A civil war is an armed conflict in which the warring factions, are segments of the population of the same country, empire or political entity. In most situations, in these conflicts, the goal is the total seizure of power. Like all wars, the conflict has economic, ethnic or religious causes. In the following, we present 10 of the bloodiest civil wars in history.
The Bosnian war was a brutal, complex and ugly conflict which began shortly after the fall of communism in Europe. In 1991, Bosnia and Herzegovina joined several republics of the former Yugoslavia, desiring to gain independence. This action triggered a civil war which lasted for four years. The population of Bosnia was a multicultural mix consisting of Muslim Bosniaks, Orthodox Serbs, and Catholic Croats. In early April 1992, Bosnian Serbs, well armed and supported by Serbia, besieged Sarajevo. They targeted mainly Muslim population, but have killed many Serbs, Croats, and Bosnians with rockets and sniper attacks, which continued for nearly three and a half years. After the Bosnian capital fell, Serb nationalist forces continued their brutal attacks also called “ethnic cleansing” across the country. Finally, data from UN air strikes and sanctions imposed by the United Nations helped the parties to reach a peace agreement. Following the civil war and were killed over 90,000 people, with sources claiming that the number of deaths would have somewhere to 300,000.
This war was a result of economic, ethnic, cultural and religious relations between different peoples of Nigeria. Like many other African nations, Nigeria was built by the imperialists, in this case, the British, who did not take into account differences in religious, linguistic and ethnic borders of the new country. The Civil War began on 6 July 1967, when federal troops from Nigeria, entered the Republic of Biafra. Nigeria, which gained independence from Britain in 1960, had at that time a population of 60 million people, comprising nearly 300 different ethnic and cultural groups. The war was for Nigeria, very costly in terms of casualties, money and its status in the world. It is estimated that somewhere between one and three million people have died from war, disease and hunger. The Civil war in Nigeria was one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent decades.
Colombian civil war that took place between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party and its radical factions led to over 100,000 deaths and serious damage to the country’s economic ruin.
The Liberal Party was the representative of the coffee plantation owners and traders rich and wanted a free economic policy.
Largely excluded from the government after the Conservative victory in 1885. Also, the Liberals were put in difficulty because of plummeting coffee prices due to the international crisis. In 1899, most coffee growers were operating at a loss. In the next three years, guerrilla warfare was unleashed in rural areas of Colombia, causing significant damage and large loss of life. Because they could not restore peace by force, in 1902 the Conservatives have implemented a new political reform. By November of that year, the most important liberal leaders, Rafael Uribe and Benjamin Herrera surrendered. Even if they surrendered, leading Liberals have succeeded in obtaining the promise of a new implementation of reforms and free elections.
In April 2011, the UN presented a report on human rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, which lasted no more than 26 years and in which 100,000 people lost their lives.
The war was held between brutal forces of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the local administration. It is estimated that at least 40,000 civilians died in the five months before the end of the war (2009) when the Tigers surrendered. Locals have welcomed the end of the civil war. Although the fighting ended, restoration of rule of law and investigate human rights abuses and war crimes alleged did not occur yet. On 12 February 2013, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said that Sri Lanka has violated its promise to improve human rights and failed to investigate wartime atrocities.
Angolans fought courageously against Portuguese occupation and have managed to obtain independence in 1975. Unfortunately, immediately after Angola became a free nation, between communists and anticommunists began a power struggle and the Civil War became inevitable. The fight was held between communists who were part of the popular movement for the liberation of Angola (MPLA) and anti – communists who supported the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the longest and bloodiest civil war in modern history. The war began immediately after Angola became independent in 1975 and had ended after Jonas Savimbi, leader of UNITA, was killed by government troops in 2002. After this episode, the two sides agreed to cease fire. Civil war has left at least 500,000 people dead and an economy in ruins.
“Secret War” in Laos is an abuse made by the US government, abuse resulting in great loss of human lives. Between 1964 and 1973 during the conflict in South Vietnam, US military dropped bombs weighing a total of 2.5 million tons over Laos, who officially declared itself a neutral state. The operation was aimed both interruption of supply lines used by the government of North – Vietnamese to support the revolt in south and keeping the power of the monarchy in Laos, faced with its own Communist revolt. It is estimated that 450,000 civilians in Laos and 600,000 Cambodians lost their lives as a result of these bombings. The number of refugees rose the dead numbers somewhere to a million.
Somalia is not populated only Somalis, but also by other nations in the late 80s that were raised against Siad Barre’s dictator of Somalia. The army failed to halt the uprising and the dictator was removed from power.
Siad Barre was still popular among Somalis, so that in the early 90s in the country has been a revolution for the dictator to return to government. After he returned to power, much of northern Somalia has declared its independence from the rest of the country, without this being recognized by any country. After years of war, Somalia is in ruins, although it continues to send UN peacekeeping forces to help rebuild the country. Unofficially, it is estimated that the civil war in Somalia has killed nearly one million people.
This revolt was one of the largest and bloodiest civil wars in history. No other event has devastated China not so much in the nineteenth century, how did the Taiping rebellion. This was triggered by Xuan Hong, a Chinese in the South who thought he was the brother of Jesus Christ. In 1847 tried to reach the country’s leadership, but without success. He gathered in a very short time many followers, with which he built an army and a political organization. By the late 1850s, the movement led by Hong Xuan came to control more than a third of the country. This organization was so strong and popular that the Chinese government took tens of millions of dollars and 15 years to be able to crush a movement. In 1864, the uprising was crushed in a brutal way. It is estimated that during this civil war more than 20 milion people have lost their lives.
These wars were some of the most important historical events of the medieval era. Their impact on England was a huge one. The battles were fought between members of the House of Lancaster whose symbol was the red rose and those of the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. Both houses were branches of the Plantagenet House, offspring of King Edward III.
The rivalry between the two houses began in 1399, when King Richard II was taken down from the throne by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster. Wars between the two houses continued until 1455 when Richard, Duke of York defeated the Lancasters in the Battle of St Albans. The War of the Roses ended after King Henry VII of England founded the Tudor dynasty, symbolically uniting the white and red rose and creating the Tudor rose.
This civil war is often overlooked and ignored, although it is the bloodiest in all history. The death toll exceeds the Taiping Uprising and was exceeded only by the Second World War. This uprising took place during the Tang Dynasty. Fortunately for Tang emperors, the Yan dynasty, founded the An Lushan began to disintegrate from the inside. In January 757, A Lushan’s son became disturbed by his father’s threats addressed to his friends at court, so he killed him. Shortly afterward, he was also killed by Shi Siming, an old friend of An Lushan. Siming tried to continue An Lushan rebellion, but he came to be killed by his own son in 761. Although Tang Dynasty finally managed to defeat An Lushan Rebellion, the Empire became weaker than ever. It is estimated that over 35 million people lost their lives during this bloody civil war.