have been caught in the middle.

The region is home to an array of ethnic groups, many of which have links across these modern national borders, such as the Rakhine known as Marma in Bangladesh , Chin Mizo in India and Daingnet Chakma in Bangladesh. Although a minority nationally, the Rakhine are the majority group in Rakhine State, with the Rohingya a sizeable minority; smaller minorities include the Mro, Khami, Thet and Daingnet. The Khumi dominate southern Chin State. Conflict and instability have been ever present; the range of armed movements over the decades have included White and Red Flag communists, mujahid groups and, in particular, an assortment of ethnic armed groups, such as the Mizo National Front and the Arakan Liberation Party.

The Red Flag group was always the weaker of the two groups, and its decline accelerated after a Rakhine faction broke away in to form the Communist Party of Arakan. The last Red Flag forces were defeated in the late s, and the Communist Party of Arakan was finally dissolved in Hide Footnote Partly as a result of persistent conflict, the tri-border area remains remote and impoverished, and there is considerable anger and frustration at the perceived neglect and political oppression of central governments.

The Arakan Army has adopted a more straightforward ethno-nationalism than previous armed groups in Rakhine. Painting the Burman-dominated government as a colonial power, it has sought to gain confederal status with almost complete autonomy, like that of the United Wa State Army in Shan State. Hide Footnote The idea of a confederal status has resonated strongly with the Rakhine people, and popular support for the Arakan Army has been an important factor in the consolidation of its power and authority. The Arakan Army has proven far more effective on the battlefield than any previous group in western Myanmar. It has inflicted heavy casualties on the military, with potentially several thousand government soldiers killed.

Small skirmishes were reported in the following years, but major conflict erupted in December and has continued to escalate since then, concentrated on central and northern Rakhine State and Paletwa in southern Chin State. Hide Footnote Due to their vulnerability, these non-Rakhine minority groups have often tried to remain neutral, but in doing so they have only aroused suspicions from both the Arakan Army and Tatmadaw that they are informing for the other side.

Both the Arakan Army and Tatmadaw have been responsible for killing and injuring civilians from among these minority groups, as well as destroying or confiscating property and other abuses. At least 10, of their members have been forced to flee their villages. Hide Footnote Many young people have been sent to Yangon or even neighbouring countries for their safety. Fraught relations between the dominant Rakhine and these minority groups are not new. Tensions between the Rakhine and Rohingya have erupted into communal violence, particularly in Smaller groups like the Mro have often felt powerless to challenge the Rakhine, despite frequently seeing them as domineering, paternalistic and even manipulative.

Instead, they have typically sought to placate the Rakhine. One Mro village administrator described how he had tried to collect taxes for the Arakan Army in a bid to protect his community. Men and women interviewees from non-Rakhine minority groups experience discrimination at the hands of Rakhine in different ways. Several men pointed to examples of being excluded from political or social activities because of their ethnicity, while a woman said she felt discriminated against because of her appearance and socio-economic status. The growing conflict has only frayed these relationships further. Non-Rakhine community leaders told Crisis Group that such statements from the Arakan Army are routinely ignored by their soldiers, who demand intelligence, supplies and labour.

Arakan Army soldiers — and many ethnic Rakhine civilians — are also deeply suspicious of non-Rakhine minorities, who they believe provide information and supplies to the Tatmadaw. Mro leaders from Buthidaung related how an aid agency arranged food supplies for their hilltop villages, but because of the terrain had to leave the bags of rice in the valley below for collection. Local Rakhine villagers cut open the rice sacks with knives, destroying the supplies. Administrators of non-Rakhine minority villages are often left in the difficult — and dangerous — position of placating both the Tatmadaw and Arakan Army in an effort to protect their communities. One Mro village administrator recalled how he spent a year hiding in the jungle after the Arakan Army accused him of supplying information to the Myanmar military.

After the Arakan Army then tried to detain his family, he eventually fled with them to Yangon in early Hide Footnote A friend who was administrator of another Mro village in Buthidaung was murdered, and the administrator believes he would have suffered the same fate if he had not left. Emboldened by the strength of the Arakan Army, some ethnic Rakhine civilians also coerce non-Rakhine minorities to hand over their possessions, particularly aid supplies from NGOs. Interviewees described being forced to share or hand over fertiliser, food and communal resources, such as fishponds and forests.

Arakan Army expansionism has extended not only to territory but also to claims that certain ethnic minority populations are actually ethnic Rakhine. This claim provoked a strong response from Chin political and civil society leaders, who emphatically rejected the suggestion. The Mro and Khami, for example, are recognised as Rakhine sub-groups, and the Khumi are considered Chin. But the distinction is more geographic than cultural: they, along with their ethnic kin in Bangladesh, all share many cultural links, and their languages are mutually intelligible.

Hide Footnote The example illustrates the futility of trying to construct a logical classification system of fixed identities in such an ethnically diverse region, as well as how ethnicity and claims to territory are closely intertwined. Despite the role that ethnic divisions have played in driving conflict among groups in Rakhine State, interviewees among non-Rakhine minorities staunchly defended the concept of ethnic categories. Regardless of ethnic identity, all members of non-Rakhine minority groups to whom Crisis Group spoke expressed a strong and growing feeling of insecurity as a result of the conflict. Neither the Arakan Army nor the Tatmadaw has been able to offer them adequate protection, although those interviewed generally claim to feel safer dealing with the Tatmadaw.

One reason is that the Arakan Army has been declared an unlawful association, so they could be arrested for contacts with the group. But there is also a strong sense that its forces act with greater impunity, and victims of abuses by Arakan Army forces have no recourse. Hide Footnote Although they do not necessarily trust the Tatmadaw, interviewees said they feel somewhat safer when in the presence of government soldiers who can deter the Arakan Army. Some, particularly among the Mro and Khumi, argue that the only way to protect their communities is to establish their own armed group. Given their limited resources, they would require some form of external support to do so.

Some Tatmadaw members have discussed the possibility with Mro and Khumi leaders, but there has been no concrete move to set up new militia units among these communities in Rakhine and southern Chin. Hide Footnote Nevertheless, these interviewees feel strongly that their communities need protection and that arming themselves is the only realistic option. This dynamic causes armed groups to proliferate along ethnic lines, as happened in Shan State see previous section , which ultimately results in greater militarisation.

Although it can also bring a degree of stability, the threat of renewed conflict is always present. For now, the small, scattered Mro and Khumi ethnic communities are unlikely to be able to effectively organise and arm themselves. But the level of conflict and insecurity in Rakhine State and southern Chin State is such that if an external actor were willing and able to support and fund the creation of an armed group, it would find willing participants, dealing another blow to long-term efforts to achieve peace in Myanmar.

Ethnic minority communities often frame their political demands not in terms of rights for all minority communities, but in terms of rights specific to their own groups, often with claims to specific territory attached. Because according to Myanmar law and custom larger groups enjoy greater rights, and because exclusive authority over territory inevitably disadvantages other, smaller groups living there, ethnic rights are seen as zero-sum: more rights for one group almost inevitably implies fewer rights for another. Such an approach feeds a competitive dynamic among different ethnic populations living in the same area, fuelling tensions and armed conflict. Ethnic minority people thus tend to be defined by their ethnicity, seen as biologically fixed and expressed as a set of superficial cultural traits.

Almost never are the complex lived experiences of minority people acknowledged or explored in public discourse. The official narrative conceals the fact that most minority areas were historically self-governing and never part of a pre-colonial Burman-majority nation-state — a fundamental factor underlying minority grievances and armed conflict. Hide Footnote This narrative also obscures the extent of contemporary Burman racism and discrimination against minorities, thus avoiding the national reckoning with this reality that is essential to building a more tolerant country and achieving a sustainable end to conflict.

The electoral system, as defined in the constitution, attempts to partly offset barriers to minority representation inherent in the first-past-the-post system by setting aside a small number of seats for certain minority groups meeting minimum population criteria in specific geographical areas see Section III above. This arrangement creates perceived winners and losers based on often arbitrary ethnic classifications and non-transparent population figures. It also reinforces the flawed idea that there exists an inherent link between ethnicity and territory, encouraging ethnic groups to seek control of territory — demographically and militarily — and to protect it from outside intrusion.

Every community sees the need to have its own armed group, and armed groups need to be more powerful than those in adjacent or overlapping communities. Moving the country toward a more constructive and inclusive conception of national identity and away from essentialist notions of ethnicity will be immensely challenging. Politicians and policymakers are constrained due to both cultural and political factors. Nevertheless, if Myanmar is to resolve its internal conflicts and reach lasting political settlements with minority groups, it will likely have to embark on the difficult process of reframing how ethnicity is understood. The challenge is great because ethnic identities are strongly held and often seen as a defence against the policies of forced assimilation and Burmanisation pursued under the military regime.

The aim should not be to erase ethnic identity and limit social and cultural expression. Ethnicity can also be a powerful force for building social cohesion and strengthening bonds within communities, and it could be harnessed for much good. The aim, as elaborated in more detail below, should be to remove ethnicity as a central determinant of citizenship and other rights and legal protections, create conditions where the dominant role of ethnicity in party politics can wane, and ensure that ethnic communities no longer feel that the only way they can have a voice in the future shape of the country is to have an armed group participating in the peace process.

There are no easy solutions, and progress will require a national process of debate and reflection. The government has an important role to play in shaping this debate. It can begin by changing the language and narratives it employs around ethnicity, and particularly the paternalistic way in which it characterises relations between Burmans and minorities.

Hide Footnote Although apparently aimed at inculcating a sense of collective purpose, in practice these terms are often interpreted by minorities as reflecting assimilationist policies. The phrases tend to reinforce divisions among ethnic groups and ring hollow in light of lived experience. From a policy perspective, a key reform should be to delink ethnicity from citizenship. This linkage is particularly pernicious given that the constitutional bill of rights is mostly limited to citizens see Section II. C above. Access to citizenship by birth should not be restricted to members of recognised ethnic groups.

These steps will be controversial, and they will require extensive consultation and explanation. Not only have these structures created an unhelpful competitive dynamic among minorities, but they have also been mostly ineffective at ensuring ethnic autonomy, due to the lack of meaningful decentralisation from Naypyitaw. They encourage the idea that ethnic rights are contingent on numerical superiority in a particular locale, ignoring the fact that many ethnic minority people do not inhabit one particular location. Assigning territory to particular peoples is thus inherently problematic, as it entrenches the contentious ethnic categorisation system and drives efforts to count the sizes of these categories. As the census demonstrated, this task is conflict-inducing as well as technically challenging.

Ideally, ethnic states would not be identified with or named after particular ethnic groups. Such a change would be immensely contentious and would have to take place as part of a negotiated political solution to minority grievances. Such a change would also likely have to be accompanied by the creation of a third tier of representative government across the country, delinked from ethnicity, which would allow greater decentralisation of spending and decision-making that would replace the current ad hoc arrangement of self-administered areas for certain ethnic populations. The introduction of some form of proportional representation in the elections could be an effective way to increase minority representation in the national and state legislatures.

These changes could help reduce zero-sum inter-ethnic rivalry, diminishing the imperative born of a first-past-the-post system for each ethnic group to rally around a single party representing its ethnicity rather than individual members of that ethnic group voting for whichever party best represent its political interests or values. The current venue for discussion of the future political shape of the country, including the question of what form of federalism should be adopted, is the peace process. This is problematic. Because its aim is to end armed conflict, the peace process gives a privileged role to ethnic armed groups.

Some of these groups have significant support and legitimacy in the communities they seek to represent; others do not. Some of the largest ethnic armed groups are not represented in the formal peace process at all or attend as observers. Many ethnic communities do not have an armed group, and hence feel sidelined in the discussion. Ethnic hatred , inter-ethnic hatred , racial hatred , or ethnic tension refers to feelings and acts of prejudice and hostility towards an ethnic group in various degrees. There are multiple origins for ethnic hatred and the resulting ethnic conflicts.

In some societies it is rooted in tribalism , while in others it originates from a history of non-peaceful co-existence and the resulting actual disputed issues. In many countries incitement to ethnic or racial hatred is a criminal offense. Often ethnic conflict is enhanced by nationalism and feeling of national superiority—for which reason inter-ethnic hatred borders with racism , and often the two terms are conflated. Ethnic hatred has often been exploited and even fueled by some political leaders to serve their agenda of seeking to consolidate the nation or gain electorate by calling for a united struggle against a common enemy real or imaginary.

An example for ethnic hatred is the hatred of the Romani people in Europe. The Romani people, also known as Gypsies are the marginalized and persecuted ethnic groups in Europe. Media persuasion plays a role in dissemination of ethnic hatred. Media presence spreads underlying messages that negatively portrays certain ethnic groups to the eye of the public. For example, political elites use media exposure to influence the views of the viewers towards a certain propaganda. In s Nazi Germany, media presence in exposing propaganda in terms of hatred was effectively organized by Joseph Goebbels.

Data polled from Muslim countries shows that exposure to Al-Jazeera is associated with higher levels of reported anti-Americanism in contrast to exposure to CNN associating with less anti-Americanism. There are two types of persuasion: direct and indirect. Direct persuasion in regard to mass media exponentially expands hatred that leads to violence of ethnic groups. Indirect persuasion exports hatred and directs behavior towards executing violence.

The continuous use of mass media as an apparatus to spread negative image of ethnic groups is seen throughout variations of history. Most media hate speech that amplified worldwide attention are experienced in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. Also, media's control of hate speech that Nazi and fascist parties manipulate agitate and attract followers into advocating for hatred and violence. Ethnicity is a big part in determining voting patterns in Kenya; however, many associate ethnicity with grievances that mobilize patterns of differences, hatred, and violence. Along with mass media, propaganda plays as much role in distributing messages in terms of ethnic hatred. Propaganda is highly associated with totalitarian regimes in the twentieth century such as and Animal Farm by George Orwell that paved a way of commentating the regimes during the time.

In original meaning, propaganda promotes beliefs leading towards action. The utilization of propaganda by Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini popularize the false impression of propaganda that hid the truth for an extended time. The variation of propaganda and psychological warfare are essentially organized processes of persuasion. However, empirical research casts doubt on the role of propaganda in inciting hatred, finding that it is much less able to change minds than is often assumed.

For example, a review of literature says: "First, propaganda often fails. Myers, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification.

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