Chapter 20 Regional Conflicts 1945 Present

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Chapter 20 Regional Conflicts

1945 – Present


Witness History

Life in a War Zone

For more than a year, hostile troops surrounded the

city of Sarajevo in Bosnia and fired down on it from

the hills above. Zlatko Dizdarevic, a journalist in

Sarajevo, wrote this journal entry during the conflict: "It's been a relentless morning. Shells are falling close by us, perhaps closer than ever before. The official alert remains in force; so does our private and personal alert. We evaluate our chances, run risks, and keep hoping." Listen to the Witness History audio o hear more about the war in Bosnia.

---A boy dodging sniper fire to get water, Sarajevo, Bosnia, 1993

Chapter Preview

Chapter Focus Question

Why have deadly conflicts plagued some regions of the world?

Section 1

Conflicts Divide Nations

Section 2

Struggles in Africa

Section 3

Conflicts in the Middle East

Note Taking Study Guide Online

For: Note Taking and Concept Connector worksheets Web Code: nbd-3201




A Young Girl in Wartime

Zlata Filipovic (fee LEEP uh vich) was 11 years old in 1992 when she began a diary about her life in war-torn Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. Here is an excerpt:

"Today a shell fell on the park in front of my house, the park where I used to play and sit with my girl­friends. A lot of people were hurt. . . AND NINA IS DEAD ... She was such a sweet, nice little girl.» —Zlata Filipovic, Zlata's Diary

Bosnia is just one of the nations that have faced ethnic, religious, or national conflicts in recent decades.

Focus Question: Why have ethnic and religious conflicts divided some nations?

Conflicts Divide Nations


• Explain the complex causes of ethnic and religious conflicts.

• Describe how war ravaged Chechnya.

• Understand how Yugoslavia broke apart.

Terms, People, and Places

Northern Ireland

ethnic cleansing

Good Friday Agreement



Slobodan Milosevic


Note Taking

Reading Skill: Recognize Sequence Fill in a flowchart like the one below to keep track of the sequence of events in the conflicts in Northern Ireland, Chechnya, and Yugoslavia.

Sequence of Conflicts

Northern Irelandi Chechnya Yugoslavia

• 1922: Six Irish • • counties vote

to remain in

the United


Many wars and conflicts in recent decades have arisen over ethnic or religious differences. Such differences have led to civil wars within nations. Regional rivalries have also resulted in wars between nations.

Ethnic and Religious Conflicts

Ethnic and religious conflicts have often had more than one cause. The root of the conflict is often a cultural difference between two groups based on ethnicity, religion, or both. However, it takes more than cultural differences to create conflict. Malaysia and Singa­pore, for example, have great ethnic and religious diversity, but lit­tle internal conflict. Both countries enjoy peace because they have tried to distribute economic resources and political power fairly among their ethnic and religious groups.

War in Sri Lanka Conflicts occur when members of one ethnic or religious group feel that they face unfair treatment, or discrimina­tion, by members of another group. For example, in Sri Lanka, where Sinhalese Buddhists are the majority, Sinhalese national­ists made Sinhalese the only official language. They ended the offi­cial use of the Tamil language. They also created government support for the Buddhist religion. Sinhalese nationalists exc.,ed the Hindu Tamils from power. This led to the bloody civil war described in the previous chapter. The Tamil rebels agreed to a ceasefire in 2002 only when the government agreed to negotiations over a separate Tamil regional government.


Avoiding War in Canada In some countries, however, ethnic conflicts have found peaceful resolutions. For example, Canada ha ,`.n English-speaking majority. In the past, many French-speaking people in the province of Quebec felt that Canada's gov­ernment treated them unfairly. Some wanted Quebec to become independent. Meanwhile, others used democratic means to increase government support for French language and culture in Quebec. In 1995, Quebec's people voted to remain in Canada. In Canada, a democratic form of government has helped to prevent violent conflict.

Northern Ireland's Troubles Northern Ireland's difficulties began when Ireland won independence in 1922. Six northern counties, which had a Protestant majority, voted to remain part of Britain as Northern Ireland. Minority Catholics in Northern Ireland faced economic and political discrimination. Many Catholics demanded civil rights and unification with the rest of Ireland, which had a Catholic majority.

Beginning in the 1960s, extremists on both sides turned to violence and terrorism. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) attacked Protestants, and armed Protestant militias targeted Catholics.

Peace talks dragged on for years. Finally, in 1998, Protestants and Catholics signed a peace accord, known as the Good Friday Agreement. However, lasting peace was threatened by distrust on both sides, occa­sional acts of violence, and the IRA's reluctance to turn over weapons.

Checkpoint Why did conflict break out in Northern Ireland?

Contrasting Ethnic Relations

Nation Political System Ethnic Conflict

Sri Lanka Limits rights of Has led to violence minority groups

Canada Protects minority Resolved

groups democratically

Chart Skills Based on the chart and the information in this section, explain why the response of the ethnic minority to discrimination in Sri Lanka differed from that in Canada.

War Ravages Chechnya

Ethnic and religious minorities in several former Soviet republics fought for freedom from domina­tion by the republics' majorities. In Azerbaijan, eth­nic Armenians declared independence for the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, where they are the majority. Fighting between Azerbaijani forces and the Arme­nians left thousands dead.

Probably the fiercest conflict in the former Soviet Union has been the struggle of Muslim Chechen nationalists to free their homeland, Chechnya, from the control of Russia. Russia bru­tally crushed a Chechen revolt in the mid-1990s, killing huge numbers of civilians. Both sides com­mitted war crimes such as torture. A 1997 peace treaty failed, and embittered Chechen separatists took their battle into other parts of Russia.

In 1999, new fighting erupted. Russian troops won control of Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, in 2000. However, rebels fought on in Chechnya's

southern mountains. Some Chechens turned to terrorist attacks else-w e in Russia. Russia charged that Chechen rebels were linked to Muslim terrorists in other parts of the world.

I Checkpoint How has the war in Chechnya affected neighboring regions of Russia?


Yugoslavia Breaks Apart

Ethnic, nationalist, and religious tensions tore Yugoslavia apart r 'ng the 1990s. Before 1991, Yugoslavia was multiethnic, or made up of sev­eral ethnic groups. These groups included Serbs, Montenegrins, and Macedonians, who were Orthodox Christians; Croats and Slovenes, who were Roman Catholics; and the mostly Muslim Bosniaks and Albanians. A majority of Yugoslavians—including the Serbs, Montenegrins, Croats, and Bosniaks—all spoke the same language, Serbo-Croatian, but these groups had different religions. Albanians, Slovenes, and Macedonians spoke minority languages.

Yugoslavia was made up of six republics, similar to states in the United States. These were Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herze­govina (often known as Bosnia for short), Montenegro, and Macedonia. Each republic had a dominant ethnic group but also was home to ethnic minorities. Serbs formed the majority in Serbia but were an important ethnic minority in several of the other republics. Serbs dominated Yugo­slavia, which was held together and controlled by its Communist Party.

Republics Break Away The fall of communism led to nationalist
unrest. The Serbs tried in vain to keep control over Yugoslavia. Slovenia
and Croatia were the first to declare independence
from Yugoslavia in 1991. When Croatia declared
independence, however, fighting broke out between
ethnic Croats and Serbs, who formed a minority
within Croatia. Macedonia and Bosnia soon
declared independence from Yugoslavia as we' ';y
1992, Yugoslavia was left with the republics of ivrontenegro and Serbia. Finally, in 2003, what remained
of Yugoslavia was renamed Serbia and Montenegro.

Civil War Devastates Bosnia

Fighting between Serbs and Croats in Croatia spread to neighboring Bosnia when Bosnia declared independence in 1992. Bosnian Serbs fought to set up their own sep­arate government in Bosnia. They received money and arms from Yugoslavia, then dominated by Ser­bia. Muslim Bosniaks, the largest group in Bosnia, lived scattered throughout the country. They did not want Bosnia divided into ethnic regions.

During the war, all sides committed atrocities. Serbs in Bosnia conducted a vicious campaign of what they called ethnic cleansing. This meant kill­ing people from other ethnic groups or forcibly removing them from their homes to create ethnically "pure" areas, in this case for Serbs. Thousands of Bosniaks and Croats were killed, sometimes in mass executions. Croatian and Bosniak fighters took revenge. Croats launched an ethnic cleansing cam­paign to drive ethnic Serbs from parts of Croatia. To many, ethnic cleansing recalled the horrors o e Holocaust during World War II.

Finally, NATO air strikes against the Bosnian Serb military forced the warring parties to negoti­ate. Guided by the United States, they signed the

Map Skills The former nation of Yugoslavia had broken apart into five new nations by 1992. During the early 2000s, the regions of Montenegro and Kosovo moved toward greater independence from Serbia within the nation of Serbia and Montenegro.

Locate (a) Sarajevo (b) Serbia (c) Kosovo

Location Which new nation does not share a border with Ser­bia on any side?

Make Inferences How did the location of Bosnia and Herze­govina put it at risk of becoming involved in conflicts between Serbians and Croatians?


Dayton Accords, ending the war in 1995. An international force helped maintain a fragile peace in Bosnia.

The Fight for Kosovo

As Bosnia reached a tense peace, a crisis broke out in the Serbian province of Ethnic Albanians made up about 90 percent of Kosovo's population. The rest of the population was mostly Serbian.

In 1989, Serbian president (mih LOH shuh vich), an extreme Serbian nationalist, had begun oppressing Kosovar Albanians. Peaceful protests led to more repression. In the mid-1990s, a small guerrilla army of ethic Albanians began to respond with armed attacks on Serbian targets. Milosevic, how­ever, rejected international peace efforts. In 1999, NATO launched air stripes against Serbia. Yugoslav forces attempted ethnic cleansing of Al _ San civilians.

However, NATO air strikes eventually forced Yugoslavia to withdraw its forces from Kosovo. UN and NATO forces restored peace. As Kosovo rebuilt, tensions remained high between ethnic Albanians and Serbs liv­ing there. Although Kosovo remained part of Serbia in theory, the region was under UN control after 1999. The majority ethnic Albanians sought independence, while ethnic Serbs wanted to remain part of Serbia.

 Checkpoint How did the breakup of Yugoslavia lead to ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Terms, People, and Places

What do many of the terms, people, and places listed at the beginning of the sec­tion have in common? Explain.

Note Taking

Reading Skill: Recognize Sequence a

Use your completed flowchart to answer the Focus Question:

Why have ethnic and religious conflicts divided some nations?

Comprehension and Critical Thinking

Synthesize Information Based on the peaceful example of Malaysia, what might bring lasting peace to Northern Ireland?

Predict Consequences Based on your knowledge of the causes of ethnic conflict, how effective do you think Russia's methods will be in resolving the conflict in Chechnya?

Draw Conclusions Why did the breakup of Yugoslavia lead to increased ethnic conflict?

Progress Monitoring Online

For: Self-quiz with vocabulary practice Web Code: nba-3211

• Writing About History

Quick Write: Explore a Topic To write a research report, you first need to frame questions that will help you to explore your topic. Choose one of the conflicts in this section and write a series of questions that you could try to answer through research. For example, if you choose the Northern Ireland conflict, you might ask why the IRA has been reluctant to turn over weapons, or who has been responsible for recent attacks in Northern Ireland.




Recovering From Genocide

Although other African nations suffered brutal ethnic conflicts and civil wars, Rwanda's 1994 genocide was one of the most deadly. However, as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan points out, Rwanda's recovery in the years since offers hope that the continent's conflicts can be resolved.

“Rwanda has much to show the world about confronting the legacy of the past and is demonstrating that it is possible to reach beyond tragedy and rekindle hope.”

—Tribute by Kofi Annan on the tenth anniversary of genocide in Rwanda

This section explores the problems that have led to conflicts in Rwanda and in other African countries.

Focus Question Why have conflicts plagued some African countries?

Struggles in Africa


• Understand South Africa's struggle for freedom. • Describe how struggles for independence and

Cold War rivalries brought decades of conflict to

South Africa's neighbors.

• Analyze how ethnic conflicts killed millions in Rwanda and Sudan.

Terms, People, and Places

apartheid Desmond Tutu

African National F.W. de Klerk

Congress (ANC) Hutus

Sharpeville Tutsis

Nelson Mandela Darfur

Note Taking

Reading Skill: Recognize Sequence Keep track of the sequence of events in the conflicts in South Africa and its neighbors. Add boxes as needed.

1910: White minority controls government

of independent South Africa.


686 Regional Conflicts

In the 1950s and 1960s, many new nations won independence in Africa. National unity, however, was hard to achieve. Most African nations were home to diverse ethnic groups. Often, people did not even share a common language. They spoke dozens of local lan­guages. Religious differences and longstanding rivalries further divided people within a nation.

r After independence, a single ethnic group often dominated a nation's government and economy at the expense of other groups. The

* Cold War further complicated matters, as you have read. As a result, several African nations suffered internal conflicts and civil war.

South Africa Struggles for Freedom

• In South Africa, the struggle for freedom was different from that elsewhere in Africa. In 1910, South Africa achieved self-rule from Britain. Freedom, however, was limited to white settlers. The black majority was denied the right to vote. Whites made up less than 20 percent of the population but controlled the government and the economy. The white-minority government passed racial

® laws that severely restricted the black majority.

Apartheid Divides South Africa After 1948, the government expanded the existing system of racial segregation, creating what was known as apartheid, or the separation of the races. Under apartheid, all South Africans were registered by race: Black,

White, Colored (people of mixed ancestry), and Asian. Apartheid's sup­por+ers claimed that it would allow each race to develop its own culture. Ir. _ ;t, it was designed to protect white control over South Africa.

Under apartheid, nonwhites faced many restrictions. Blacks were treated like foreigners in their own land. Under the pass laws, they had to get permission to travel. Other laws banned marriages between the races and stipulated segregated restaurants, beaches, and schools. Black workers were paid less than whites for the same job. Blacks could not own land in most areas. Low wages and inferior schooling condemned most blacks to poverty.

Fighting for Majority Rule The AVri ANC) was the main organization that opposed apartheid and led the struggle for majority rule. In the 1950s, as the government established apartheid, the ANC organized marches, boycotts, and strikes. In 1960, police gunned down 69 men, women, and children during a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, a black township. The government then outlawed the ANC and cracked down on groups that opposed apartheid.

The Sharpeville massacre and crackdown pushed the ANC to shift from nonviolent protest to armed struggle. Some, like Nkon Man€kl a, went underground. As an ANC leader, Mandela had first mobilized young South Africans to peacefully resist apartheid laws. As government violence grew, Mandela joined ANC militants who called for armed strug­gle against the white-minority government. In the early 1960s, Mandela was arrested, tried, and condemned to life in prison for treason against apartheid. Even while Mandela was in prison, he remained a popular l~ ;r and powerful symbol of the struggle for freedom.

In the 1980s, demands for an end to apartheid and for Mandela's release increased. Many countries, including the United States, imposed economic sanctions on South Africa. In 1984, black South African bishop Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent opposition to apartheid.

Overcoming Apartheid Outside pressure and protests at home finally convinced South African president F W. ' . ? . to end apart­heid. In 1990, he lifted the ban on the ANC and freed Mandela. In 1994, South Africans of every race were allowed to vote for the first time.

Vocabulary Builder

stipulated—(STIP yoo layt ed) v. required, specified


Watch Nelson Mandela and the End of Apartheid on the Witness History Discovery SchoolTM video program to learn about the struggle against apartheid.

The Sharpeville Massacre

When South African police opened fire on peaceful demonstrators at Sharpeville in 1960, many demonstrators ran for their lives. How might this police action lead anti-apartheid activists to give up on peaceful methods?

Graph Skills This graph shows South Africa's population k' race. The percentages ha J changed little since the years of apartheid. Which racial group is the majority in South Africa?

Apartheid's Impact

For more than 40 years, apartheid shaped the lives of the black majority and of whites and other minorities in South Africa. Whites made up less than one fifth of South Africa's population, as you can see in the graph at the right. However, apartheid gave whites not only political power, but also control of South Africa's best lands and economic resources. This hurt blacks, Asians, and people of mixed backgrounds economically and socially. Based on the information in the graph and elsewhere in this section, about what percentage of South Africa's population suffered from apartheid?

Apartheid required all non-whites to get legal permits to travel within their own country and to carry these in a passbook like the one shown here.

A Apartheid gave many white South Africans a life of privilege.

Deprived of opportunities, many black South Africans lived in poverty.

They elected Nelson Mandela the first president of a truly democratic South Africa. Mandela helped to heal the country's wounds when he wel­comed old political foes into his government, including whites who had supported apartheid. "Let us build together," he declared.

After 1994, South Africa faced huge challenges. With majority rule, black South Africans expected a better life. Although South Africa was a rich, industrial country, it could afford only a limited amount of spending for housing, education, and other programs. The gap between blacks and whites remained large. Whites owned more than three fourths of the land. Black poverty and unemployment remained high. The crime rate soared in the cities and nearby shantytowns. South Africa's government struggled to address these problems.

 Checkpoint What factors finally brought an end to apartheid in South Africa?

South Africa's Neighbors Face

Long Conflicts

Most African nations achieved independence through peaceful m s during the 1950s and 1960s. In southern Africa, however, the roatr o freedom was longer and more violent. For many years, the apartheid gov­ernment of South Africa supported white minority rule in neighboring Namibia and Zimbabwe.

688 Regional Conflicts

Meanwhile, as Britain and France gave up their African possessions, Por*"gal clung fiercely to its colonies in Angola and Mozambique. In re nationalist movements turned to guerrilla warfare. Fighting dragged on for 15 years, until Portugal agreed to withdraw from Africa. In 1975, Angola and Mozambique celebrated independence.

Independence did not end the fighting, however. Bitter civil wars, fueled by Cold War rivalries, raged for years. South Africa and the United States saw the new nations as threats because some liberation leaders had ties to the Soviet Union or the ANC. The United States and South Africa aided a rebel group fighting the new government of Angola. South Africa aided a rebel group in Mozambique.

The fighting did not stop until 1992 in Mozambique and 2002 in Angola, where tensions remained even after a ceasefire. Decades of war had ravaged both countries. Slowly, however, they have begun to rebuild.

 Checkpoint Why did fighting continue after Angola and Mozambique achieved independence?

Ethnic Conflicts Kill Millions

After independence, ethnic conflicts plagued several African nations. The causes were complex. Historic resentments divided ethnically diverse nations. Unjust governments and regional rivalries fed ethnic violence.

Rwanda and Burundi Face Deadly Divisions The small nation of Rwanda, in Central Africa, faced one of Africa's deadliest civil wars. The R, dan people included two main groups. Hutus were the majority grdttp, but the minority Tutsis had long dominated Rwanda. Both groups spoke the same language, but they had different traditions. After independence, tensions between these two groups simmered.

Tensions worsened in the early 1990s. In 1994, extremist Hutu offi­cials urged civilians to kill their Tutsi and moderate Hutu neighbors. Around 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered. Another 3 million of Rwanda's 8 million people lost their homes to destructive mobs. As the death toll rose, the international community failed to act. After several months, France sent in troops to stop the killing.

With UN assistance, Rwanda set about rebuilding and recovering from the horrors of genocide. Those accused of genocide faced trials in an international court. Hutus and Tutsis had to find ways to live peacefully. World leaders pledged to stop any future genocide wherever it might occur. Their readiness to do this, however, was limited.

The neighboring nation of Burundi has a similar population and his­tory. As in Rwanda, tensions between Tutsis and Hutus led to civil war during the 1990s. While the fighting did not lead to a genocide like that in Rwanda, guerrilla groups fought for much longer in Burundi. Although several guerrilla groups signed a peace treaty in 2000, fighting continued in the years that followed.

Sudan's Ethnic Strife After independence, Sudan's Arab Muslim north dominated the non-Muslim, non-Arab south. Arab-led govern-nor s enacted laws and policies that discriminated against non-Muslims and- against other ethnic groups. For example, the government tried to impose Islamic law even in non-Muslim areas. For decades, rebel groups in the south battled northern domination. War, drought, and famine caused millions of deaths and forced many more to flee their homes.


Reading Skill: Identify Causes and Effects Fill in a concept web like the one below to keep track of the causes and effects of the conflicts in Rwanda and Sudan.

Chapter 20 Section 2 689

Arab Militia in Darfur

Arab militias in Sudan's Darfur region, such as the one shown here, are known as janjaweedor "bandits." During 2004 and 2005, these militias carried out murder and ethnic cleansing against the non-Arab villagers of Darfur. How might an attack by this militia affect unarmed villagers?

However, in 2004, southern rebels signed a peace agreement with Sudan's government. The southern rebels agreed to stop fighting, and the government agreed to give the south limited self-government, power in Sudan's national government, and freedom from Islamic law.

However, by 2004, ethnic conflict had also spread to Sudan's western region of Darfur. This conflict raised fears of a new genocide. Arab mili­tias, backed by the government, unleashed terror on the non-Arab s­lim people of Darfur. They burned villages and drove hundreds- of thousands of farmers off the land that fed them and into refugee camps, where they faced the threat of starvation. The UN, the United States, and other nations organized a huge aid effort to help refugees.

 Checkpoint How did the conflict in Darfur differ from the conflict in southern Sudan?

Progress Monitoring Online

For: Self-quiz with vocabulary practice Web Code: nba-3221

Terms, People, and Places

:1. For each term, person, or place listed at

the beginning of the section, write a

i sentence explaining its significance.

Note Taking

Reading Skill: Recognize Sequence Use your completed flowchart to answer the Focus Question: Why have conflicts plagued some African countries?

Comprehension and Critical Thinking

Analyze Information Was apartheid a product of a democratic system of government? Explain.

Summarize What was South Africa's role in the conflicts that plagued its neighbors from the 1 960s to the 1990s?

Make Comparisons How was the ethnic conflict in Burundi similar to or different from the conflict in Rwanda?

Synthesize Information A newspa­per headline read, "Looking at Darfur, Seeing Rwanda." Explain what that headline meant. How did the world community respond to genocide after the events in Rwanda?

• Writing About History

Quick Write: Gather Information To write a research report, you need to gather information about your topic. Choose one of the conflicts in this section and gather facts about the topic from the library or reliable sources online. Make a list of facts about your topic.

690 Regional Conflicts

Nelson Mandela delivered this speech after having been elected president in South Africa's first multiracial election in 1994. Knowing that the injustices of apartheid would be hard to overcome, Mandela asked the people to work together for peace and justice.

Today, all of us do, by our presence here, and by our celebrations .. . confer glory and hope to newborn liberty. Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud.

Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity's belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all...

The time for the healing of the wounds has come...

The time to build is upon us.

We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation.' We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty,

d' ivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination...

---vJe have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant2 that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity—a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world....

We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom.

We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united peo‑

ple, for national reconciliation,3 for nation

building, for the birth of a new world.

Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace

for all. Let there be work, bread, water, and salt

for all.... The sun shall never set on so glorious

a human achievement!

emancipation (ee man suh PAY shun) n. the gaining of freedom from bondage or control by others

covenant (KUV uh nunt) n. a binding and solemn pledge to do something

- onciliation (rek un sil ee AY shun) n. a se,.._.,g of differences that results in harmony

Students in South Africa after the end of apartheid

Thinking Critically

Identify Alternatives When apartheid ended, there was a danger of a backlash by blacks against whites who supported apartheid. How does Mandela's speech respond to that danger?

Draw Inferences In addition to political freedom, what further freedoms does Mandela call for in his speech?

Nelson Mandela with supporters in 1994


Two Peoples Claim the Same Land

Many Jewish Israelis believe that the quotation from the Bible, below, promises Israel to the Jewish people as descendents of Abraham (Abram). Many Muslims also believe that they are the spiritual heirs to Abraham, as stated in the Quran. They too feel entitled to the land as part of Abraham's legacy. Representatives of both peoples have lived in the land for centuries.

66 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'To your descendants I give this land....'"

—Genesis 15:18

66 He [Allah] has chosen you and has placed no hardship on you in practicing your religion—the religion of your father Abraham. 99 —Quran 22:78

Focus Question What are the causes of conflict in the Middle East?

An Israeli soldier and a Palestinian Arab pass each other in the street.

Conflicts in the Middle East


• Understand why Arabs and Israelis fought over land.

• Explain why civil war ravaged Lebanon. • Outline Iraq's long history of conflict.

Terms, People, and Places

occupied territories Yasir Arafat intifada

Yitzhak Rabin Jerusalem


Saddam Hussein

no-fly zone

weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) insurgent


Reading Skill: Recognize Sequence Keep track of the sequence of events in the conflicts in the Middle East with a flowchart like the one below.

Middle Eastern Conflicts

For decades, the Middle East has been the focus of conflicts that have had a global impact. The Middle East commands vast oil resources and key waterways such as the Persian Gulf. During the Cold War, both the United States and the Soviet Union wanted access to the oil and the waterways. Since the end of the Cold War, Western nations have acted to prevent regional powers from inter­fering with the region's oil supply. Meanwhile, the persistent dis­pute between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs has added to tensions in this mostly Arab region.

Arabs and Israelis Fight Over Land

Modern Israel was established in 1948 in accordance with the United Nations Partition Plan. The Palestinian Arabs regarded the UN action as illegitimate and rejected the state offered to them. Conflicting claims to this land led to repeated violence. After the 1948 war that followed Israel's founding, Israel and its Arab neighbors fought three more wars, in 1956, 1967, and 1973. In these wars, Israel defeated Arab forces and gained more land. Between the wars, Israel faced guerrilla and terrorist attacks. Repeatedly, the United States tried to bring about peace.

Israel Controls the Occupied Territories In the 1967 w< response to a hostile climate in the region, Israeli forces took con­trol of the Golan Heights from Syria, East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, and the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. In 1973, these nations attacked Israel on Yom Kippur, a day of fasting and one of the holiest days of the Jewish year.

692 Regional Conflicts

In the 1973 war, Arabs failed to regain the regions they had lost to Israel, known today as the as °c z iii ,di . ric,. Israel's government la,_ aelped Jewish settlers build homes in settlements in these territo­ries, causing more bitterness among the Palestinians.

Palestinian Attacks Bring Israeli Response By the 1960s, the Pal­estine Liberation Organization (PLO) was leading the Palestinian strug­gle against Israel. It was headed by V :' . k ` It had deep support among Palestinians who fled or had been forced off their lands during the various wars. The PLO called for the destruction of Israel.

For years, the PLO launched attacks against Israelis at home and abroad. Airplane hijackings and the killing of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic games brought PLO demands to the attention of the world.

Palestinians also opposed Israel in the occupied territories by mount­ing inti `adas, or uprisings. Demanding an end to the Israeli occupation, young Palestinians stoned Israeli troops. Armed Palestinians fired on Israeli soldiers and civilians. Suicide bombers blew up buses, stores, and clubs inside Israel, killing many civilians.

Israel responded forcefully. Over the years, Israeli troops sealed off Pal­estinian towns, destroyed the homes of suicide bombers and their families, and targeted terrorist leaders, killing many Palestinians.

Seeking Peace Despite the violence, the United States, the UN, and others pushed for peace and made some progress. Golda Meir, Israel's first female prime minister, was trying to arrange a negotiated peace when Arab nations attacked Israel in the 1973 war. As you have learned, Ic l and Egypt signed a peace accord in 1979. Israel then returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. In 1994, Jordan's King Hussein made peace with Israel. However, talks between Israel and Syria failed over issues of security, recognition of Israel, and control of the Golan Heights.

A City Sacred to Many

Jerusalem is dotted with many places that are sacred to Jewish people, Muslims, and Christians. This photograph shows the Western Wall, a Jewish holy place. In the background is the Dome of the Rock, an important Islamic shrine. How might Jerusalem's sacred status make it harder to resolve competing Israeli and Palestinian Arab claims to the city?

ii ri i;i ift

Conflict has dragged, on for years in the region. Palestinian Arabs resent the Israeli occupation. Some have responded with suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians. Israeli forces have responded with attacks on Palestinian militants that have also killed some civilians. Hopes for peace in the region center on ending this cycle of violence and retaliation.

4 Palestinian suicide bombers have set off deadly explosions in public places that have killed Israeli civilians. The bus in this photo was torn apart by a bomb carried by a Palestinian terrorist.

Another breakthrough occurred after Israel and the PLO began direct talks. In 1993, Yasir Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak R n (rah BEEN) signed the Oslo Accord. It outlined a plan to give Palestin al ns in Gaza and the West Bank limited self-rule under a Palestinian Authority. The PLO recognized Israel's right to exist, and the Palestinian Authority pledged to stop terrorism against Israel. Arafat assumed leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

Facing Setbacks However, years of talks brought few results, and vio­lence continued. In 2000, radical Palestinian groups such as Hamas stepped up terrorist attacks, vowing to destroy Israel. Israeli prime min­ister Ariel Sharon demanded Arafat's removal as head of the Palestinian Authority for failing to prevent these attacks. Palestinian suicide bomb­ings and Israeli reprisals in the occupied territories brought fear and bit­terness on both sides.

Overcoming Obstacles to Peace Beyond the distrust and bitter­ness, many obstacles to peace remain. One obstacle is land claims. Many Palestinians want a right to settle anywhere in Israel, under a "Right of Return." This policy would bring a large number of Palestinians into Israel, which could undermine the Jewish state and spark further vio­lence. A second obstacle is the future of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. Israeli settlers have been determined to remain. Palestinians have insisted that they must leave.

Jerusalem is a third stumbling block. The city is sacred to Jews, Mus­lims, and Christians. As you have read, Israel occupied East Jerus, n during the 1967 war. Later, Israel declared that area part of Israel, wrrcle giving other religions control over their holy sites. Palestinians, however, want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

694 Regional Conflicts

A Israeli counterattacks in the occupied territories have killed Palestinians, including some civilians. Some 20,000 people attended this funeral for Palestinians killed in an Israeli attack.

history Inter ctive

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Some Israelis and Palestinians, such` as the men in this photograph, have chosen peaceful dialogue rather than violence as a way to bridge their differences. Dialogue between the two sides offers the best hope for ending this regional conflict. V


-4 Lack of development, years of conflict, and corruption have crippled the economy of the West Bank and Gaza. Mean­while, Palestinian attacks have forced Israel to limit Palestinians' access to jobs in Israel. Poverty in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has led to desperation among Palestinians.

Thinking Critically

Graph Skills How does economic output in the West Bank and Gaza Strip compare with that in Israel?

Draw Conclusions How might violence by both sides tend to prolong the Palestinian-Israeli conflict?

During the early 2000s, new steps toward peace offered some hope. TI Jnited States devised a new plan, called the "road map" to peace. It called for two states, Israel and a democratic Palestine, to exist side by side. In 2004, Israeli prime minister Sharon launched a plan to withdraw Israeli settlements from Gaza. The plan angered some Israelis and did not satisfy Palestinians, who wanted Israeli settlements removed from the West Bank as well. Still, the plan was a step toward peace.

Further progress followed the death in 2004 of Yasir Arafat, whom the Israelis distrusted. His democratically elected successor, Mahmoud Abbas (ah BAHS), pledged to stop Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israel. Israel responded in 2005 by releasing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. While these events brought new hopes for peace, serious obstacles remain.

 Checkpoint What obstacles have prevented peace between Israel and the Palestinians?

Civil War Ravages Lebanon

Lebanon is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups. Until the mid-1900s, had been a thriving center of commerce. By the 1970s, however, the Arab-Israeli conflict was contributing to problems in neighboring Lebanon.

Tension Grows The government depended on a delicate balance among Arab Christians, Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims, and Druze (peo­ple with a religion related to Islam). Christians held the most power, be ise they had been the largest group when Lebanon gained indepen­de e. After mostly Muslim Palestinians fled into Lebanon from areas that became Israel in 1948, Muslims outnumbered Christians in Leba­non. This upset Lebanon's delicate religious balance. Muslim Lebanese demanded a greater share of power.

Vocabulary Builder

diverse—(dih VURS) adj. multiple, varied, different

Chapter 20 Section 3 695

Civil War and Its Aftermath In 1975, religious tensions plunged Leb­anon into a civil war. Christian and Muslim militias, or armed gro>>ns of citizen soldiers, battled each other. In 1982, Israel invaded sot. _ ;rn Lebanon to stop cross-border attacks, and Syria occupied eastern Lebanon to secure its borders.

In 1990, the civil war finally ended. Beirut, the ruined capital, was slowly rebuilt and again became a center of commerce. Despite economic growth, divisions remained among Lebanon's diverse population. Although Israel withdrew its forces in 2000, it remains alert to attacks across its northern border. Syrian troops remained until 2005, when pop­ular protests led to their withdrawal. Lebanon's fate seemed tied to the prospects for peace among its neighbors.

 Checkpoint How did an influx of Palestinians contribute to ethnic conflict in Lebanon?

Saddam Hussein's Dictatorship

Saddam Hussein, shown here in a propaganda poster in 1982, turned Iraq into a brutal police state, in which critics were tortured and killed.

Iraq's Long History of Conflict

Iraq has had a long history of internal and external conflicts. These conflicts have been due partly to its oil wealth and ethnic diversity. During the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union competed for influence in oil-rich Iraq. After World War II, Iraq's monarchy had close ties to the United States, but the monarchy was overthrown in 1958. In the years that followed, Iraq's rulers developed closer ties with the Soviet Union.

For centuries, Iraq's Sunni Arab minority had domi. :d the country. The Kurdish minority and the Shiite Arab majority had little power. During the 1970s, Kurds took up arms to fight for power over their homeland in northern Iraq. Iraq's government responded brutally.

The Iran-Iraq War Costs Many Lives In 1979,

Saddam Hussein seized power in Iraq and ruled as a dicta­tor. In 1980, after the Islamic revolution in Iran, Saddam Hussein tried to take advantage of the turmoil there by seiz­ing a disputed border region. His action triggered a pro­longed war.

During the 1980s, the war began to reflect Cold War rival­ries. Iran was bitterly opposed to the United States. This helped Iraq to win U.S. support. The war dragged on until 1988, and took a heavy toll on both Iran and Iraq.

During the war, Saddam Hussein unleashed chemical weapons on Kurdish civilians. Chemical weapons killed sev­eral thousand Kurds in an attack on one Kurdish village. Some charged him with genocide against the Kurds.

The Gulf War Brings Defeat In 1990, Iraq invaded control its vast oil fields and gain greater access to the Persian Gulf. For the United States, Saddam Hussein's move was not only illegal, but also a threat to the oil resources of the Persian Gulf region. Pres it George H.W. Bush formed a coalition of Western and Middle Eastern nations to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. Coalition forces launched a counter­attack against Iraqi forces in Kuwait in 1991. In the 1991 Gulf War, the U.S.-led coalition operated under the UN banner. It quickly liberated Kuwait and crushed Iraqi forces.

Kuwait to

696 Regional Conflicts

Despite defeat, Saddam Hussein remained in power. He brutally crnched revolts by the majority Shiite Muslims in the south and the m rity Kurds in the north. Throughout Iraq, he used torture, terror, and execution to impose his will.

Saddam Hussein Defies Restrictions To protect the Kurds and Shiites, the United States, France, and Britain set up

areas where Iraqi aircraft were forbidden to fly. The UN worked to keep Saddam Hussein from using oil profits to build

or biological, nuclear, and chemical weapons. It imposed economic sanctions limiting how much oil Iraq could sell and how it could spend its money. Iraq repeatedly violated the no-fly zones. It also failed to cooperate fully with UN weapons inspectors who were sent to find WMDs.

U.S. Forces Defeat Saddam Hussein In 2002, the United States and Britain charged that Saddam Hussein still had WMDs. American President George W. Bush accused the Iraqi president of supporting terrorists. The United States and Brit­ain then joined together in a coalition to invade Iraq.

Coalition forces toppled Saddam Hussein and occupied the country in the 2003 Iraq War. They then set out to rebuild the war-ravaged country. Many Iraqis welcomed the end of Saddam Hussein's vicious regime. At the same time, many of them resented foreign occupation.

Ir"r Tries to Rebuild Efforts to rebuild Iraq were hampered

b.,guerrilla attacks and suicide bombings. s ? -, o ; 41= ,; r ,, . or

rebels, targeted foreigners and Iraqi citizens, especially those cooperating with foreign troops.

In 2005, national elections were held. For the first time in Iraq's his­tory, the country's Shiite majority won control of the government. The new government, however, faced attacks from various insurgent groups, particularly Sunnis bitter about their loss of power.

Iraq faced other difficulties in trying to build a democratic govern­ment. Ethnic and religious divisions posed serious obstacles. Iraq's new government needed to find a way to bring Iraq's Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, and other minorities together.

Checkpoint Why has conflict persisted in Iraq since the defeat of Saddam Hussein?



Iraq Has an Election

Iraqis line up to vote in the election of January 2005, the country's first free election in more than 35 years. The barbed wire in the foreground is a sign of security concerns. There was widespread concern about possible attacks by Sunni Arabs, many of whom boycotted the election.

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Terms, People, and Places

1. What do each of the terms, people, and places listed at the beginning of the sec­tion have in common? Explain.


2: Reading Skill: Recognize Sequence Use your finished flowchart to answer the Focus Question: What are the causes of conflict in the Middle East?

Comprehension and Critical Thinking

Draw Conclusions Why has the Arab-Israeli conflict been so persistent?

Summarize How has Jerusalem been an obstacle to resolving the conflict?

Identify Central Issues What were the causes of Lebanon's civil war?

Synthesize Information Why did the UN impose economic sanctions in Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War?

• Writing About History

Quick Write: Make an Outline To write a research report, you need to make an out­line that organizes information that you have gathered. Suppose that you are writ­ing a research report on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Make an outline that organizes the information in this section about that conflict.

Chapter 20 Section 3 697

Quick Study Guide

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• Conflicts in Iraq  Conflicts in Former Yugoslavia


Area of Conflict


Conflict Duration

Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988

Gulf War 1990-1991

Iraq War 2003






Main Events

Saddam Hussein tried to seize an Iranian border region. Saddam used chemical weapons against Kurds

Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Coalition led by United States defeated Saddam's army and freed Kuwait.

Coalition led by the United States defeated Saddam Hussein's forces and occupied Iraq. Fighting with insurgents continued after Saddam's defeat in 2003.

Main Events

Croatian forces fought with ethnic Serbs and the Yugoslav army over ethnic Serb areas. Serbs faced ethnic cleansing.

Ethnic Serbs, Croats, and Muslim Bosniaks fought each other. Muslims faced ethnic cleansing by Serbs.

Ethnic Albanians clashed with the Yugoslav army. Yugoslav forces attempted ethnic cleansing of Albanians.

 Locations of Regional Conflicts

• Key Events of Regional Conflicts

Africa and Europe Middle East

South Africa



massacre marks
violent turn in anti‑
apartheid struggle.

Late 1960s

Religious conflict
in Northern
Ireland turns

1948 1967

Israel's founding Israel gains territory in the

brings attack by 1967 war and Palestinians

Arab neighbors. increase attacks on Israel.


Concept Connect r

 Cumulative Review

Record the answers to the questions below on your Concept Connector worksheets.

Dictatorship Like earlier dictators, such as Mussolini and Hitler, Saddam Hussein adopted an aggressive policy of seiz­ing lands outside his borders. He also used brutal methods against his own population. How did Saddam Hussein's dictatorship compare with earlier dictatorships? Consider

• his internal policies.

• his policies toward neighboring nations.

Genocide Compare the genocide in Rwanda with at least one earlier example of genocide, such as those in Cambodia, Nazi Germany, or the Ottoman empire. Think about

• the role of ethnic hatred.

• the response of the international community.

Conflict During the century following the Reformation in Europe, religious differences sparked a series of wars. How does the recent conflict in Northern Ireland compare with nose earlier religious conflicts? Consider

• whether the conflicts involved more than one nation.

• the importance of social and economic inequalities.

Empire Like earlier empires, Russia controls numerous regions and ethnic groups. The conflict in Chechnya can be seen as an effort by one ethnic group to break away. How does this conflict compare to earlier efforts to break away from an empire, such as the Vietnamese and Algerian wars for independence from the French empire?

• Connections to Today

Democracy In this chapter, you read that Canada's democ­racy has allowed ethnic differences to be resolved peacefully, rather than through violent conflict. Through democratic means, the French-speaking majority in Quebec has secured rights for their language in Canada, even though French speakers are a minority in Canada (see the graphs below). Use the library and online research to identify another coun­try where a democratic system has recently helped bring a peaceful resolution to ethnic differences. Compare your country's ethnic politics to those in Canada.

Cooperation In this chapter, you learned that members of the NATO military alliance cooperated to end ethnic cleansing and warfare in Kosovo in 1999. Use the library and online research to identify a more recent case in which cooperation among concerned nations has helped to bring peace to a country involved in a violent conflict. How does this recent case compare to what you learned about Kosovo?

History Interim ve,

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Ethnic conflict erupts in Bosnia.1994

Conflict in
Rwanda leads
to genocide.

1994 Open elections bring end of apartheid in South Africa.


Brutal ethnic conflict in Kosovo brings NATO intervention.

1975 1991 2003

Lebanon plunges U.S.-led coalition U.S.-led coalition

into civil war. defeats Iraq in defeats Saddam Hussein

Gulf War. and occupies Iraq.


Chapter Assessment

Terms, People, and Places

Choose the italicized term in parentheses that best completes each sentence.

Muslim nationalists in (Kosovo/Chechnya) have fought to free their homeland from Russian control.

There were hopes that (the Good Friday Agreement/ethnic cleansing) would provide for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

(Desmond Tutu/Nelson Mandela) led the struggle against apartheid even when he was imprisoned for his role in the African National Congress.

In Rwanda, extremist (Hutus/Tutsis), the country's ethnic majority, slaughtered members of the country's ethnic minority in 1994.

Both Israel and the Palestinians claim (the occupied territories/Jerusalem) as their capital.

The Palestine Liberation Organization was headed by (Yasir Arafat! Yitzhak Rabin).

Efforts to rebuild Iraq after Saddam Hussein's overthrow were slowed by (intifada/insurgent) attacks.

Main Ideas

Section 1 (pp. 682-685)

Why does ethnic diversity lead to violent conflicts in some places but not in others?

How did Yugoslavia's breakup lead to ethnic conflicts?

Section 2 (pp. 686-690)

How did South Africa overcome apartheid?

What factors contributed to Africa's deadly ethnic conflicts?

Section 3 (pp. 692-697)

Explain the basic causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

What obstacles did Iraq face in its effort to rebuild after years of war?

Chapter Focus Question

Why have deadly conflicts plagued some regions of the world?

Critical Thinking

Predict Consequences Identify possible solutions to the ethnic conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo and predict the conse­quences of these solutions.

Draw Conclusions Why was the idea of majority rule so important to people in South Africa and in neighboring Afri­can countries?

Express Problems Clearly What are the main problems that have stood in the way of a peace settlement between Palestinians and Israelis?

Recognize Cause and Effect How did Saddam Hussein's policies cause suffering for Iraqis?

Analyzing Visuals What is the main message of the car­toon below? How might violence have been prevented (­these countries?

• Writing About History

Writing a Research Report This chapter discusses several ethnic and regional conflicts. Choose one of the conflicts covered or find another conflict that interests you. Write a research report on the causes of the conflict, how the conflict unfolded, and how it was resolved or might be resolved. Consult page SH1 3 of the Writing Handbook for additional help.


• Do online or library research to read background materials about your conflict.

• Take notes on relevant details, events, and the people involved in the conflict.

• Create a set of questions about your conflict and gather additional resources.


• Develop a working thesis about the cause of this conflict—for example, is the main issue control of land, government policies, or some other issue?

• Make an outline to organize a report that supports your thesis. Find information from your research that supports each part of your outline.

• Write an introduction explaining your thesis, a body, and a conclusion.


• Use the guidelines for revising your report on page SH1 5 of the Writing Handbook.


Pocument-Based Assessment

The Palestinian Question

In 1947, the United Nations drew up a plan dividing Palestine into two states, Jewish and Arab, which the Arabs rejected. The next year, Israel was established as an independent nation according to the United Nations guidelines. As a result of the 1967 war, Israel gained control of the West Bank and Gaza. Gaza was unilaterally given to the Palestinians in 2005. Pales­tinians still do not have an independent state of their own. Despite ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, many on both sides still hope for peace.

Document C

"As I have said, we came to Palestine to do away with the help­lessness of the Jewish people through our own endeavors. Therefore, you will realize what it meant for us to watch from here millions of Jews being slaughtered during these years of war.... We Jews only want that which is given naturally to all peoples of the world to be masters of our own fate .... We are certain that given an opportunity of bringing in large masses of Jews into this country, of opening the doors of Pal­estine to all Jews who wish to come here, we can ... create a free Jewish society built on the basis of cooperation, equality, and mutual aid."

—From "The Zionist Case" by Golda Meir (speech given March 25, 1946)

Document D

"Late at night when everything is quiet I think about how I will ever forgive the Israelis for what they did to me. I don't mean stealing my homeland, killing my people, turning me into a refugee, or depriving me from having a Palestinian state. I'm talking about myself—what they did to my personality.

I wish I had a normal life: no tension, no rage, no hatred, no hard feelings toward anybody. Even if they leave my coun­try and give me back my rights, how will I overcome these feelings inside me?"

—From "Children of a Tenth-Class God?" by Nihaya Qawasmi (1998)

Analyzing Documents

Use your knowledge of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Documents A, B, C, and D to answer questions 1-4.

1. According to Documents A and B, what is the present status of the area outlined in the UN Partition Plan?

A It is divided between Israel and neighboring countries.

B Palestine is now an independent nation.

C Part of it is the State of Israel, part is occupied by Israel, and part is ruled by the Palestinians.

D It is divided among three independent nations.

2. In Document C, "helplessness" refers to

a Israel's inability to help the Palestinians.

B the inability of Jews in Palestine to help Jews in Nazi territory.

C the inability of Palestinians to change their attitude toward Israel.

D the inability of the Allies to do anything about Nazi atrocities.3. Which words best describe the feelings of the author of Document D toward Israel?

A acceptance and understanding

B discouragement and fear

C anger and resentment

D trust and hope

4. What are the prospects for a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question? Use the documents on this page along with information from the chapter to write a short essay on this topic.


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