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Frozen conflict


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frozen_conflict
Updated: 2017-08-25T19:30Z
Geopolitics of Eastern Europe, early-2014, showing the frozen conflict zones of Transnistria, Crimea, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia (numbered 1–4), as well as Nagorno-Karabakh (shown as darker shaded region within Azerbaijan), Northern Cyprus (lighter region within Cyprus), and Kosovo (beige region within Serbia). Israel and the Palestinian territories also appear on the map, although they are not highlighted.

In international relations, a frozen conflict is a situation in which active armed conflict has been brought to an end, but no peace treaty or other political framework resolves the conflict to the satisfaction of the combatants. Therefore, legally the conflict can start again at any moment, creating an environment of insecurity and instability.

The term has been commonly used for post-Soviet conflicts, but it has also often been applied to other perennial territorial disputes.[1][2][3] The de facto situation that emerges may match the de jure position asserted by one party to the conflict; for example, Russia claims and effectively controls Crimea following the 2014 Crimean crisis despite Ukraine's continuing claim to the region. Alternatively, the de facto situation may not match either side's official claim. The division of Korea is an example of the latter situation: both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea officially assert claims to the entire peninsula; however, there exists a well-defined border between the two countries' areas of control.

Frozen conflicts sometimes result in partially recognized states. For example, the Republic of South Ossetia, a product of the frozen Georgian–Ossetian conflict, is recognized by only seven states, three of which are partially recognized states themselves.

Examples

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In post-Soviet territories

Following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, a number of conflicts arose in areas of some of the post-Soviet states, usually where the new international borders did not match the ethnic affiliations of local populations. These conflicts have largely remained "frozen", with disputed areas under the de facto control of entities other than the countries to which they are internationally recognized as belonging, and which still consider those areas to be part of their territory.

Since the ceasefire which ended the Transnistria War (1990–1992), the Russian-influenced breakaway republic of Transnistria has controlled the easternmost strip of the territory of Moldova. The republic is internationally unrecognized, and Moldova continues to claim the territory.

The Nagorno-Karabakh region, an ethnically Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan, has been a source of dispute between Azeris and Armenians for many decades. The Nagorno-Karabakh War was fought as a full-scale conflict in 1991–1994. Since the ceasefire, the Armenian-backed Republic of Artsakh has controlled the region and an area adjoining it (giving it a border with Armenia). The Republic remains internationally unrecognized, in spite of efforts to settle its political status. Azerbaijan continues to claim the whole territory as its own, and the Republic in turn lays claim to an area to the north which remains under Azerbaijan's de facto control.

The Abkhaz–Georgian conflict and Georgian–Ossetian conflict have led to the creation of two largely unrecognized states within the internationally recognized territory of Georgia. The 1991–92 South Ossetia War and the War in Abkhazia (1992–93), followed by the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008, have left the Russian-backed Republic of South Ossetia and Republic of Abkhazia in de facto control of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions in north and northwest Georgia.

In 2014, Crimea was occupied by the Russian troops without insignia while Ukraine was still recovering from large scale violence in the capital, and soon afterwards was admitted into the Russian Federation. This is widely regarded as an annexation of the peninsula by Russia, and is considered likely to result in another post-Soviet frozen conflict.[4] While there are similarities between Transnistria, Abkhazia and the 2014–2015 War in Donbass, where the unrecognized Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic have taken de facto control of areas in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, the conflict in Donbass is not a frozen conflict yet as ceasefire violations are keeping the fighting on a low burner. However, some experts predict a frozen future for this conflict as well.[5]

Name Capital Population Area (km2) Declaration of independence Recognition by UN members Major ethnic groups De jure part of
Transnistria[a] Tiraspol 475,665 4,400 199009022 September 1990 none Moldovans (32.1%), Russians (30.4%), Ukrainians (28.8%) Moldova
Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)[b] Stepanakert 150,932 11,458 199109022 September 1991 none Armenians (99%) Azerbaijan
Abkhazia[c] Sukhumi 242,862 8,660 1990082525 August 1990 3[d] Abkhaz (50,5%), Georgians (19%), Armenians (17%)[e][6] Georgia
South Ossetia[f] Tskhinvali 51,547 3,900 1991092828 November 1991 3[d] Ossetians (89.9%), Georgians (7.4%). Georgia
Republic of Crimea Simferopol 1,891,465 26,100 Federal subject of Russia since 2014031818 March 2014 Russia + 7 others[g] Russians (65.2%), Ukrainians (16.0%), Crimean Tatars (12.6%) Ukraine
Donetsk People's Republic[h] Donetsk 1,870,000[7] 2014051212 May 2014 none Ukrainians (56.9%), Russians (38.2%)[i] Ukraine
Luhansk People's Republic[j] Luhansk 1,433,280[8] 2014051212 May 2014 none Ukrainians (58.0%), Russians (39.1%)[k] Ukraine

Others in Asia

India and Pakistan have fought at least three wars over the disputed region of Kashmir in 1947, 1965, and 1999. India claims the entire area of the former princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, of which it administers approximately 43%. Its claims are contested by Pakistan, which controls approximately 37% of the region and urges for plebiscite in Kashmir.[9][10] The remaining territory is controlled by China, with which India is again in dispute and have fought the Sino-Indian War.

The conflict between mainland China and Taiwan remains frozen since 1949. Both the People's Republic of China in the Mainland and the Republic of China in Taiwan consider the other to be part of its territory. While the latter especially is not recognized by a majority of countries and states internationally, it remains a de facto independent administration in Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, and PRC's de facto administration remains in the Mainland.

The division of Korea remains frozen since 1953, when a ceasefire ended the Korean War. Both North Korea and South Korea governments claim the entire peninsula, while de facto control is divided along the military demarcation line in the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

The Arab–Israeli conflict is a perennial conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbours, including the Palestinian territories. Israel refuses to recognize Palestinian statehood without an assured peace deal, while some Arab countries and groups refuse to recognize Israel. Israel has 'de facto control of East Jerusalem and claims it as its integral territory, although it is not internationally recognized as such. Similarly most of the Golan Heights are currently under de facto Israeli control and civil administration, whereas Syria rejects that claim.

Others in Europe and Africa

The dispute over the status of Kosovo remains frozen since the end of the Kosovo War, fought in 1998–1999 between Yugoslav forces (FR Yugoslavia) and the ethnically Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army. The Kosovo region has been administered independently since the war, and the Republic of Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, but it is not recognized by all countries worldwide, and Serbia still considers Kosovo part of its territory.

The Cyprus dispute has been frozen since 1974. The northern part of Cyprus is under the de facto control of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, but this is not recognized internationally except by Turkey.

The Western Sahara conflict has been largely frozen since a ceasefire in 1991, although various disturbances have broken out since then. Control of the territory of Western Sahara remains divided between Morocco and the Polisario Front.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Officially the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic.
  2. ^ Officially the Republic of Artsakh.
  3. ^ Officially the Republic of Abkhazia.
  4. ^ a b Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru
  5. ^ From Abkhaz government’s official census data (2011). Unofficial estimates believe that the Abkhaz and Armenian populations are roughly equal in number.
  6. ^ Officially the Republic of South Ossetia–the State of Alania.
  7. ^ Recognised as part of Russia by : Afghanistan, Bolivia, Cuba, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe
  8. ^ The qualification of "frozen conflict" is debated as the War in Donbass is still ongoing.
  9. ^ Figures for the Donetsk Oblast.
  10. ^ The qualification of "frozen conflict" is debated as the War in Donbass is still ongoing.
  11. ^ Figures for the Luhansk Oblast.

References

  1. ^ Simon Tisdall (2010-09-22). "This dangerous new world of self-interested nations". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  2. ^ "North and South Korea: A Frozen Conflict on the Verge of Unfreezing?". Isn.ethz.ch. Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  3. ^ "Europe: Frozen conflicts". The Economist. 2008-11-19. Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  4. ^ Will Ukraine's Crimea region be Europe's next 'frozen' conflict?, CNN, Feb 28, 2014
  5. ^ Rusif Huseynov. Ukraine: Towards a frozen future?: The Politicon, 11 November 2015
  6. ^ https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/islam-tekushev/unlikely-home
  7. ^ "Self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic governs most residents". ITAR-TASS. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
    "Nowhere to Run in Eastern Ukraine". nytimes.com. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic governs most residents". en.itar-tass.com. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  9. ^ Irfan Haider (28 September 2015). "PM Nawaz urges Ban Ki-moon for plebiscite in Kashmir". Dawn. Retrieved 23 March 2017. 
  10. ^ Durrani, Atiq (4 February 2013). "PAK-INDIA Dialogue: Single-Point-Agenda: KASHMIR". PKKH. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
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