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This article lists incidents that have been termed ethnic cleansing by some academic or legal experts. Not all experts agree on every case, particularly since there are a variety of definitions for the term ethnic cleansing. Where claims of ethnic cleansing originate from non-experts (e.g., journalists or politicians) this is noted.

Ancient and Medieval periods

  • c.350 AD: Ancient Chinese texts record 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 such as high-bridged noses and bushy beards were killed; in total, 200,000 were reportedly massacred.[1]
  • c.1290 AD: Edward I of England expelled all Jews living in England in 1290. Hundreds of Jewish elders were executed.[2]
  • c. 1282 Sicilian Vespers (Italian: Vespri siciliani; Sicilian: Vespiri siciliani) is the name given to the successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out on the Easter of 1282 against the rule of the French/Capetian king Charles I, who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks, three thousand French men and women were slain by the rebels, and the government of King Charles lost control of the island. It was the beginning of the War of the Sicilian Vespers.

Early modern period

  • c.1492-1614 AD: Spain expelled its Jews in 1492, then its Muslims in 1502, forcibly Christianizing the remaining Muslims.[3] 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.
  • c.1250-1500 AD: From the 13th to the 16th centuries many European countries expelled the Jews from their territory on at least 15 occasions. Spain was preceded by England, France and some German states, among many others, and succeeded by at least five more expulsions.
  • c.1652 AD: 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 historian Tim Pat Coogan have described the actions of Cromwell and his subordinates as genocide.[4]
  • c.1740 AD: In the 1740s, the British government, following the Jacobite Rebellion, instituted the 'Highland Clearances' in Scotland which essentially depopulated much of the Scottish Highlands.
  • c.1750 AD: About ten years later, during the French and Indian War, they instituted a systematic removal of the French Catholic Acadian population of Nova Scotia—eventually removing thousands of settlers from the region and relocating them to New England and elsewhere. Some moved eventually to New Orleans and became known as Cajuns. The subsequent death of over 50% of the deported Acadian population, has been described by many scholars as being an act of ethnic cleansing [5]

19th century

  • Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the first ruler of an independent Haiti, ordered the killing of the remaining white population of French creoles on Haiti by instigating the 1804 Haiti Massacre.[6]
  • On May 26, 1830, president Andrew Jackson of the United States signed the Indian Removal Act which resulted in the Trail of Tears.[7][8][9][10]
  • 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.[11]
  • 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 population of Texas 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."[12] The Conquest of Texas was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
  • The nomadic Roma people have been expelled from European countries several times.[13]

20th century

File:Armenian genocide3.jpg

Deportation of the Armenians in the Baghdad railway, 1910s


  • Azeris of Zangezur and other parts of present-day Armenia are ethnically cleansed by Armenian guerilla fighters in 1918–1920.[14][15][16][17][18]
  • The Destruction of the Thracian Bulgarians during and shortly after the Second Balkan War in 1913.
  • German Empire during First World War plans to annex up to 35,000 square kilometers of pre-war Congress Poland and ethnically cleanse between 2 to 3 million Poles and Jews out of these territories to make room for German settlers.[19][20][21][22][23][24]
  • The Bolshevik regime killed or deported an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 Don Cossacks during the Russian Civil War, in 1919–1920.[25] 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".[26]
  • The Destruction of the Ottoman Armenian population took place during and after World War I and was implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and forced labor, and the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches to the Syrian Desert.[27][28] The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated to range from 600,000 to 1,500,000.
  • In the course of several Armenian-Azerbaijani conflicts (1905–07, 1918–20), hundreds of thousands of Armenians and Azerbaijanis were resettled by force and/or many of them were killed and injured.[29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38]


  • The Iraqi army launches a campaign against Assyrian villages in northern Iraq with the help of Kurdish and Arab tribes. The number of deaths ranged from 600–3,000. Around one third of the Assyrians later sought refuge in Syria.[39]
  • During 1920-21, The Greek army in the Yalova-Gemlik Peninsula burned dozens of Turkish/Muslim villages with large scale violence and ethnic cleansing[40]
  • The 1923 Population exchange between Greece and Turkey has been described as ethnic cleansing.[41]

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.[42] Property damage totaled $1.5 million (1921).[42] 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.[43]
  • Second Sino-Japanese War, in which the Imperial Japanese 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 the deaths of many 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.[44]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • 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.[citation needed] The Muslim forces looted and ravaged the monastery again.[45]
  • 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.[46] Some Tibetans counted the number of times he attacked them, remembering the seventh attack which made life impossible.[47] 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.[48][49][50]
  • The Holodomor (1932-1933) is considered by many historians as a genocidal famine perpetrated on the orders of Josef Stalin that involved widespread ethnic cleansing of ethnic Ukrainians in Soviet Ukraine. Food and grain were forcibly seized from villages, internal borders between Soviet Ukraine and the Russian SSR were sealed to prevent population movement; movement was also restricted between villages and urban centers. Stalin's destruction of ethnic Ukrainians also extended to a wide-scale purge of Ukrainian intelligentsia, political elite and Party officials before and after the famine. A ban on the Ukrainian language[citation needed] and widespread Russification was also instilled[citation needed]. An estimated 2.5 to 8 million Ukrainians were exterminated in the famine. After liquidation, Stalin repopulated the territory with ethnic Russians[citation needed].


Westward shift of Poland after World War II. The respective German, Polish and Ukrainian populations were expelled, or ethnically cleansed.

  • Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, The United States government forced the Japanese residing in the United States, including American Citizens, to be brought to an internment camp. Approximately 110 000 to 120 000 Japanese were relocated and incarcerated during World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the deportation and incarceration with Executive Order 9066, issued on February 19, 1942, which allowed local military commanders to designate "military areas" from which "any or all persons may be excluded."
  • The Deportation of the Crimean Tatars on May 18, 1944 to the Uzbek SSR and other parts of the Soviet Union.
  • 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. The estimated number of those who died in the process is nearly 6 million Jews.[54]
  • 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 communiqué). 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.[55] 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 ethnic cleansing. Kamusella links it to the development of ethnic nationalism in central and eastern Europe.[56]
  • 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).[57][58] 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.[59][60]
  • At least 40,000 Hungarians civilians were killed by Serbians in Vojvodina as a revenge (so called "Cold Days"), in 1944.[61]

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

  • During World War II, in Kosovo & Metohija, approximately 10,000 Serbs were killed by Nazi German soldiers and Albanian colloborators,[62][63] and about 80[62] to 100,000[62][64] or more[63] were ethnically cleansed.[64] After World War II, the new communist authorities of Yugoslavia banned Serbians and Montenegrins expelled during the war from returning to their abandoned estates.[65]
  • 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.[66] The total number of people killed under Hungarian occupation in Bačka was 19,573, in Banat 7,513 (under German occupation) and in Syrmia 28,199 (under Croatian occupation).[67]
  • During the Axis occupation of Albania (1943–1944), the Albanian collaborationist organization Balli Kombëtar 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.[68][69][need quotation to verify]
  • 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 settle in what became Pakistan and 5 million Hindus and Sikhs fled from what became Pakistan to settle in India. The events which occurred during this time period have been described as ethnic cleansing by Ishtiaq Ahmed[70][71] and by Barbara and Thomas R. Metcalf.[72]

About 14.5 million lost their homes as a result of the partition of India in 1947.

  • 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.[83]
  • 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.[84]
  • Mario Roatta's war on the ethnic Slovene civil population in the Province of Ljubljana during Fascist Italy's occupation of Yugoslavia in accord with the 1920s speech by Benito Mussolini's speech:

    When dealing with such a race as Slavic - inferior and barbarian - we must not pursue the carrot, but the stick policy.... We should not be afraid of new victims.... The Italian border should run across the Brenner Pass, Monte Nevoso and the Dinaric Alps.... I would say we can easily sacrifice 500,000 barbaric Slavs for 50,000 Italians....

    —Benito Mussolini, speech held in Pula, 22 February 1922[85][86][87]


  • On September 5 and 6, 1955 the Istanbul Pogrom or "Septembrianá"/"Σεπτεμβριανά", secretly backed by the Turkish government, was launched against the Greek population of Istanbul. The mob also attacked some Jewish and Armenian residents of the city. The event contributed greatly to the gradual extinction of the Greek minority in the city and throughout the entire country, which numbered 100,000 in 1924 after the Turko-Greek population exchange treaty. By 2006 there were only 2,500 Greeks living in Istanbul.[88]
  • 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.[citation needed]


  • On July 5, 1960, five days after the Congo gained independence from Belgium, the Force Publique garrison near Léopoldville mutinied against its white officers and attacked numerous European targets. This caused fear amongst the approximately 100,000 whites still resident in the Congo and led to their mass exodus from the country.[89]
  • 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 enterprises a few years later in 1964.[90][91]
  • The creation of the apartheid system in South Africa, which began in 1948 but reached its full flowering 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.[92][93]
  • As the FLN fought for the independence of Algeria from France, 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.[94][95]
  • Zanzibar expelled Arabs and Indians from the nation in 1964.[96][97]
  • In 1966, there was 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 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.
  • 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).[citation needed]


  • Shortly after Muammar 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".[98]
  • 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.[99] (see1971 Bangladesh atrocities)
  • Idi Amin's regime forced the expulsion in 1972 of Uganda's entire ethnic Asian population, mostly of Indian descent.[100]
  • 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.[101]
  • Following the U.S. withdrawal from South Vietnam in 1973 and the communist victory two years later, the Kingdom of Laos's coalition government was overthrown by the communists. The Hmong people, who had actively supported the anti-communist government, became targets of retaliation and persecution. The government of Laos has been accused of committing genocide against the Hmong,[102][103] with up to 100,000 killed.[104]
  • 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).[105][106]
  • The Sino-Vietnamese War resulted in the discrimination and consequent migration of Vietnam's ethnic Chinese. Many of these people fled as "boat people".[109] In 1978–79, some 250,000 ethnic Chinese left Vietnam by boat as refugees (many officially encouraged and assisted) or were expelled across the land border with China.[110][111]


  • In the aftermath of Indira Gandhi's assassination in 1984, the ruling party Indian National Congress supporters formed large mobs and killed around 3000 Sikhs around Delhi in what is known as the 1984 anti-Sikh riots during the next four days. The mobs acting with the support of ruling party leaders used the Election voting list to identify Sikhs and kill them.
  • In the 1987 and 1988 Al-Anfal Campaign, the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein and headed by Ali Hassan al-Majid launched Al-Anfal against Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq. The Iraqi government Massacred 100,000 to 182,000 non-combatant civilians including women and children;, and 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;, 1,754 schools were destroyed, along with 270 hospitals, 2,450 mosques, 27 churches; and around 90% of all Kurdish villages in the targeted areas were wiped out .
  • 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.
  • * The forced assimilation campaign during 1984–1985 directed against ethnic Turks by the Bulgarian State resulted in the mass emigration of some 360,000 Bulgarian Turks to Turkey in 1989 has been characterized as ethnic cleansing.[112][113]
  • The Nagorno Karabakh conflict has resulted in the displacement of populations from both sides. Among the displaced are 700,000 Azerbaijanis and several thousand Kurds from Armenian-controlled territories including ares of Nagorno-Karabakh,[114] and 185,000[115] to 250,000 Azerbaijanis,[116] 18,000 Kurds and 3,500 Russians fled from Armenia to Azerbaijan from 1987 to 1989.[117] 280,000 to 304,000[115] persons—virtually all ethnic Armenians—fled Azerbaijan during the 1988–1993 war over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.[118]
  • 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.[119]
  • In 1989, after bloody pogroms against the Meskhetian Turks by Uzbeks in Central Asia's Ferghana Valley, nearly 90,000 Meskhetian Turks left Uzbekistan.[120][121]


The cemetery at the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery to Genocide Victims

A boy at a grave during the 2006 funeral of genocide victims

Bhutanese refugees in Nepal

  • In 1990, inter-ethnic tensions escalated in Bhutan, resulting in the flight of many Lhotshampa, or ethnic Nepalis, from Bhutan to Nepal, many of whom were expelled by the Bhutanese military. By 1996, over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees were living in refugee camps in Nepal. Many have since been resettled in Western nations.[122] One reason for this expulsion was the desire of the Bhutanese government to remove a largely Hindu population and preserve it's Buddhist culture and identity.[123]
  • In 1991, following a crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in Burma, 250,000 refugees took shelter in the Cox's Bazar district of neighboring Bangladesh.[124]
  • After the Gulf War in 1991, Kuwait conducted a campaign of expulsion against the Palestinians living in the country, who before the war had numbered 400,000. Some 200,000 who had fled during the Iraqi occupation were banned from returning, while the remaining 200,000 were pressured into leaving by the authorities, who conducted a campaign of terror, violence, and economic pressure to get them to leave.[125] The Palestinians expelled from Kuwait moved to Jordan, where they had citizenship.[126] The policy which partly led to this exodus was a response to the alignment of PLO leader Yasser Arafat with Saddam Hussein.
  • 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.[127]
  • According to Helsinki Watch, the campaign of ethnic-cleansing was orchestrated by the Ossetian militants, during the events of the Ossetian–Ingush conflict, which resulted in the expulsion of approximately 60,000 Ingush inhabitants from Prigorodny District.[128]

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 in the occupied areas of Croatia (self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina) (1991–1995). Large numbers of Croats and non-Serbs were removed, either by murder, deportation or by 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.[129]
  • In February 1992, hundreds of ethnic Azeris and Meskhetian Turks are massacred as Armenian troops capture the city of Khojaly in Nagorno-Karabakh.[130][131]
  • Following the abrogation of Krajina, around 200,000 Serbs[132] fled Croatia during or after Operation Storm, out of which at least 20,000 were deported, according to the ICTY verdict.[133]

Destroyed Serbian house in Croatia. Most Serbians fled during Operation Storm in 1995.

  • 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 the Republika Srpska.[134] Beginning in 1991, political upheavals in the Balkans displaced about 2,700,000 people by mid-1992, of which over 700,000 sought asylum in Europe.[135][136]
  • Ethnic cleansing of non-Croats in the breakaway state the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia [137]
  • More than 800,000 Kosovo Albanians fled their homes in Kosovo between 1998 and 1999 during the Kosovo War.[138]
  • 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.[144]
  • The mass expulsion of southern Lhotshampas (Bhutanese of Nepalese origin) by the northern Druk majority in Bhutan in 1990.[146] The number of refugees is approximately 103,000.[147]
  • 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.[148]
  • In Jammu and Kashmir, a separatist insurgency has targeted the Hindu Kashmiri Pandit minority and 400,000 have been displaced, and 1,200 have been killed since 1991. Islamic terrorists infiltrated the region in 1989 and began an ethnic cleansing campaign to convert Kashmir to a Muslim state. Since that time, over 400,000 Kashmiri Hindus have either been murdered or forced from their homes.[149] This has been condemned and labeled as ethnic cleansing in a 2006 resolution passed by the United States Congress.[150] Also in 2009 the Oregon Legislative Assembly introduced a resolution to recognize September 14, 2007, as Martyrs Day to acknowledge the ethnic cleansing and the campaigns of terror inflicted on the 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 as a disputed territory - the resolution failed to pass.[151]
  • Separatist regime policy of proscription of non-Chechens (mostly Russians) from Chechnya in the 1990s. Before the First Chechen War tens of thousands of people of non-Chechen ethnicity had left the republic, and thousands of other people were turned into slaves or killed. Since 1996 the violence against non-Chechens has continued and almost all of them have left Chechnya up to this moment.[152][153][154][155] The tactics used to implement this policy of ethnic cleansing include the ignoring of widespread acts of lawlessness committed against non-Chechens (especially acts of violence committed against Russians) and they are accompanied by the distribution of nationalistic propaganda.[156]
  • The Jakarta riots of May 1998 targeted many Chinese Indonesians. Suffering from looting and arson many Chinese Indonesians fled from Indonesia.[157][158]
  • 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.[159]

21st century


  • 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.[160][161]
  • 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.[162][163][164][165][166][167][168] After the East Timorese people voted for independence in a 1999 referendum, Indonesian paramilitaries 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.[169]
  • 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.[170] 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.[171] "How can we continue to have Stone Age creatures in an age of computers?" asked Botswana's president Festus Mogae.[172][173]
  • 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.[174][175] 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.[176] Sudan refuses to allow their return, or to allow United Nations peacekeepers into Darfur.
  • During the Iraq Civil War and consequent Iraqi insurgency (2011-present), entire neighborhoods in Baghdad are being ethnically cleansed by Shia and Sunni militias.[177][178] 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 21 June 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.[179][180][181]
  • Assyrian exodus from Iraq from 2003 until present is often described as ethnic cleansing. 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.[182][183] In the 16th century, Christians constituted half of Iraq's population.[184][dead link] In 1987, the last Iraqi census counted 1.4 million Christians.[185] Following the 2003 invasion and the reusltant growth of militant Islamism, Christians' total numbers slumped to about 500,000, of whom 250,000 live in Baghdad.[186] Furthermore, the Mandaean and Yazidi communities are at the risk of elimination due to the ongoing atrocities by Islamic extremists.[187][188] A 25 May 2007 article notes that in the past 7 months only 69 people from Iraq have been granted refugee status in the United States.[189]
  • In October 2006, Niger announced that it would deport Arabs living in the Diffa region of eastern Niger to Chad.[190] This population numbered about 150,000.[191] Nigerien 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.[192][193]
  • 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.[194] As a result of the ongoing war in minority group areas more than two million people have fled Burma to Thailand.[195]
  • Civil unrest in Kenya erupted in December 2007.[196] By January 28, 2008, the death toll from the violence was at around 800.[197] The United Nations estimated that as many as 600,000 people have been displaced.[198][199] A government spokesman claimed that Odinga's supporters were "engaging in ethnic cleansing".[200]
  • 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,[201][202] and another 15,000 fled Nashik in the wake of the attacks.[203][204]
  • South Africa Ethnic Cleansing erupted on May 11, 2008 within three weeks 80 000 were displaced the death toll was 62, with 670 injured in 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.[205] 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 as 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 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.[206] At a conference of Hellenes victims of ethnic cleansing, held in February 2011 in Nicosia, an apology was demanded [207]
  • 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[208] ethnic Georgians living in South Ossetia were forced to flee to Georgia proper, and Ossetian militia burned their villages to prevent their return.


Refugees of the fighting in the Central African Republic, January 19, 2014

  • Approximately 400,000 people have been displaced in the 2012 Assam ethnic violence between indigenous Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslims in Assam, India.[213]
  • 2013 Burma anti-Muslim riots[217]


  1. 《晉書·卷一百七》 Jin Shu Original text 閔躬率趙人誅諸胡羯,無貴賤男女少長皆斬之,死者二十余萬,屍諸城外,悉為野犬豺狼所食。屯據四方者,所在承閔書誅之,于時高鼻多須至有濫死者半。
  2. Richards, Eric (2004). Britannia's children: emigration from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since 1600. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 24. ISBN 1-85285-441-3. 
  3. A brief History of Ethnic Cleansing, by Andrew Bell-Fialkoff, p. 4
    • 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.

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