Hence, according to Brown (1993), it is not always true that the larger the diversity of ethnic groups the more serious the ethnic conflicts. Ethnic conflict denotes a violent struggle between rival ethnic groups in a country. Due to the fact that there are no rigid, impartial measures for establishing what comprises an ethnic group, it is quite problematic to establish which conflicts should fall under the label ‘ ethnic’ . In general, these can be considered as conflicts wherein issues of group recognition and identity serve a major function (Taras & Ganguly, 2009).
Members of the rival parties regard themselves as members of different ethnic groups because of different languages, cultural traditions, religions, etc. They also view other groups as a risk to their identity. On the other hand, they may believe that their group has been granted inadequate recognition and value by other groups. They aim to weaken the influence of those other groups, which they try to accomplish by attempting to exterminate or banish them or by attempting to build their own sovereign state (Taras & Ganguly, 2009).
Ethnic conflicts are generally secession struggles and could be reinforced by ethnic cleansing and genocide. In the 1990s, a chain of violent struggles, like those in Rwanda and ex-Yugoslavia, pushed numerous scholars to bring up a revival of ethnic strife and to think that these would represent the major threat to international security in the post-Cold War period (Oyebade & Alao, 1998). The 1990s have seen a series of ethnic conflict rage across Africa, the previous Soviet Union, and regions of Eastern Europe. States, provinces, and at times entire regions have been overwhelmed in exploding hysterics of ethnic violence and threat.
The initial hopefulness that the conclusion of the Cold War may pave the way for new world order has been immediately frustrated (Oyebade & Alao, 1998). New fears of ethnic conflict have flowed all over the international community.
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