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The Roots of Conflict

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Jake Powell

on 19 June 2014

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Transcript of The Roots of Conflict

The Roots of Conflict
by Jacob Powell

N. Irish Conflict
Who are the people involved in each conflict?
The unionist, Protestant group (primarily aided by the British Army) was at odds with
the Catholic, nationalist republicans. (Irish Republican Army)
Was not a religious conflict, it was territorial, but each side was almost exclusively affiliated with the given group of Christians

What is the root of this conflict? How has it evolved over time?
Conflict since the 17th century, never exploded until “The Troubles” in 1968.
Fighting was related to the Constitutional status of Northern Ireland, if it should be independent of Great Britain or join the Republic of Ireland.
Began with a mostly nationalist civil rights march in Londonderry on October 5th that resulted in violent dispersal and rioting.
Escalated as paramilitary groups emerged and clear divisions were created among neighborhoods.
Violence continued until 1998, when the Good Friday Agreement ended the active fighting.

What are the cultural similarities and differences between the people on both sides of this conflict?
Each side of the conflict was majority Protestant or Catholic
Both almost entirely Christian
Both sides had deeply entrenched political views, and the conflict lasted a generation
Sectioned-off parts of the region and its cities created deep divides between two groups, physically and mentally.

What attempts have been made to resolve this conflict at both a local and international level? What international organizations were involved? Did those attempts succeed or fail? Why?
The Sunningdale Agreement attempted to establish a power-sharing administration between the UK, and northern Irish government. It was a failure, but established the basis for the finally successful Good Friday Agreement.
The Anglo-Irish Agreement was an attempt to give the Irish government a role in Northern Irish affairs but did not result in constitutional change without consent of the people. It alienated the unionist groups and was not successful at resolving the conflict.
After a ceasefire (done because groups realized the “long war” was unwinnable), peace talks began in 1996, and “In almost all quarters, a combination of political realism and war-weariness cleared the path to negotiation”.
These talks concluded in the Good Friday Agreement. The United States took an active role, with President Clinton sending a veteran US senator to be a part of the talks.
Self-government was returned. It was a rocky de-escalation period and disarmament was difficult, but the conflict was relatively resolved. Some instability remained, but the conflict was the last major international intervention.

How do you think this conflict can be resolved?
Continued focus on political negotiation
United forces against extremist groups that may attempt to create conflict.
Continued focus on mistakes in history to assure that groups don’t forget the violence of the past.

Sources for N. Irish Conflict:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/events day_troubles_began
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/troubles
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/northireland1.html)


Balkans Conflict
Who are the people involved in each conflict?
S
erbians: Bosnian
S
Army, Croatian
S
Army
vs: Croatian army, Bosnian Croat militia
NATO also stepped in and enforced a no fly zone to prevent an "air war".

What is the root of this conflict? How has it evolved over time?
Yugoslavia was socialist state that brought together Serbs, Croats, Bosnian muslims and others
Ethnic tensions dealt with by President Tito. After his death, tensions re-emerged
Serbian minority (but majority in army) resisted nationalist independence seekers and lashed out
Brutal wars temporarily stopped by others influence, ethnic war continued to break out multiple times between 1991 and 1999

What are the cultural similarities and differences between the people on both sides of this conflict?
Serbian groups were all the same ethnicity
Croatian and Muslims were united for independence.
Croatian republic was prosperous but Serbia was less wealthy, and they dominated the army.

What attempts have been made to resolve this conflict at both a local and international level? What international organizations were involved? Did those attempts succeed or fail? Why?
United Nations paused the conflict with an ordered ceasefire in 1992 between Slovenia and Croatia.
Overall, the UN peacekeepers weren't able to stop ethnic cleansing.
In 1995, NATO bombed the Bosnian Serbs and gains were made against them, Bosnia was divided.
The same year, Croatian conflict started again, against Serbs.
In 1999, Serbs battered by Albanians, and war started to wind down.

How do you think this conflict can be resolved?
Negotiation of independence for ethnic groups along natural political divides, much as it is now.
However, no matter how a nation's divided, ethnic and political issues will still persist. As with many modern conflicts, underlying issues must be dealt with, at the same time as disarming aggressive groups. As any conflict, it’s very complex. Serbian fighters participated in “ethnic cleansing” but the Croatian forces did as well.

Sources for Balkan Conflict:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17632399
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/index/bosnia/nbos002.htm
http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/Bosnia/history/



Civil wars
Regions previously united as nations
Psychological divide between populace caught in crossfire
Intensely political fight over land

More collateral damage, from ethnic cleansing to intense bombing.

About independence from a larger authority far away, while the Balkan conflict was a more direct fight for power.
Full transcript