Ethnic cleansing is the systematic forced removal of ethnic, racial and/or religious groups from a given territory by a more powerful ethnic group, often with the intent of making it ethnically homogeneous. The forces applied may be various forms of forced migration (deportation, population transfer), intimidation, as well as genocide and genocidal rape.
Ethnic cleansing is usually accompanied with efforts to remove physical and cultural evidence of the targeted group in the territory through the destruction of homes, social centers, farms, and infrastructure, and by the desecration of monuments, cemeteries, and places of worship.
Although ethnic cleansing has occurred long through history, the term was initially used by the perpetrators during the Yugoslav Wars and cited in this context as a euphemism akin to that of Nazi Germany's "Final Solution", by the 1990s, and gained widespread acceptance due to journalism and the media's heightened use of the term in its generic meaning.
An antecedent to the term is the Greek word andrapodismos (Greek: ανδραποδισμός; lit. "enslavement"), which was used in ancient texts to describe atrocities that accompanied Alexander the Great's conquest of Thebes in 335 BC. In the early 1900s, regional variants of the term could be found among the Czechs (očista), the Poles (czystki etniczne), the French (épuration) and the Germans (Säuberung). A 1913 Carnegie Endowment report condemning the actions of all participants in the Balkan Wars contained various new terms to describe brutalities committed toward ethnic groups.
During World War II, the euphemism čišćenje terena ("cleansing the terrain") was used by the Croatian Ustaše to describe military actions in which non-Croats were purposely killed or otherwise uprooted from their homes. Viktor Gutić, a senior Ustaše leader, was one of the first Croatian nationalists on record to use the term as a euphemism for committing atrocities against Serbs. The term was later used in the internal memorandums of Serbian Chetniks in reference to a number of retaliatory massacres they committed against Bosniaks and Croats between 1941 and 1945. The Russian phrase очистка границ (ochistka granits; lit. "cleansing of borders") was used in Soviet documents of the early 1930s to refer to the forced resettlement of Polish people from the 22-kilometre (14 mi) border zone in the Byelorussian and Ukrainian SSRs. This process was repeated on an even larger scale in 1939–41, involving many other groups suspected of disloyalty towards the Soviet Union. During The Holocaust, Nazi Germany pursued a policy of ensuring that Europe was "cleansed of Jews" (Judenrein). After the Allies' victory, transferrals "to Germany of German populations, or elements thereof, remaining in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary", were undertaken to create ethnically homogeneous nations with shifted borders that often included areas where previously Germans had constituted a majority.
In its complete form, the term appeared for the first time in the Romanian language (purificare etnică) in an address by Vice Prime Minister Mihai Antonescu to cabinet members in July 1941. After the beginning of the invasion of the USSR, he concluded: “I do not know when the Romanians will have such chance for ethnic cleansing." In the 1980s, the Soviets used the term "ethnic cleansing" to describe the inter-ethnic violence in Nagorno-Karabakh. At around the same time, the Yugoslav media used it to describe what they alleged was an Albanian nationalist plot to force all Serbs to leave Kosovo. It was widely popularized by the Western media during the Bosnian War (1992–95). The first recorded mention of its use in the Western media can be traced back to an article in The New York Times dated 15 April 1992, in a quote by an anonymous Western diplomat.
Synonyms include ethnic purification.
The Final Report of the Commission of Experts established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 defined ethnic cleansing as "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". In its previous, first interim report it noted, "[b]ased on the many reports describing the policy and practices conducted in the former Yugoslavia, [that] '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."
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".
As a category, ethnic cleansing encompasses a continuum or spectrum of policies. 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.
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".
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 ... [UN] 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' (Krstić, IT-98-33-T, Trial Chamber Judgment, 2 August 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.
There is no international treaty that specifies a specific crime of ethnic cleansing. 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). The gross human-rights violations integral to stricter definitions of ethnic cleansing are treated as separate crimes falling under public international law of crimes against humanity and in certain circumstances genocide.
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 therefore that similar ethnic cleansing could go unpunished in the future.
Academic discourse considers both genocide and ethnic cleansing to exist 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, racial, religious, or national group. While ethnic cleansing and genocide may share the same goal and the acts used to perpetrate both crimes may often resemble each other, ethnic cleansing is intended to displace a persecuted population from a given territory, while genocide is intended to destroy a population.
Some academics consider genocide as a subset of "murderous ethnic cleansing". Thus, these concepts are different, but related, as Norman Naimark writes: "literally and figuratively, ethnic cleansing bleeds into genocide, as mass murder is committed in order to rid the land of a people". William Schabas adds, "Ethnic cleansing is also a warning sign of genocide to come. Genocide is the last resort of the frustrated ethnic cleanser."
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. 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. It thus establishes "facts on the ground"—radical demographic changes which can be very hard to reverse.
The term silent ethnic cleansing was 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 did not receive adequate coverage.
In many cases where accusations of ethnic cleansing have circulated, partisans have fiercely disputed such an interpretation and the details of the events which have been described as ethnic cleansing by academic or legal experts. This often leads to the promotion of vastly different versions of the event in question. 
During the beginning of World War I in 1914, following defeats by the Russian army due to a lack of proper leadership and preparation, the government of the Ottoman Empire banished all Armenian soldiers in desperation based on the belief that they were the ones to blame for the defeats. What began as a military tactic, eventually, lead to a brutal genocide of the ethnic Armenian population that was living in Turkey beginning with the execution of male Armenians and eventually ending with the forced deportation of Armenian women and children. It is estimated that around 800,000 to 1 million ethnic Armenians living in Turkey were either executed or forcibly deported during World War 1. The Armenian Genocide has been recognized as a genocide by most scholars and nations due to its deliberate targeting of ethnic Armenians and the brutal fashion in which it was implemented and it has also been viewed as an act of Ethnic Cleansing due to the Ottoman government's desire to remove a specific ethnicity from its territory.
Recognized as one of the most extreme cases of ethnic cleansing in history, the Holocaust was the Nazi Regime's mass murder of about 6 million Jews during World War II. Accomplished in stages, the Holocaust began with legislation to remove Jews from German society before World War II. Concentration and extermination camps were then created to incarcerate and execute the millions of Jews who were living in Germany and most of them were either shot, killed in gas chambers, or worked to death. Killing approximately 90 percent of the Jews who were living in Poland and 87 percent of the Jews who were living in Germany and Austria, the Nazi Regime's motives, the horrific ways in which its victims were executed, and the number of ethnic Jews who were murdered make the Holocaust one of the clearest and least disputed cases of ethnic cleansing in history.
Following World War II, from 1944 to 1949, approximately 14 million Germans were forcibly removed from Central and Eastern Europe, from areas where Germans had been a minority since the Middle Ages, as well as from specific regions, particularly, from present-day Czechia, present-day western and north-eastern Poland and the Kaliningrad Oblast where Germans constituted the vast majority of the population. Although the removal primarily consisted of a forced migration, approximately 2 million Germans were killed during the migration either by starvation, poor weather conditions, or beatings and murder at the hands of troops and mobs that consisted of Russians, Poles, Czechs or other locals. The ethnic cleansing of Germans in Eastern and Central Europe was an outpouring of the hatred and negative sentiment towards Germans that was a result of the inhumane acts which the Nazi regime committed during the course of World War II and it was also justified by the desire of European governments to turn their countries into more ethnically homogenous nation-states,  and to this end, the post-war borders of Poland comprised close to a quarter of Germany's pre-war territory.
During the Bosnian War which lasted from 1992-1995, many civilians fell victim to the ethnic cleansing that was committed by Bosnian Serbs, Bosnian Croats, and Bosnian Muslims. All three ethnic groups sought to create their own ethnically homogenous territories within Bosnia and Herzegovina and as a result of the conflict, about 2,700,000 people within the country were displaced. The methods which were used during the Bosnian ethnic cleansing campaigns included "murder, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, extra-judicial executions, rape and sexual assaults, the confinement of civilian populations in ghetto areas, the forcible removal, displacement and deportation of civilian populations, deliberate military attacks or threats of attacks on civilians and civilian areas, and the wanton destruction of property". Creating the largest flow of internally displaced citizens since World War II, the ethnic cleansing that occurred in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1990s is still apparent in the ethnically homogeneous regions of Bosnian Serbs, Croats, and Muslims that exist in modern day Bosnia with politicians attempting to obstruct the undoing of the ethnic cleansing that took place during the war.
From 1992 through 1993, 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 in which a minority was trying to drive out a majority, rather than a case in which a majority was trying to drive out a minority, because Georgians were the single largest ethnic group in pre-war Abkhazia, with a 45.7% plurality as of 1989. As a result of this deliberate campaign of ethnic cleansing by the Abkhaz separatists, more than 250,000 ethnic Georgians were forced to flee, and approximately 30,000 people were killed in incidents that involved massacres and expulsions. 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.
Since 2016, Myanmar's military-dominated government has forced over 620,000 ethnic Rohingya who live in the Rakhine state of northwest Myanmar to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. The Rohingya are a group of about 1 million Muslims who live in the Rakhine state but they are denied citizenship and considered illegal immigrants and as a result, they have been subjected to persecution and discrimination by the government of Myanmar and Buddhist nationalists. Myanmar's government has cracked down on the Rohingya people and forced them to migrate to Bangladesh through violent actions, with rape, arson, and murder being reported. UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has stated that “The situation seems to be a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” while governments across the world have called on Myanmar's government to take control of the situation and stop the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people.
In a public video that was broadcast In 2016, Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinian authority of calling for ethnic cleansing by demanding the creation of a Palestinian State in which no Jews would be allowed to live.
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": because "ethnic cleansing" has no legal definition, its media use can detract attention from events that should be prosecuted as genocide. Because of widespread acceptance after media influence, it has become a word used legally, but carries no legal repercussions. 
In 1992, the German equivalent of "ethnic cleansing" (German: Ethnische Säuberung) was named German Un-Word of the Year by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache due to its euphemistic, inappropriate nature.
In English, reference is also made to 'ethnic purification'.
Upon examination of reported information, specific studies and investigations, the Commission confirms its earlier view that 'ethnic cleansing' 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. To a large extent, it is carried out in the name of misguided nationalism, historic grievances and a powerful driving sense of revenge. This purpose appears to be the occupation of territory to the exclusion of the purged group or groups. This policy and the practices of warring factions are described separately in the following paragraphs.Paragraph 130.
The Abkhaz–Georgian conflict involves ethnic conflict between Georgians and the Abkhaz people in Abkhazia, a de facto independent, partially recognized republic. In a broader sense, one can view the Georgian–Abkhaz conflict as part of a geopolitical conflict in the Caucasus region, intensified at the end of the 20th century with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The conflict, one of the bloodiest in the post-Soviet area, remains unresolved. The Georgian government has offered substantial autonomy to Abkhazia several times. However, both the Abkhaz government and the opposition in Abkhazia refuse any form of union with Georgia. Abkhaz regard their independence as the result of a war of liberation from Georgia, while Georgians believe that historically Abkhazia has always formed part of Georgia. Georgians formed the single largest ethnic group in pre-war Abkhazia, with a 45.7% plurality as of 1989 but as of 2014 most Georgians left in Abkhazia want to remain independent of Georgia. Many accuse the government of Eduard Shevardnadze (in office 1992-2003) of the initiation of senseless hostilities, and then of ineffective conduct of the war and post-war diplomacy. During the war the Abkhaz separatist side carried out an ethnic cleansing campaign which resulted in the expulsion of up to 250,000 ethnic Georgians and in the killing of more than 15,000. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) conventions of Lisbon, Budapest and Istanbul have officially recognized the ethnic cleansing of Georgians, which UN General Assembly Resolution GA/10708 also mentions. The UN Security Council has passed a series of resolutions in which it appeals for a cease-fire.Bosnian genocide
The term Bosnian genocide refers to either the genocide in Srebrenica and Žepa committed by Bosnian Serb forces in 1995 or the wider ethnic cleansing campaign throughout areas controlled by the Army of Republika Srpska which was waged during the 1992–1995 Bosnian War.The events in Srebrenica in 1995 included the killing of more than 8,000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys, as well as the mass expulsion of another 25,000–30,000 Bosniak civilians, in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, committed by units of the Army of the Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of General Ratko Mladić.The ethnic cleansing campaign that took place throughout areas controlled by the Bosnian Serbs targeted Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats. The ethnic cleansing campaign included unlawful confinement, murder, rape, sexual assault, torture, beating, robbery, and inhumane treatment of civilians; the targeting of political leaders, intellectuals, and professionals; the unlawful deportation and transfer of civilians; the unlawful shelling of civilians; the unlawful appropriation and plunder of real and personal property; the destruction of homes and businesses; and the destruction of places of worship.In the 1990s, several authorities asserted that ethnic cleansing as carried out by elements of the Bosnian Serb army was genocide. These included a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly and three convictions for genocide in German courts (the convictions were based upon a wider interpretation of genocide than that used by international courts). In 2005, the United States Congress passed a resolution declaring that "the Serbian policies of aggression and ethnic cleansing meet the terms defining genocide".However, in line with a majority of legal scholars, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have ruled that, in order for actions to be deemed genocide, there must be physical or biological destruction of a protected group and a specific intent to commit such destruction. To date, only the Srebrenica massacre has been found to be a genocide by the ICTY, a finding upheld by the ICJ. On 24 March 2016, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić and the first president of the Republika Srpska, was found guilty of genocide in Srebrenica, war crimes, and crimes against humanity—10 of the 11 charges in total—and sentenced to 40 years' imprisonment.Carib Expulsion
The Carib Expulsion was the French-led ethnic cleansing that removed most of the Carib population in 1660 from present-day Martinique. This followed the French invasion in 1635 and its conquest of the people on the Caribbean island that made it part of the French colonial empire.Circassian genocide
The Circassian genocide was the Russian Empire's ethnic cleansing, killing, forced migration, and expulsion of the majority of the Circassians from their historical homeland Circassia, which roughly encompassed the major part of the North Caucasus and the northeast shore of the Black Sea. This occurred in the aftermath of the Caucasian War in the last quarter of the 19th century. The displaced people moved primarily to the Ottoman Empire.
Circassians, the indigenous peoples of this region, were ethnically cleansed from their homeland at the end of the Russo-Circassian War by Russia. The expulsion was launched before the end of the war in 1864 and it was mostly completed by 1867. The peoples planned for removal were mainly the Circassians (or Adyghe), Ubykhs, and Abaza, but Ingush, Arshtins, Chechens, Ossetians and Abkhaz were also heavily affected. Antero Leitzinger asserts that these events constituted the largest genocide in the 19th century.This expulsion involved an unknown number of people, perhaps numbering hundreds of thousands. In any case, the majority of the affected people were expelled. The Imperial Russian Army rounded up people, driving them from their villages to ports on the Black Sea, where they awaited ships provided by the neighboring Ottoman Empire. The explicit Russian goal was to expel the groups in question from their lands. Only a small percentage (the numbers are unknown) accepted resettlement within the Russian Empire. Circassian populations were thus variously dispersed, resettled, or in some cases killed en masse. An unknown number of deportees perished during the process. Some died from epidemics among crowds of deportees both while awaiting departure and while languishing in their Ottoman Black Sea ports of arrival. Others perished when ships underway sank during storms. Calculations including those taking into account the Russian government's own archival figures have estimated a loss of 90%, 94% or 95%–97% of the Circassian nation in the process.
During the same period, other Muslim ethnic groups originating in the Caucasus also moved to the Ottoman Empire and Persia.Deportation of Koreans in the Soviet Union
Deportation of Koreans in the Soviet Union, originally conceived in 1926, initiated in 1930, and carried through in 1937, was the first mass transfer of an entire nationality in the Soviet Union. Almost the entire Soviet population of ethnic Koreans (171,781 persons) were forcefully moved from the Russian Far East to unpopulated areas of the Kazakh SSR and the Uzbek SSR in October 1937. The official reason for the deportation was to stem "the penetration of the Japanese espionage into the Far Eastern Krai", as Koreans were at the time subjects of the Empire of Japan, which was hostile to the Soviet Union. Estimates based on population statistics suggest that 40,000 deported Koreans died in 1937 and 1938 from starvation, exposure and difficulties adapting to their new environment.Doboj ethnic cleansing (1992)
The Doboj massacre refers to war crimes, including murder, wanton destruction and ethnic cleansing, committed against Bosniaks and Croats in the Doboj area by the Yugoslav People's Army and Serb paramilitary units from April until October 1992 during the Bosnian war. The Research and Documentation Center in Sarajevo registered over 2,300 dead or missing people in the area during the war.Ethnic Cleansing (video game)
Ethnic Cleansing is a first-person shooter video game for Microsoft Windows computers, created by the American White supremacist organization National Alliance (and published by its record label Resistance Records) on January 21, 2002. As part of a "Race War", the player controls a neo-Nazi skinhead or a Klansman and is tasked with killing stereotypical African-American, Mexican, and Jewish enemies, ending with then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Using the Genesis3D engine, the National Alliance created the game to be provocative and to support their white supremacist message. The game has been controversial, with the Anti-Defamation League taking particular issue; it has been ranked several times as one of the most controversial games ever created. It was planned to be followed by a long line of sequels, but only one, titled White Law, has been released.Ethnic cleansing in the Bosnian War
Widespread ethnic cleansing accompanied the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–95), as large numbers of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Bosnian Croats were forced to flee their homes and were expelled by Bosnian Serbs; some Bosnian Croats also carried out similar campaign against Bosniaks and Serbs. Also, Bosnian Muslims conducted similar acts against Croats in Central Bosnia and against Serbs in the Operation Sana 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 other European countries.The methods used during the Bosnian ethnic cleansing campaigns included "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".Ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia
The ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia, also known as the massacres of Georgians in Abkhazia and genocide of Georgians in Abkhazia (Georgian: ქართველთა გენოციდი აფხაზეთში) (according to Georgian sources) — refers to the ethnic cleansing, massacres and forced mass expulsion of thousands of ethnic Georgians living in Abkhazia during the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict of 1992–1993 and 1998 at the hands of Abkhaz separatists and their allies (possibly, including volunteers from Russia). Armenians, Greeks, Russians and opposing Abkhazians were also killed. Roughly 200,000 to 250,000 Georgian civilians became Internally displaced persons (IDPs).
The ethnic cleansing and massacres of Georgians has been officially recognized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) conventions in 1994, 1996 and again in 1997 during the Budapest, Lisbon and Istanbul summits and condemned the "perpetrators of war crimes committed during the conflict." On May 15, 2008, the United Nations General Assembly adopted (by 14 votes to 11, with 105 abstentions) a resolution A/RES/62/249 in which it "Emphasizes the importance of preserving the property rights of refugees and internally displaced persons from Abkhazia, Georgia, including victims of reported "ethnic cleansing", and calls upon all Member States to deter persons under their jurisdiction from obtaining property within the territory of Abkhazia, Georgia in violation of the rights of returnees". The UN Security Council passed a series of resolutions in which it appealed for a cease-fire.Evacuation of East Prussia
The evacuation of East Prussia was the movement of the German civilian population and military personnel from East Prussia between 20 January 1945 and March 1945, that was initially organized and carried out by state authorities but quickly turned into a chaotic flight from the Red Army.A part of the evacuation of German civilians towards the end of World War II, these events are not to be confused with the expulsion from East Prussia that followed after the war had ended. The area that was evacuated was not the Gau East Prussia, but the inter-war East Prussia where most people already held a German citizenship. German citizens in Memel and other regions with proximity to East Prussia also took part in the evacuation, wishing to escape by sea, even though in their regions there was no official evacuation announced.
The evacuation, which had been delayed for months, was initiated due to fear of the Red Army advances during the East Prussian Offensive. Some parts of the evacuation were planned as a military necessity, Operation Hannibal being the most important military operation involved in the evacuation. However, many refugees took to the roads on their own initiative because of reported Soviet atrocities against Germans in the areas under Soviet control. Both spurious and factual accounts of Soviet atrocities were disseminated through the official news and propaganda outlets of Nazi Germany and by rumors that swept through the military and civilian populations.
Despite having detailed evacuation plans for some areas, the German authorities, including the Gauleiter of East Prussia, Erich Koch, delayed action until 20 January, when it was too late for an orderly evacuation, and the civil services and Nazi Party were eventually overwhelmed by the numbers of those wishing to evacuate. Coupled with the panic caused by the speed of the Soviet advance, civilians caught in the middle of combat, and the bitter winter weather, many thousands of refugees died during the evacuation period. The Soviet forces took control of East Prussia only in May 1945. According to the West German Schieder commission, the civilian population of East Prussia at the beginning of 1944 was 2,653,000 people. This accounting, which was based on ration cards, included air raid evacuees from western Germany and foreign workers. Before the end of the war an estimated 2 million people were evacuated, including 500,000 in the Autumn of 1944 and 1,500,000 after January 1945. An estimated 600,000 remained behind in Soviet-controlled East Prussia in April-May 1945.According to a 1974 West German government study an estimated 1% of the civilian population was killed during the Soviet offensive. The West German search service reported that 31,940 civilians from East Prussia, which also included Memel, were confirmed as killed during the evacuation.Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus
The Hindus of the Kashmir Valley, were forced to flee the Kashmir valley as a result of being targeted by JKLF and Islamist insurgents during late 1989 and early 1990. Of the approximately 300,000 to 600,000 Hindus living in the Kashmir Valley in 1990 only 2,000–3,000 remain there in 2016.According to the Indian government, more than 62,000 families are registered as Kashmiri refugees including some Sikh families. Most families were resettled in Jammu, National Capital Region surrounding Delhi and other neighbouring states.Expulsion of Muslims from the Northern province by LTTE
The expulsion of the Muslims from the Northern province was an act of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Tamil militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organisation in October 1990. Due to increasing tensions between the Muslims (Moors) and Tamils in the North Sri Lanka and the Muslim opposition to the creation of a Tamil homeland, the LTTE forcibly expelled the 72,000 strong Muslim population from the Northern Province.Foča ethnic cleansing
There was a campaign of ethnic cleansing in the area of the town of Foča committed by Serb military, police, and paramilitary forces on Bosniak civilians from 7 April 1992 to January 1994 during the Bosnian War. By one estimate, around 21,000 non-Serbs left Foča after July 1992.In numerous verdicts, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ruled that the ethnic cleansing (all Bosniaks were expelled), killings, mass rapes, and the deliberate destruction of Bosniak property and cultural sites constituted crimes against humanity. According to the Research and Documentation Center (IDC), 2,707 people were killed or went missing in the Foča municipality during the war. Among them were 1,513 Bosniak civilians and 155 Serb civilians. Additionally, Bosnian Serb authorities set up locations, commonly described as rape camps, in which hundreds of women were raped. Numerous Serb officers, soldiers and other participants in the Foča massacres were accused and convicted of war crimes by the ICTY.Genocide of Shias by ISIL
The genocide of Shia Muslims by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) refers to the genocide within its formerly controlled areas in Iraq and Syria.
Despite being the religious majority in Iraq, Shia Muslims have been killed in large numbers by ISIL. On 12 June 2014, ISIL killed 1,700 unarmed Shia Iraqi Army cadet recruits in the Camp Speicher massacre. ISIL has also targeted Shia prisoners. According to witnesses, after the militant group took the city of Mosul, they divided the Sunni prisoners from the Shia prisoners. Up to 670 Shia prisoners were then taken to another location and executed. Kurdish officials in Erbil reported on the incident of Sunni and Shia prisoners being separated and Shia prisoners being killed after the Mosul prison fell to ISIL.Amnesty International has held ISIL responsible for the ethnic cleansing of ethnic and religious minority groups in northern Iraq (Christians and Yezidis) on a "historic scale", putting entire communities "at risk of being wiped off the map of Iraq". In a special report released on 2 September 2014, it described how ISIL had "systematically targeted non-Sunni Muslim communities, killing or abducting hundreds, possibly thousands, of individuals and forcing more than tens of thousands of Shias, Sunnis, along with other minorities to flee the areas it has captured since 10 June 2014". The most targeted Shia groups in Nineveh Governorate were Shia Turkmens and Shabak, who have lived together for centuries in Nineveh, large parts of which came under ISIL's control from mid-2014 to late 2017.Lašva Valley ethnic cleansing
The Lašva Valley ethnic cleansing, also known as the Lašva Valley case, refers to numerous war crimes committed during the Bosnian war by the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia's political and military leadership on Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) civilians in the Lašva Valley region of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The campaign, planned from May 1992 to March 1993 and erupting the following April, was meant to implement objectives set forth by Croat nationalists in November 1991. The Lašva Valley's Bosniaks were subjected to persecution on political, and religious grounds, deliberately discriminated against in the context of a widespread attack on the region's civilian population and suffered mass murder, rape, imprisonment in camps, as well as the destruction of cultural sites and private property. This was often followed by anti-Bosniak propaganda, particularly in the municipalities of Vitez, Busovača, Novi Travnik and Kiseljak.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has ruled that these crimes amounted to crimes against humanity in numerous verdicts against Croat political and military leaders and soldiers, most notably Dario Kordić. Based on the evidence of numerous HVO attacks at that time, the ICTY Trial Chamber concluded in the Kordić and Čerkez case that by April 1993 Croat leadership had a common design or plan conceived and executed to ethnically cleanse Bosniaks from the Lašva Valley. Dario Kordić, as the local political leader, was found to be the planner and instigator of this plan. Further concluding that the Croatian Army was involved in the campaign, the ICTY defined the events as an international conflict between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.Panun Kashmir
Panun Kashmir is an autonomous frontal organisation of Kashmiri Hindus formed in December 1990, whose primary demand is a separate homeland for Kashmiri Hindus in Kashmir Valley with status of Union Territory.Persecution of Croats in Serbia during Yugoslav Wars
Following the beginning of the Yugoslav wars, especially the War in Croatia in 1991, members of Serbian Radical Party and Serbian Chetnik Movement have been accused to have conducted a campaign of intimidation and persecution of Croats of Serbia in Vojvodina, Serbia, through hate speech and threats by various parties, including by the ICTY and United Nations Commission on Human Rights. These acts forced a part of the local Croat population to leave the area in 1992. Most of them were resettled in Croatia. The affected locations included Hrtkovci, Nikinci, Novi Slankamen, Ruma, Šid, and other places bordering Croatia. According to some estimates, around 10,000 Croats left Vojvodina in 1992.Population transfer in the Soviet Union
Population transfer in the Soviet Union refers to forced transfer of various groups from the 1930s up to the 1950s ordered by Joseph Stalin and may be classified into the following broad categories: deportations of "anti-Soviet" categories of population (often classified as "enemies of workers"), deportations of entire nationalities, labor force transfer, and organized migrations in opposite directions to fill the ethnically cleansed territories.
In most cases, their destinations were underpopulated remote areas (see Forced settlements in the Soviet Union). This includes deportations to the Soviet Union of non-Soviet citizens from countries outside the USSR. It has been estimated that, in their entirety, internal forced migrations affected at least 4 million people. Of this total, 1.8 million kulaks were deported in 1930–31, 1.0 million peasants and ethnic minorities in 1932–39, whereas about 1.5 million ethnic minorities were further resettled during 1940–52.Soviet archives documented 390,000 deaths during kulak forced resettlement and up to 400,000 deaths of persons deported to Forced settlements in the Soviet Union during the 1940s; however Steven Rosefield and Norman Naimark put overall deaths closer to some 1 to 1.5 million perishing as a result of the deportations — of those deaths, the deportation of Crimean Tatars and the deportation of Chechens were recognized as genocides by Ukraine and the European Parliament respectively.The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine is a book authored by New Historian Ilan Pappé and published in 2006 by One World Oxford.
During the 1948 Palestine war, around 720,000 Palestinian Arabs out of the 900,000 who lived in the territories that became Israel fled or were expelled from their homes. The causes of this exodus are controversial and debated by historians. In his own words, Ilan Pappé "want[s] to make the case for the paradigm of ethnic cleansing and use[s] it to replace the paradigm of war as the basis for the scholarly research of, and public debate about, 1948."The thesis of the book is that the forced move of Palestinians to the Arab world was an objective of the Zionist movement and a must for the desired character of the Jewish state. According to Pappé, the 1948 Palestinian exodus resulted from a planned ethnic cleansing of Palestine that was implemented by the Zionist movement leaders, mainly David Ben-Gurion and the other ten members of his "consultancy group" as referred to by Pappé. The book argues that the ethnic cleansing was put into effect through systematic expulsions of about 500 Arab villages, as well as terrorist attacks executed mainly by members of the Irgun and Haganah troops against the civilian population. Ilan Pappé also refers to Plan Dalet and to the village files as a proof of the planned expulsions.
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Segregation in countries by type (in some countries, categories overlap)
(list by death toll)