Examples of countries or regions that have experienced ethnic conflict:
The Balkans (Former Yugoslavia)
The Balkan Peninsula has many different ethnic groups such as; Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks, and Albanians. This region has experienced ethnic conflict for thousands of years. The most recent conflict lasted from 1992 - 1995, when Serbia invaded Bosnia. Thousands of Bosniaks were killed by Serbian and Croatian forces because they were a different ethnic and religious group.
Rwanda is a small country in East Africa with two major ethnic groups, the Hutu and the Tutsi. In 1994, the Hutu controlled military and militia groups began killing Tutsis. Over a period of three months at least 800,000 Tutsis were murdered in one of the worst genocides in history.
Cyprus is an island in the eastern Mediterranean. The country is divided into two countries based on ethnicity. One country is primarily Turkish and the other country is primarily Greek.
Religion (Divisive Force)
There are religious conflicts in the following areas:
Kashmir (conflict between Hindus and Muslims.
Northern Ireland (conflict between Protestants and Catholics)
Jerusalem (Jews, Christians, and Muslims all claim it as a holy city)
India and Pakistan both claim a region called the Kashmir. Part of the problem is based on religion. Pakistan is a Muslim country and India is Hindu.
Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom refers to Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The country is about evenly divided between Protestants and Catholics. The Protestants want to remain part of the U.K. and the Catholics want to be part of Ireland.
Protestants and Catholics formed gangs in Belfast and would kill each other. The Catholics also bombed government buildings and police stations. The violence was so bad in Belfast that they constructed large walls to separate neighborhoods. Since then both sides have signed a peace agreement.
The Peace Wall
Murals in Belfast
Murals in Belfast
Christians consider Jerusalem to be holy because Jesus was crucified there.
Jews consider Jerusalem to be holy because there temple was located there.
Muslims consider Jerusalem to be holy because Muhammed ascended to heaven there and received the word of Allah.
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, a Jewish country that was created by the United Nations in 1948. Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Palestine but Israel occupies East Jerusalem.