Consolidated State Failure Events

Contact Information

Jack Goldstone
Virginia E. and John T. Hazel, Jr., Professor; Director, Center for the Study of Social Change, Institutions and Policy (SCIP),

Schar School of Policy and Government
George Mason University
3351 North Fairfax Drive, MS 3B1
Arlington, VA 22201
Phone: (703) 993-1409
Fax: (703) 993-8215

The Director’s Blog: 





 Country  Type of Conflict  Began Ended Brief Description

 Afghanistan Complex
(note 2)
(note 3)
In wake of unrest stemming from assassination of prominent opposition leader, Daoud regime is overthrown in left-wing military coup, followed by political purges of ruling circles and Soviet invasion (REG4 4/78-12/79). Widespread insurgency by Mujahedeen (REV 4/78-4/92) factions provokes Soviet and Afghan Government tactics of systematic terror, destruction of villages, and execution of prisoners (GEN 4/78-4/92). Soviet supported Najibullah regime falls after defection of General Dostam and his Uzbek militia. Mujahedeen forces enter Kabul and establish interim Taliban-controlled central government (REG 4/92-9/96). Civil war continues among political factions based on Pashtun, Tajik, Uzbek, and Hazara ethnic groups, first, as Taliban attempts to extend its authority and, then, after Northern Alliance militias, backed by strong US and British air support, displace the collapsed Taliban regime in November 2001 (ETH from 5/92, REV from 5/92, REG 11/01-6/02). Mainly ethnic-Pashtun Mujahedeen and Taliban fighters continue to challenge central authorities from strongholds in south and east regions.
Albania Complex  5/96 5/97 Third post‑Communist parliamentary elections are marked by bloody police repression and electoral fraud. President Berisha attempts to consolidate political power but regime is undermined by poor performance (REG 5/96). Collapse of pyramid investment schemes ignites simmering dissatisfaction. Capital and southern half of country engulfed in fighting, looting, and rioting. Tension is defused somewhat when Barisha is forced to resign and new elections are called (REV 3/97-5/97); war in neighboring Kosovo diverts attention from internal politics to external events.
Algeria Complex 7/62 12/62  In wake of independence from France, Algerian militants attack Europeans and Muslim civilians who collaborated with French colonial authorities (REV 7/62-9/62, ETH 7/62-9/62, GEN 7/62-12/62).
Algeria Complex 5/91 12/04 Efforts by ruling FLN (National Liberation Front) to ensure its electoral success through legislative gerrymandering trigger mass protests. Military increases its political influence in effort to prevent election of Islamicists. When Islamic Salvation Front wins elections, government cancels results (REG 1/92). Islamic militants and military-government initiate intense terror campaigns designed to undermine each other’s support bases (REV 5/91-12/04).
Angola Complex 1/75 3/02 Post-independence civil war between Mbundu-dominated central government, Bakongo and Cabindan rebels, and UNITA (Union for the Total Independence of Angola), based on Ovimbundu people of south Angola (ETH 1/75-3/02, REV 1/75-3/02). Both UNITA rebels and government forces perpetrate destructive campaigns and atrocities against civilians throughout conflict (GEN 11/75-11/94). Internationally brokered peace plan leads to multi-party elections but UNITA’s Savimbi rejects results and establishes rival government in Huambo (REG 5/92-4/97). 1994 Lusaka protocol ends conflict for a short time but intense fighting erupts again in late 1998. Targeting of civilian populations resumes with the break down to civil war (GEN 12/98-3/02). Death of UNITA leader, Jonas Savimbi, in February 2002 is followed by a cessation of fighting in March and the signing of a new peace agreement in August 2002.
Argentina Regime change 6/66 6/66 Civilian government ousted by military coup in attempt to stem increasing influence of Peronists in electoral arena. State repression increases as urban violence escalates and falters.
Argentina Complex 3/76 12/80 Domestic instability forces military regime to hold elections. Peronist victory ushers in period of political and social anarchy and military intervenes again (REG 3/76). Military declares state of siege and death squads target suspected leftists in campaign of kidnappings, torture, murder, and “disappearances” (GEN 3/76-12/80).
Armenia Regime change 7/95 9/96 President Ter Petrossian suspends country’s most influential opposition party. Electoral malpractice and government intimidation tarnish subsequent legislative and presidential elections.
Azerbaijan Complex 8/91 6/97 Armenian rebellion to secure independence of Nagorno-Karabakh enclave checked by 6/97 ceasefire (ETH 2/88-6/97).5 Post-Soviet democratic transition undermined by government instability, rebellion, and fraudulent presidential and legislative elections (REG 6/93-11/95).
Bangladesh Complex 12/74 6/91 Floods, famine, and breakdown of law undermine parliamentary democracy. Brief experiment with strong presidential rule ends as anti-Mujib officers stage coup (REG 12/74-11/75). Separatist war waged by Shanti Bahini resists encroachments by Bengali settlers in the Chittagong Hills (ETH 8/76-6/91); fighting ends with autonomy agreement, followed by formal peace accord in November 1992.
Belarus Regime change 4/95 11/96 President Lukashenko orders troops to storm parliament building and dissolves legislature. Electoral regulations prohibit legislature from convening for eight months. Once quorum is achieved, President Lukashenko restricts its action.
Benin Regime change 10/63 12/65 Labor and ethnic tensions undermine fragile democracy. In attempt to quell political instability, military intervenes twice before finally abolishing democratic institutions and institutionalizing military rule.
Benin Regime change 10/72 10/72 Regional rivalries force military to transfer power to civilian government. Ethnically diverse civilian coalition falls in second successful coup in three years and a Marxist-Leninist state is proclaimed.
Bosnia and Herzegovina Complex
(note 4)
4/92 12/95 The breakup of the Yugoslav Federation leads to ethnonational conflict among Serb, Croat, and Muslim inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina and failure of central authority (ETH 4/92-11/95, REG 4/92-12/95). Muslim residents of Bosnia are subject to “ethnic cleansing” measures including destruction of property, forced resettlement, and execution mainly by Serb and some Croat forces (GEN 5/92-11/95). Dayton peace accord ends fighting after country has been de facto partitioned along ethnic lines; central government is established under international supervision.
Brazil Regime change 9/61 10/65 Inflation and radical reforms proposed by new President Joao Goulart trigger overthrow of a weakly institutionalized democratic government by the armed forces. Bureaucratic-authoritarian regime forcefully represses left-wing opposition.
Burkina Faso Regime change 11/80 11/80 Leader of former military regime, President Lamizana, elected as head of civilian government. Subsequent economic crisis and labor unrest triggers military coup and suspension of Constitution.
Burma (Myanmar) Complex 8/61 Karen, Kachin, Shan, Mon, Chin, and other non-Burman peoples fight for greater regional autonomy (ETH from 8/61). In 1962 political factionalism within ruling party and regional ethnic rebellions undermine democratic institutions and trigger military intervention. Military rule institutionalized in one-party socialist state (REG 3/62-7/62, GEN 1/78-12/78). In 1988 students in Rangoon organize increasingly violent protests against military rule and make an unsuccessful attempt to form revolutionary coalition with ethnic rebels (REV 3/88-6/89).
Burundi Complex 6/63 12/73 Unstable political alliance between Tutsis and Hutus produces democratic stalemate. King increases his authority but is unable to resolve ethnic tensions and is overthrown by the Tutsi-dominated military (REG 6/63-11/ 66). Attempted coup by Hutu units in 1965 results in massacres of Tutsis in countryside, prompting Army to eliminate Hutu leaders, and in 1972 Hutus insurgents launch a coordinated attack against government authorities in the south and east (ETH 4/72-7/72). Challenges to Tutsi-dominated government by ethnic-Hutus results in ethnic massacres (GEN 10/65-12/73).
Burundi Complex 8/88 5/05 Attempted democratic reforms prompt violence between historically dominant Tutsis and Hutu challengers (ETH 8/88-5/05). As result of rural violence against local Tutsi officials, Tutsi-dominated army conducts unpremeditated massacres of Hutus (GEN 8/88). In 1993, Hutu opposition forces win first multi-party presidential and legislative elections, provoking disaffected Tutsi military forces to revolt and assassinate the Hutu president (REG 10/93-7/96). Subsequent armed clashes and massacres occur in three waves: Tutsi soldiers against Hutu civilians, Hutus against Tutsis, and Tutsi against Hutus (GEN 10/93-12/93).
Cambodia Complex 3/70 5/91 Khmer Rouge insurgents, supported by North Vietnam, battle royalist government forces (REV 3/70-4/75). Once in power they initiate restructuring of society and central authority leading to massive deaths by starvation, deprivation, executions, and massacres of old regime supporters, city dwellers, and tribal peoples, particularly Muslim Chams (REG 4/75-3/76; GEN 4/75-1/79). Vietnamese forces invade Cambodia in December 1978, drive out the Khmer Rouge, and install a new government. Khmer Rouge continues armed resistance, eventually joining forces with other opposition groups (REV 1/79-5/91). Resistance continues until a cease-fire is brokered in May 1991, followed by a peace settlement in October 1991.
Cambodia Regime change 7/97 7/97 Hun Sen ousts coalition partner and ends fractious coalition government installed following UN-supervised elections in 1993. Hun Sen consolidates power in a new coalition.
Central African Republic Regime Change 3/03 Following his dismissal as commander, troops loyal to Gen. Bozize mount challenge to elected government of President Patasse. Gen. Bozize succeeds in seizing power in March 2003 while Patasse is out of the country (REG 3/03). Supporters of ousted President Patasse in the north face retribution from the Bozize regime which draws its support from southerners. Open rebellion breaks out in the northwest in June 2005 and, then, in October 2006 in the northeast (ETH from 6/05).
Chad Complex 3/03 Following his dismissal as commander, troops loyal to Gen. Bozize mount challenge to elected government of President Patasse. Gen. Bozize succeeds in seizing power in March 2003 while Patasse is out of the country (REG 3/03). Supporters of ousted President Patasse in the north face retribution from the Bozize regime which draws its support from southerners. Open rebellion breaks out in the northwest in June 2005 and, then, in October 2006 in the northeast (ETH from 6/05).
Chad Complex 10/65 10/94 Recurring civil war among Chad’s many communal groups with shifting alliances, but mainly along north-south lines (ETH 10/65-10/94). Failed attempt at national unification in 1978 leads to collapse of governance, intensified conflict, and international intervention (REG 2/79-6/84).
Chad Ethnic War 10/05 Dominance of the central government by President Déby’s clan and ethnic-Zaghawa supporters led to a mutiny by elements of the army in October 2005, a coup attempt in March 2006, and an attack on the capital in April 2006 (ETH from 10/05). Failing to unseat the government, FUC rebel forces took refuge in border regions with Sudan and Central African Republic. A peace agreement with the rebels was reached in December 2006 and fighting largely ended in January 2007. The FUC leader, Capt. Nour Abdelkerim, was appointed Minister of Homeland Defense in March 2007.
Chile Complex 9/73 12/76 President Allende’s democratically elected socialist government is overthrown in military coup. General Pinochet consolidates power, dissolves Congress, and suppresses left and center opposition (REG 9/73). Sup porters of former regime and other leftists are arrested, tortured, disappeared, exiled, and summarily executed (GEN 9/73-12/76).
China Complex 2/56 12/59 Armed resistance to Chinese occupation of Tibet breaks out in February 1956 and spreads throughout the region. Rebellion is suppressed by Chinese forces by April 1959 (ETH 2/56-4/59). In 1959, Army and security forces suppress counterrevolutionary elements of society, including Tibetan Buddhists, landowners, and supporters of former Chiang Kaishek regime (GEN 3/59-12/59).
China Complex 5/66 3/75 In 1966, Red Guard youth gangs under loose direction of a Party faction target a wide spectrum of society for arrest, harassment, reeducation, torture, and execution (GEN 5/66-3/75). Red Army wars with Red Guards in an attempt to control the Cultural Revolution (REV 8/66-7/69).
China Complex 7/88 12/98 Episodic violent protests by Uighurs in Xinjiang Province against Han Chinese control escalate by 1996 into terror campaign; government repression ends open opposition (ETH 7/88-12/98). In 1989 students occupy Tiananmen Square demanding democratic reforms; government violently suppresses them and their supporters (REV 4/89-6/89).
Colombia Revolutionary War 4/48 12/60 A protracted civil war breaks out between the Conservative and Liberal parties vying for state power. The period known as “la violencia” begins in earnest with riots in Bogota following the assassination of Liberal leader Gaitan in April 1948. The violence begins to decrease with the election of a moderate Liberal-Conservative coalition, the National Front, in 1958 and continues to diminish through 1960.
Colombia Revolutionary War 5/84 Diverse left-wing groups, some of them in alliance with drug barons, battle government forces and right-wing paramilitary organizations in rural areas.
Comoros Regime change 1/76 1/76 Twenty-eight days after the declaration of independence a coalition of six political parties known as the United National Front ousts the Abdallah government. Democratic governance ends with the designation of Ali Soilih as head of state.
Comoros Complex 9/95 4/99 Foreign-led mercenaries and disaffected Comorian troops overthrow elected government of President Djohar. French troops sent to the island one week later arrest mercenaries, reinstall elected prime minister, and arrest Djohar (REG 9/95-3/96). Army Chief of Staff, Col. Assoumani Azzali, leads April 30, 1999 coup that dissolves constitution and government; promised transition to new elections based on Antananarivo agreement do not materialize (REG 4/99).
Congo-Brazzaville Regime change 12/63 12/63 Fragile democracy weakened by ethnic and labor tensions. Military forces President Youlou to resign. Interim government established prior to popular approval of new constitution that creates one-party Marxist-Leninist state.
Congo-Brazzaville Complex 6/97 12/99 Civil war erupts amid pre-election tensions when President Lissouba’s army attacks the residence of former dictator Sassou-Nguesso. Rebels, backed by Angolan troops, take Brazzaville by force; fighting continues through September 1999. Pointe Noire Peace Agreement ends fighting in December 1999 (REV 6/97-12/99). Transition to democracy ends when Sassou-Nguesso rallies supporters, backed by Angolan Troops, and ousts Lissouba (REG 10/97).
Congo-Kinshasa Complex 6/60 11/65 Independence is followed by intense political and tribal factionalism and the emergence of secessionist movements. Failed attempt at democracy ends in establishment of military dictatorship under General Mobutu (REG 6/60-11/65). Mutiny within ranks of military escalates into full-scale civil war. Rebels expel remnants of Belgian colonial apparatus (REV 7/60-8/65). Katanga and South Kasai secede from newly independent Congo (1960) followed by secession of Orientale and Kivu (1961) and rebellions in Stanleyville and Kwilu (1964) (ETH 7/60-11/65). To consolidate control, rebels massacre counter-revolutionaries, including educated Congolese, missionaries, and other Europeans (GEN 2/64-1/65).
Congo-Kinshasa Complex 3/77 12/79 Independence movement of Lunda/Yeke (FNLC–Zaire National Liberation Front) invades Shaba (Katanga) Province, their traditional homeland (ETH 3/77-5/78). Episodic rebellions and agitation are countered by killings of political opponents, dissident tribesmen, and prisoners (GEN 3/77-12/79)
Congo-Kinshasa Complex 3/92 Communal violence erupts in Shaba (Katanga) between Luba-Kasai minority and dominant Lunda; regional governments become more autonomous (ETH from 3/92). In reaction to absolute power wielded by Mobutu’s military-backed government, pro-democracy opposition pressures him to appoint new prime minister and government (REG 12/92-7/03). Tutsis residing in eastern Zaire form core of rebel army that, with substantial help from Rwanda, defeats government troops and ousts Mobutu’s regime (REV 10/96-7/03). Disaffection with the policies of the nascent Kabila regime leads to the polarization of ethnic-militias, failure of central authority, and the widening of the conflict to include armed forces from regional states. Power-sharing agreement reestablishes central authority in July 2003 and integrates key militias in the central army but sporadic, ethnic armed conflict continues in outlying regions, especially the north and east.
Croatia Ethnic war (5) 6/91 12/95 Serbs in eastern Croatia and Krajina fight newly independent Croat government for autonomy, fighting checked in 1992 by UN peacekeeping force.
Cuba Complex 3/52 12/61 Fulgencio Batista, supported by the military, stages a successful coup that ousts President Carlos Prio Socarras just before scheduled general elections (REG 3/52-6/55). Rural-based insurgents led by Fidel Castro overthrow military-backed Batista regime (REV 12/56-1/59). Single-party socialist state established by 1961 (REG 1/59-12/61).
Cyprus Complex 12/63 4/68 Constitutional amendment proposed by President Makarios is unacceptable to Turkish-Cypriots and the democratic coalition of Greek and Turkish parties collapses, leading to intense communal fighting, de facto separation by ethnic-Turks in the north, and intervention by UN peacekeepers (ETH 12/63-4/64; REG 12/63-4/68).
Cyprus Complex 7/74 8/74 Coup by ethnic-Greek nationalists triggers communal fighting and intervention by armed forces from Turkey. Democracy restored in southern half of island while Turkish Cypriots establish de facto government in north (REG 7/74-8/74; ETH 7/74).
Czechoslovakia Regime change 8/68 7/69 Communist reformers lead popular movement for political and economic liberalization known as “Prague Spring.” Hardliners, supported by Soviet troops, crush reform movement and reinstall hard-line government.
Dominican Republic Complex 9/63 7/66 President Trujillo, de facto ruler since 1930, is assassinated. Military overthrows newly elected democratic government, establishes junta, and restricts leftwing parties (REG 9/63-7/66). Insurrection by supporters of the deposed president results in external intervention in support of Wessin regime (REV 4/65-5/65).
Ecuador Regime change 6/70 2/72 President Velasco suspends Constitution, dissolves legislature, and assumes dictatorial powers to cope with financial emergency. Military deposes Velasco’s authoritarian-democratic regime.
Egypt Revolutionary War 2/92 3/99 Terror campaign by militant Islamic groups against secular government; largely suppressed by mid-1996. Widespread arrests of activists result in March 1999 renunciation of violence by the Gamaat-I-Islamiya (Egypt’s largest resistance group).
El Salvador Complex 2/77 1/92 Amid widespread labor unrest, unprecedented levels of military intimidation and voter fraud characterize presidential elections. President Romero ushers in era of increased political repression (REG 2/77). Leftwing FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front) insurgency ensues (REV 10/79-1/92). In face of widespread insurgency, military, security units, and death squads harass, imprison, and kill leftists among clergy, peasants, urban workers, and intellectuals (GEN 1/80-12/89).
Equatorial Guinea Complex 2/69 8/79 Following elections that brought President Macias to power in the newly independent, former Spanish colony, a crisis arose in February 1969 when the new president demanded that Spain abandon its control over the domestic economy. A state of emergency was declared on March 1. A failed coup followed on March 4. President Macias used the crisis to consolidate his power and eliminate opposition leaders, ethnic-Bubi separatists, and potential rivals (REG 2/69-3/69; GEN 3/69-8/79). Macias’ reign of terror ended with a successful coup in August 1979 led by his nephew Obiang, who became chief executive.
Ethiopia Complex 7/61 5/93 Eritrean secessionists led by ELF (Eritrean Liberation Front) and EPLF (Eritrean People’s Liberation Front), joined by Afars, Oromos, and others in mid 1970s, fight civil wars for independence from successive imperial and Marxist regimes in Addis Ababa (ETH 7/61-5/91). Ethnic-Somalis in Ogaden rebel twice (ETH 10/63-4/64; ETH 2/77-5/78). In 1974, Emperor Selassie is deposed by left-wing military government and the Derg establishes repressive one-party socialist state (REG 9/74-3/75). Army, internal security units, and civilian defense squads massacre political and military elites, workers, students, bureaucrats, and others thought to oppose the revolutionary regime (GEN 7/76-12/79). In 1975 Tigrean Liberation Front joins regional separatists in war to seize control of the central government (REV 7/75-5/91). Eritrean-Tigrean coalition movement defeats military-backed Derg government in May 1991; transitional government accepts Eritrean independence in May 1993 (REG 5/91-5/93).
Ethiopia Ethnic war 2/99 6/00 Border war with Eritrea provides opportunities for multiple Oromo ethnic factions, including the Oromo Liberation Front, the United Oromo Peoples Liberation Front (or Tokuchuma), the Al Ittihad, and the Islamic Oromo Liberation Front, to challenge Ethiopian government. Fighting escalates in February 1999 and again in May 1999 as Oromo factions gain support from Eritrea channeled through the Aideed faction in Somalia. Rebellion diminishes with the June 2000 cease-fire between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Fiji Regime change 12/87 12/87 Parliamentary elections in 1987 bring ethnic-Indian party to power. Elected government is ousted by a military coup led by Lt. Col. Sitiveni Rabuka on May 21, 1987.
Fiji Regime change 12/06 12/06 The ethnic Fijian-dominated Qarase government is ousted by a military coup led by Commodore Frank Bainimarama on December 5, 2006. Bainimarama, an ethnic Fijian, claimed to oppose the racially biased policies of the Qarase government and its decision to offer clemency to those individuals behind the 2000 coup and subsequent attacks against the country’s Indo-Fijian population. The 2000 coup attempt had been put down by forces loyal to Bainimarama.
France Regime change 6/58 6/58 New constitution institutes the (Gaulist) Fifth Republic, a very strong Presidential system that grants extraordinary powers to the president over parliament.
The Gambia Regime change 7/94 7/94 Longstanding multiparty system, dominated by President Dawda, is overthrown in military coup. Military rule reaffirmed with controversial elections of 1996.
Georgia Complex 6/91 12/93 Abkhaz and South Ossetian regional governments fight for independence with backing from Russian military and political elements, effective autonomy secured in both regions by 1993 (ETH 6/91-12/93). While ethnic wars are underway, ousted Pres. Gamsakhurdia fights an unsuccessful civil war (REV 12/92-3/93).
Ghana Regime change 1/72 1/72 Reformist military regime permits multiparty elections. Inflation, corruption, and ethnic tension trigger military coup and suspension of party politics.
Ghana Regime change 12/81 12/81 Jerry John Rawlings leads a successful coup that ousts the ineffective, elected government led by Limann’s People’s National Party on December 31, 1981; Rawlings establishes personalistic rule backed by the Armed Forces Revoultionary Council (AFRC).
Greece Regime change 4/67 4/67 Conflict between King Constantine II and Prime Minister Papandreou over control of military triggers government instability, social unrest, and, ultimately, a right-wing military coup.
Guatemala Complex 7/66 12/96 Communist insurgents battle military-dominated government forces in protracted revolutionary conflict ended by negotiated settlement in 1996 (REV 7/66-12/96). Indigenous Mayans who support populist and revolutionary causes join the insurgency (ETH 6/75-3/94). Military-dominated governments use severe repression including indiscriminate use of death squads against leftists and indigenous people (GEN 7/78-12/90).
Guinea Revolutionary War 9/00 3/01 Rebel groups attack Guinean forces in the Parrot’s Beak region from bordering areas of Sierra Leone and Liberia. Rebellion is crushed in March 2001 (REV 9/00-3/01).
Guinea-Bissau Complex 6/98 9/03 Civil war breaks out when President Vieira dismisses General Mane and rebel soldiers, led by Mane, attempt coup; central authority collapses coup (REV 6/98-5/99; REG 6/98-5/99). On May 7, 1999 President Vieira and his government are ousted by rebel factions led by Gen. Mane; a transitional government is established and Yalla is elected president in January 2000. Instability persists as Gen. Mane is killed following a coup attempt in late 2000 and President Yalla is ousted in September 2003 coup led by Gen. Seabre (REG 9/03-9/03).
Guyana Regime change 4/78 10/80 Political domination of black-based PNC (People’s National Congress) consolidated with abrogation of democratic constitution and use of electoral fraud. President is granted unlimited powers in new one-party state.
Haiti Regime change 9/91 9/91 Populist priest Jean Bertrand Aristide, elected president by large majority, is unwilling to govern within political system and alienates elite and foreign community. He is overthrown and replaced by military-supported puppet government.
Haiti Regime change 1/99 11/00 Following two years of stalemate between the executive and the opposition-led legislature. President Preval dissolves the legislature and rules by decree. The President uses unchecked executive power to ensure electoral victory for his party, Fanmi Lavalas, in 2000 legislative and presidential elections.
Hungary Complex 10/56 5/57 Factionalism within the ruling Hungarian Workers’ Party leads to an outbreak of popular insurrection against hardliners in late October 1956 (REV 10/56-11/56). Hardliners, supported by Warsaw Pact forces, crush the insurrection and reinstate hard-line government (REG 11/56-5/57).
India Ethnic war 5/56 10/58 In May 1956, militant Naga separatists begin an armed rebellion that is brutally repressed by Indian armed forces.
India Ethnic war 5/67 12/71 The Jharkhand separatist movement, otherwise known as the Naxalite rebellion, spreads through eastern Bihar and West Bengal in May 1967; the rebellion involves ethnic-Santal scheduled tribes. The rebellion is largely contained by brutal repression and is finally overwhelmed by events surrounding neighboring Bangladesh’s independence war in 1971.
India Complex 4/83 Sikh militants declare a “war of independence” for Khalistan (punjab and Haryana) in April 1983. Vilence continues through the early 1990s until it is finally contained through concessions, elections, and repression (ETH 4/83-10/93). Mass protests against Indian rule in Kashmir erupt in violence in January 1990. Separatists of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, with support from neighboring Pakistan, continue to fight Indian authorities (ETH from 1/90). ). The Maoist People’s War Group (PWG) rekindles an insurgency among “dalits” (Scheduled Tribes) in the forested regions in the east, mainly in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh. The PWG joined forces with a second group, the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC), to form the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army in late 2004 (REV from 2/01).
Indonesia Complex 12/49 8/05 Islamic rebels in West Java, Aceh, and South Sulawesi challenge the secular state led by President Sukarno in an attempt to set up an Islamic regime, Darul Islam (REV 12/49-10/61). On March 14, 1957, Sukarno declares martial law and ends Indonesia’s liberal parliamentary system (REG 3/57-7/59). Opponents to Sukarno’s regime attempt to set up an alternative government, the Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia (PRRI), in February 1958. The PRRI, or “Permesta,” rebellion is defeated by loyalist forces and an amnesty is declared in August 1961 (REV 2/58-8/61). Following an attempted communist coup, Muslim vigilantes and military forces massacre suspected Communists and ethnic-Chinese suspected of supporting the coup (GEN 10/65-7/66). Indonesian armed forces use indiscriminate force to subdue the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in the former Dutch-administered territory of West Irian (ETH 1/67-12/71). Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin) rebels fight to regain autonomy after Indonesian forces invade the former Portuguese colony in November 1975; large numbers of suspected Fretilin supporters are killed in massacres and by induced famines (ETH 11/75-6/91; GEN 12/75-7/92). Indonesia’s “transmigrasi” policy of resettling people from overcrowded Java rekindles OPM rebellion (ETH 3/81-12/84). East Timor (Fretilin) rebels resume autonomy fight in 1997; a popular referendum for the independence of East Timor in 1999 triggers intense violence and the introduction of international peacekeepers in September 1999 (ETH 2/97-9/99). Following the withdrawal of Indonesia armed forces from Aceh in August 1998, a repressed rebellion by the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) flares into open violence (ETH 9/98-8/05). General economic decline in Indonesia leads to mass demonstrations and rioting in Jakarta. Suharto resigns but rebellion continues until a parliamentary government is instituted in October 1999 (REV 5/98-10/99).
Iran Regime change 8/53 3/55 Limited democratic rule ends as coup ousts increasingly autocratic prime minister. Shah bans political competition and gradually assumes absolute power.
Iran Complex 10/77 12/92 Islamic and political groups stage massive demonstrations against Shah Reza Pahlavi’s government, efforts at repression and reform fail, and Ayatollah Khomeini establishes new Islamicist government (REV 10/77-2/79; REG 1/79-1/82). Kurds rebel for regional autonomy, fighting declines after 1984 to sporadic guerrilla activity (ETH 4/79-8/85). Moderates (National Front) and conservatives (IRP Islamic Revival Party) use terror and repression in competition for political control (REV 6/81-1/83). To consolidate Islamic revolution, Khomeini government violently suppresses dissident Muslims (Mujahedin) and rebel Kurds, selectively executes prominent Baha’is (GEN 6/81-12/92).
Iran Regime change 1/04 5/04 Under increasing internal and external pressures related to US military operations in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq, the theocratic Council of Guardians prohibits reformist candidates from standing for election. Legislative elections consolidate seizure of control of government by religious conservatives (REG 1/04-5/04).
Iraq Complex 3/59 3/75 Rebellious army units allied with members of the Shammar tribe seize Mosul; subsequent violence erupts in Kirkuk involving Kurdish elements in the communist party. Both rebellions are crushed by loyalist forces (REV 3/59-4/59). Barzani’s Kurdish Democratic Party revolts against General Qassim’s regime and its successors in quest for regional autonomy (ETH 7/61-3/70). Fighting resumes in April 1974 as Kurds reject government autonomy plan that falls short of their demands (ETH 4/74-3/75). In order to suppress repeated rebellions for independent Kurdistan, military engages in large-scale massacres (GEN 6/63-3/75).
Iraq Complex 9/80  Some Iraqi Kurds take advantage of Iran-Iraq war and Iranian support to mount new rebellion for autonomy (ETH 9/80-3/88). In 1988 military and security forces launch Al-Anfal campaign of indiscriminate violence to eliminate or neutralize guerrillas and their supporters (GEN 3/88-6/91). Kurdish rebels take advantage of Iraq’s defeat in Gulf war to establish a de facto Kurdish state, protected by US and British-led coalition forces, while Shi’ite rebellion in the south is repressed by Iraqi forces (ETH 3/91-12/98). US-led invasion in March 2003 succeeds in causing the collapse of the Saddam Hussein-led Ba’athist regime in early April 2003 (REG 4/03-4/03), however, insurgent Sunni and Shia forces challenge new transitional regime and foreign occupation (ETH from 8/03).
Israel Ethnic war 12/87 Palestinians rebel against Israel’s repressive authority in the occupied territories of Gaza and West Bank and in Israel proper (the “intifada”). Violent mass demonstrations and systematic terrorist campaign is largely suspended in October 1998 awaiting the final implementation of the Wye River Accords. Violence begins again in September 2000 as implementation falls short of expectations.
Ivory Coast Complex 9/02 Tensions had remained strong since a December 1999 military coup and a subsequent attempt by coup leader Gen. Guei to thwart new elections in October 2000. An army mutiny against President Gbagbo’s government in September 2002 quickly spread and polarized the country. The main rebel faction, the Patriotic Movement of Ivory Coast (MPCI), took control of the largely Muslim north and two smaller rebel factions emerged in the west (ETH from 9/02, REV from 9/02, REG from 9/02).
Jordan Regime change 3/57 3/57 King Hussein demands resignation of his prime minister on suspicion of maneuvering to abolish monarchy. Multiparty elections for National Assembly rescinded as King bans all political parties.
Jordan Revolutionary War 2/70 7/71 Government crackdown in February 1970 on Palestinian guerrilla groups operating in Jordan triggers intense fighting that ends with Jordanian military victory.
Kenya Revolutionary War 2/70 7/71 Government crackdown in February 1970 on Palestinian guerrilla groups operating in Jordan triggers intense fighting that ends with Jordanian military victory.
Kenya Complex 1/64 10/69 Kenya’s independence ignites ethnic-Somali separatism in Northern Frontier District (ETH 1/64-10/66). President Kenyatta bans the opposition party (KPU), dissolves the National Assembly, and institutes one-party rule under the Kenya African National Union (KANU) (REG 7/69-10/69).
Kenya Ethnic war 10/91 9/93 Kalenjin and Masai supporters of the government are encouraged in attacks aimed at driving Kikuyu, Luo, and other rival groups from their villages in highlands.
Korea, South Regime change 5/61 5/61 Military coup ends brief experiments with civilian-led parliamentary democracy. Military-dominated democratic government gradually established.
Korea, South Regime change 10/72 10/72 President Park Chung Hee declares a martial law regime.
Laos Complex 1/60 6/79 Kong Le seizes power in an attempt to form a neutralist government; government remains locked in bitter struggle between neutralist, rightists, and communists until the ending of the war in neighboring Vietnam provides opportunity for the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP; Pathet Lao) to establish one-party rule (REG 1/60-12/75). Military coup sparks sustained conflict as rebels fight unsuccessfully to overthrow rightist Somsanith regime (REV 8/60-5/62). Hmong (Meo) rebels encouraged to fight Pathet Lao; rebellion is suppressed after Pathet Lao takeover in 1975, no significant guerrilla activity after 1979 (ETH 7/61-6/79). Neutralists and Conservatives join forces to oppose Communist Pathet Lao forces; resistance by rightist forces continues until 1979 (REV 3/63-3/79).
Lebanon Revolutionary War 5/58 7/58 Muslim opposition groups rebel against Christian-dominated government.
Lebanon Complex 4/75 7/91 Christian-dominated government collapses in civil war among Druze, Shi’i, Maronite, and Sunni militias; civil warfare is further complicated by Israeli invasion and partial occupation from 1985 (ETH 4/75-7/91). New power-sharing constitution is eventually established and elections are held under Syrian supervision (REG 5/75-9/90).
Lesotho Regime change 1/70 1/70 Westminster-styled democracy brought to abrupt end after opposition wins narrow victory in first post-independence election. Prime Minister Jonathan invalidates vote, imprisons opposition leaders, dissolves parliament and assumes dictatorial powers.
Lesotho Complex 5/98 1/99 Mass protests against results of May 1998 elections are joined by mutiny of soldiers and shutdown of government by civil servants; foreign troops impose order and new elections are proposed (REG 5/98-1/99; REV 8/98-10/98).
Liberia Complex 11/85 8/03 Brig. Gen. Quiwonkpa leads the National Patriotic Front (NPF) in a failed coup against Samuel Doe following contested elections; Doe executes coup leader and targets supporters of the NPF in Monrovia (REV 11/85). Repression by military against supporters of Charles Taylor leads to widespread civil war, collapse of Monrovia government, and assassination of President Doe. National Patriotic Forces of Liberia (NPFL) and militias of rival tribally based political groups compete for control of devastated society (REV 12/89-7/93; REG 9/90-8/96). A loose coalition of forces, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), initiate an armed rebellion in Liberia from bases in neighboring Guinea in November 2000 with the expressed aim of toppling Charles Taylor from power (REV 11/00-8/03). Taylor resigns and leaves country on August 11, 2003, under intense international pressure; peace agreement is signed on August 14 and transitional government is established.
Malaysia Regime change 5/69 5/69 Malaysia’s third general election accentuates growing ethnic-Chinese dissatisfaction with ruling Alliance Party. Violent communal rioting in Kuala Lumpur leads to State of Emergency and political disenfranchisement of ethnic-Chinese.
Mali Ethnic war 6/90 1/95 Rebellion by nomadic Tuaregs seeking regional autonomy.
Moldova Ethnic war 3/92 12/92 President Snegur attempts to forcibly disarm Gagauz and Russian (Trans-Dniestr) ethnic militias. A more conciliatory strategy is adopted in December and violence subsides in political stalemate.
Morocco Regime change 6/65 6/65 King Hassan resumes full legislative and executive powers after brief experiment with limited parliamentary rule.
Morocco Ethnic war 10/75 11/89 Saharawis seek independence in southwestern part of country (Western Sahara) annexed by Morocco after Spanish colonial rule ends.
Mozambique Revolutionary War 7/76 10/92 Anti-Communist RENAMO (Mozambique National Resistance) rebels, supported by Rhodesia and South Africa, challenge Marxist regime, war ends with 1992 peace agreement.
Nepal Regime change 12/60 12/60 Constitutional monarch uses emergency powers to dissolve Nepali Congress, dismiss cabinet, and abolish political parties; establishes “National Guidance” system led directly by the king.
Nepal Revolutionary War 2/96 4/06 Militants associated with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) initiate armed insurrection. Following the assassinations of the Nepalese royal family and the ascension of King Gyanendra, Prime Minister Deuba initiates peace talks in July 2001 but the conflict intensifies once again in November 2001 as the talks fail (REV 2/96-4/06). The entire Nepalese Royal family was killed on June 1, 2001, under suspicious circumstances and the former King’s brother Gyanendra ascended to the throne. Peace talks with insurgent groups broke down in November 2001 and a state of emergency was declared. Under increasing challenges, the legislature was dissolved and, on Oct 4, 2002, King Gyanendra dismissed the entire government and replaced it with royalists. New elections were postponed indefinitely (REG 10/02), however, the royalist regime is unable to establish order. Civilian government is reinstated on April 24, 2006, and rebel forces immediately declare a cease-fire. A comprehensive peace agreement was signed on November 21, 2006.
Nicaragua Complex 9/78 3/88 Leftist Sandinistas (FSLN–Sandinista National Liberation Front) lead popularly supported revolution that ends 42-year rule of Somoza family (REV 9/78-6/79). Sandinista-dominated junta consolidates one-party rule by eliminating opposition members from government (REG 7/79-3/81). Anti-Sandinista forces (Contras) fight protracted civil war (REV 2/81-3/88). Indigenous Miskitos of Atlantic coast region also rebel against Sandinista government (ETH 8/81-12/84).
Niger Regime change 1/96 1/96 Military coup overthrows democratically elected government and suspends 1992 Constitution. Coup leader Col. Ibrahim Mainassara Barre is elected president in seriously flawed elections.
Nigeria Complex 12/64 1/70 Ethnic violence sparked by democratic elections triggers military coup and abandonment of state’s federal structure. Counter-coup by mostly Muslim officers from north results in reestablishment of federal system (REG 12/64-1/66). Counter-coup and retaliatory massacres of Ibos in north precipitate secessionist civil war by Biafra, based on Ibos of eastern region (ETH 1/66-1/70). In response to the Biafra separatist rebellion, the Federal government imposes a blockage on May 30, 1967, that prevents food, medical supplies, and other forms of relief assistance from reaching affected populations. Large death toll result mainly from starvation and disease caused by severe deprivation (GEN 6/67-1/70).
Nigeria Complex 12/80 4/85 Militant Islamic cult, the Maitatsine, battle government forces in north (REV 12/80-4/85). Ethnic competition, widespread corruption and electoral malpractice weaken democratic institution of Second Republic. Successful military coup bring Second Republic to an end and establishes military rule (REG 1/84).
Oman Revolutionary War 6/70 3/76 Dhofar tribal insurrection escalates to ideological struggle between rebels and autocratic regime; rebels defeated by 1976.
Pakistan Regime change 10/58 10/58 Decade-long experiment with parliamentary and presidential systems ends when democratic constitution is abrogated, political parties dissolved and government handed over to coalition of military officers and bureaucrats.
Pakistan Complex 3/71 12/71 Post-election tensions between East and West Pakistan erupt into massive resistance by Bengali nationalists; intervention by India leads to establishment of independent Bangladesh (ETH 3/71-11/71). Military imposes martial law and uses tanks, airpower, and artillery to indiscriminately attack civilians (GEN 3/71-12/71). Deepening political divide between East and West Pakistan results in the dissolution of the Pakistani union (REG 7/71-12/71).
Pakistan Complex
(note 5)
2/73 7/77 Baluchi rebellion against central authority, backed by opposition National Awami Party (ETH 2/73-7/77) is sup pressed by military using indiscriminate violence against civilians (GEN 2/73-7/77). Surprise parliamentary elections called by democratic government in 1977, lead to escalating political violence. General Zia leads military coup, dissolves legislature, arrests politicians and declares martial law (REG 7/77).
Pakistan Complex 8/83 Violent campaign by Sindhis seeking autonomy; violent attacks on Muhajirs in Karachi (ETH 8/83-11/98). General Musharraf leads military coup on 10/12/99, arrests democratically-elected Prime Minister Sharif, suspends constitution, dissolves Parliament, and imposes rule by National Security Council (REG 10/99). Ethnic-Pashtuns in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the border with Afghanistan provide safe harbor for co-ethnic Taliban fighters and allied al Qaeda fighters. Government offensives against militants in March 2004 are met with local resistance, mainly in South and North Waziristan (ETH from 3/04).
Panama Regime change 10/68 10/68 Oligarchic democracy replaced by direct military rule after threatened shakeup of National Guard. Party activity suspended as Col. Torrijos consolidates power.
Papua New Guinea Ethnic war 5/89 5/97 Bougainvillean Revolutionary Army fights PNG forces to end large-scale mining and gain independence for the island of Bougainville. New government takes a more conciliatory stance that leads to a cessation of fighting in May 1997 and a permanent cease-fire agreement in January 1998.
Peru Regime change 10/62 10/62 Presidential elections are held in July 1962 pitting multiple candidates, including those from the three main parties; none of the candidates gains the required one-third of the vote. In a move to prevent an agreement between Odria and Haya de la Torre that would have resulted in Odria being named president by Congress, the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff oust President Prado on July 19, 1962, and install a junta led by (Chairman) Gen. Perez Godoy. Moves by Gen. Perez Godoy to gain personal power lead to his ouster by the other members of the junta on March 19, 1963, and a rescheduling of presidential elections for July 1963..
Peru Regime change 10/68 10/68 President Belaunde’s gridlocked democratic government overthrown in populist military coup. Congress dissolved and statist policy of socioeconomic reform pursued.
Peru Complex 3/82 4/97 Maoist guerrillas of Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) attack government troops, terrorize rural and urban sup porters of government (REV 3/82-4/97). Facing internal warfare and recession, President Fujimori, backed by military, dissolves Congress and suspends Constitution (REG 4/92).
Philippines Complex 11/69 Six decades of elite-based democracy come to end as President Marcos, confronted by growing class and ethnic conflict, declares martial law and assumes dictatorial powers (REG 11/69-9/72). Leftist NPA (New People’s Army) fights protracted guerrilla war aimed at overthrowing Manila regimes of Marcos and his elected successors (REV 7/72-12/96). Muslim Moros mount guerrilla war for independence; autonomy agreement largely ends fighting. Militant factions continue to wage low-level insurgency (ETH from 10/72). Moro resistance to Christian settlement and support for separatist guerrillas results in military and paramilitary terror tactics in which many Moros die in massacres and napalm bombings (GEN 9/72-6/76).
Romania Revolutionary War 12/89 12/89 Broad anti-Ceausescu coalition (National Salvation Front) overthrows Stalinist regime.
Russia Ethnic war 8/94 7/06 In August 1994, the Provisional Council of Chechnya attempts a coup to oust nationalist leader of Chechnya, President Dudayev. Civil war ensues and Russian troops are called in to restore order. Intense fighting results in military stalemate; truce agreement is reached in August 1996 (ETH 8/94-8/96). Attempts by Chechen fighters to extend control to neighboring Dagestan in August 1999 trigger new war in Chechnya as Russian forces attempt to impose central authority over the autonomous province (ETH 8/99-7/06). The September 2004 terrorist attack on a school in Beslan leads to a decline in support for the extremists and armed conflict largely abates by July 2006.
Rwanda Complex 11/63 11/66 Cross-border incursions by Tutsi rebels prompt local Hutu officials to orchestrate vengeance attacks and massacres by Hutus, leading to flight of 200,000 Tutsi refugees (ETH 11/63-11/66; GEN 12/63-6/64).
Rwanda Complex 10/90 7/01 Tutsi exiles of RPF launch successive attacks from Uganda prompting escalating violence between Hutu and Tutsi fighters (ETH 10/90-12/98). Hutu-dominated military government promises return to democratic rule, and transitional government is established. When President Habyarimana’s aircraft is shot down in April 1994, Hutu government deploys military and armed gangs to systematically slaughter Tutsis and Hutu moderates (GEN 4/94-7/94). Ethnic-Tutsi RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) invades and seizes control of government by July 1994 (REG 4/94-7/94). Hutu militias (Inter-a-hamwe) are driven into neighboring regions, namely the DRC and Uganda, and fighting within Rwanda largely subsides by end of 1998. Hutu fighters launch a major attack in northwestern Rwanda from bases in the DRC in May 2001 but the attack is quickly crushed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (ETH 5/01-7/01).
Senegal Regime change 12/62 3/63 Increasing tensions between President Senghor and his prime minister lead to failed coup attempt by Prime Minister Dia. Senghor arrests Dia, strengthens constitutional powers of presidency, and establishes one-party rule.
Senegal Ethnic war 9/92 12/99 Violence increases in Casamance region as Casamancais (MFDC) rebels intensify separatist campaign. Government talks with Movement of Casamance Democratic Forces (MFDC) produce December 1999 ceasefire.
Sierra Leone Complex 3/67 4/71 Regional factionalism within two-party democratic system triggers successful military coup after Siaka Stevens (a Limba) defeats Albert Margai (a Mende) (REG 3/67). President Stevens declares himself executive president and systematically restricts democratic opposition (REG 4/71).
Sierra Leone Complex 3/91 3/02 Revolutionary United Front (RUF) mobilizes rural peoples, mainly Temne, in armed rebellion that devastates much of country. Various peace agreements and strong international pressure eventually lead to an end of fighting and disarmament of the RUF rebels (REV 3/91-7/01). Mutinous soldiers side with RUF guerrillas to overthrow President Kabbah in May 1997. Junta is defeated by ECOWAS troops in February 1998 but the new government was unable to establish central authority due to ongoing civil warfare. With the end of the fighting, state of emergency is lifted in March 2002 and new elections are held (REG 5/97-3/02).
Singapore Regime change 9/63 8/65 Singapore became a self-governing parliamentary republic in 1959; in 1963 it joined the Malaysian Federation. Singapore’s ethnic-Chinese majority became uncomfortable with the ethnic-Malay dominated government of Malaysia and left the federation in 1965. Lee Kwan Yew, head of the People’s Action party establishes one-party, personalistic rule.
Solomon Islands Regime change 6/00 7/03 Since being brought in by US forces to help drive out remnants of the Japanese army from Guadalcanal in 1942, Malaita Islanders remained politically and economically active on the island and in the capital city Honiara. Native Isatabu Islanders (their name for Guadalcanal) mobilized their resentment in the 1990s and demanded special compensation from the central government for hosting the capital. When that was denied, local militias (Isatabu Freedom Fighters) were formed to intimidate and drive Malaitans out of the island. Many Malaitans fled to Honiara and a militant group formed to protect them: the Malaita Eagles Force (MEF). Clashes between the militias in the late 1990s culminated in a MEF seizure of the capital on June 5, 2000, and the forced resignation of Prime Minister Ulufa’alu. Anarchy ensued until Australia agreed to lead a peace-keeping force reestablish security and disarm the militias; the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) deployed on July 24, 2003 (REG 6/00-7/03).
Somalia Regime change 10/69 10/69 Increasingly autocratic style of elected government triggers clan-based violence. Military intervenes and establishes one-party socialist state.
Somalia Complex 5/88 Repression and anti-insurgency operations by Barre forces cause large-scale civilian deaths (GEN 5/88-1/91). Siad Barre regime is increasingly challenged by rebellions of Somali National Movement, based on northern Issaq clan, and United Somali Congress, based on southern Hawiye clan (ETH from 5/88; REV 5/88-8/94). Barre regime collapses but chronic violence among clan-based warlords in south prevents establishment of effective central government (REG from 1/91).
South Africa Complex 8/84 6/96 Violent protests in black townships over poor economic conditions and lack of political rights lead to dismantling of apartheid policies and democratic elections won by ANC (African National Congress) (REV 8/84-7/90). Zulu Inkatha movement wars with ANC supporters for political control in Natal, initially with clandestine support from Afrikaner government’s security forces (ETH 1/87-6/96).
Sri Lanka Complex 7/83 Ethnic-Tamil grievances against pro-Sinhalese governmental policies erupt into secessionist civil war in the northeast (ETH from 7/83). Revolutionary campaign by Marxist Sinhalese JVP prompts government to unleash military and police death squads to eliminate JVP challenge (REV 7/87-12/89; GEN 7/89-1/90). Fighting ends with a ceasefire agreement in February 2002 and peace negotiations but re-ignites in April 2004 with fighting involving the government-backed “Karuna faction” among Tamil militias. Open warfare resumes with a new government offensive in July 2006.
Sudan Complex 10/56 3/72 Anyanya rebellion by non-Muslim population of southern Sudan against Muslim-dominated government ends with 1972 autonomy agreement (ETH 10/56-3/72). Government uses indiscriminate violence against civilian Southerners thought to support secessionist movement (GEN 10/56-3/72). Parliamentary democracy overthrown in 1958 military coup. Constitution abrogated and opposition parties banned as General Abbud consolidates political power (REG 11/58). Democratic government reestablished in 1964 but overthrown by leftwing military officers in 1969. Col. Numeiri establishes one-party state after failed coup by Communist elements within ruling military coalition (REG 5/69-10/71).
Sudan Complex 7/83 Southern rebellion resumes under SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army) leadership after Muslim government violates autonomy agreement; in 1991 SPLA’s breakup leads to new inter-communal violence within south (ETH 7/83-10/02). Non-Muslim supporters of secession are targeted for destruction by indiscriminate military attacks, massacres by government-supported tribal militias, and government-induced privation and population displacement; targeting of civilian population ends in October 2002 as part of peace talks and opening of conflict areas to relief agencies (GEN 9/83-10/02). In 1989 military overthrows democratic government after attempts to reduce the influence of religion in politics. Legislature is dissolved and non-fundamentalist parties banned as Islamic state is established (REG 6/89). Peace process leads to effective cease-fire in south in October 2002 and progressive agreements on power and revenue sharing. Rebellion breaks out in Darfur region in western Sudan in February 2003 followed by army offensive in March; violence quickly escalates as local Arab militias take over anti-insurgency role (ETH from 2/03). Government backs local, Arab janjaweed militias and encourages them to terrorize suspected supporters of separatist rebels; victims groups include Fur, Zaghawa, Masaleit, and other non-Arab peoples of the Darfur region (GEN from 7/03).
Swaziland Regime change 4/73 4/73 King Sobhuza dissolves parliament, outlaws all forms of political organization, and assumes all powers of government.
Syria Regime change 9/61 2/66 Syria’s experiments with parliamentary government and union with Egypt (United Arab Republic) end with a September 1961 military coup. Following that initial coup, there are several attempts to reestablish a parliamentary system but the process is thwarted by severe factionalism. The situation is not stabilized until a February 1966 coup puts Hafiz in power and leads to establishment of one-party state under neo-Ba’thist rule.
Syria Geno/politicide 4/81 2/82 Military and security forces crush revolt by Muslim Brotherhood centered in cities of Hama and Aleppo.
Tajikistan Revolutionary War 4/92 12/98 Post-Soviet government transition halted as civil war plagues ethnically and regionally diverse country. Most of the fighting decreases with 1997 peace accord and largely ends by December 1998.
Thailand Complex 11/65 12/83 A Maoist insurgency begins in November 1965 in outlying regions and increases through the 1970s (REV 11/65-12/83). Insurgency collapses in 1983 amid mass defections. Prime Minister Thanom executes coup against his own government, thereby ending three-year experiment with limited parliamentary democracy (REG 11/71). Persistent guerrilla insurgency and open warfare between leftist students and rightist paramilitary groups triggers military coup; military establishes hard-line civilian government that restricts political liberties and civil rights (REG 10/76).
Thailand Ethnic War 1/04 Although sporadic attacks had occurred since 2001, the long-simmering conflict between Thai authorities and Muslim separatists in provinces along the southern border with Malaysia escalated to serious violence in January 2004 (ETH from 1/04).
Turkey Regime change 4/71 4/71 Amid widespread social unrest, military oversees resignation of leftwing civilian government and initiates period of “guided democracy” under “above party” administrators.
Turkey Complex 9/80 Parliamentary instability and widespread social unrest triggers military coup. Political activity banned as military lays groundwork for restoration of democracy under military supervision (REG 9/80). Kurds of militant PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) engage in protracted conflict with Turkish authorities in quest for independence, provoking deadly counterinsurgency campaigns (ETH 8/84-2/00). Following the capture of leader Ocalan, PKK renounces violence in February 2000. Emboldened by the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish area in neighboring Iraq (which provides refuge and support), Kurdish militants renounce their unilateral cease-fire in June 2004 and renew attacks in Turkey (ETH from 6/04).
Uganda Complex 5/66 Allegations of corruption and persistent ethnic tensions within federal democracy leads to suspension of constitution, centralization of political authority, and creation of de facto one-party state under control of President Obote (REG 4/66-12/69). A rebellion by followers of the Kabaka of Buganda breaks out in May 1966 over loss of regional autonomy and tribal prerogatives and is quickly suppressed by loyalist forces (ETH 5/66). Gen. Idi Amin seizes power in 1971 and systematically exterminates political opponents and personal enemies. Tribes closely associated with his predecessor also are targeted (GEN 2/71-4/79). After Amin is overthrown by Tanzanian intervention, Obote again takes power. Following ouster of Amin, his tribal supporters begin campaign of banditry and rebellion. Langi and Acholi peoples continue rebellion with support from Sudan; December 1999 agreement between Sudan and Uganda (Nairobi Accords) ends support and rebel activity lessens for a time but reignites when Ugandan troops enter Sudan in April 2002 to attack Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel bases (ETH from 10/80). Obote’s other political and tribal rivals are slaughtered on massive scale (GEN 12/80-1/86). Widespread corruption, repression, and ethnic conflict lead to overthrow of Obote’s military-backed civilian regime by General Musaveni’s National Resistance Army (REV 1/83-12/85; REG 7/85-1/86).
UK Ethnic war 1/71 10/82 Catholic IRA (Irish Republican Army) uses terror against British forces and militant Protestants in quest for union with Republic of Ireland. Violence begins to subside in late 1970s and early 1980s as all sides search for alternatives to violence, eventually culminating in October 1994 peace agreement.
Uruguay Regime change 11/71 2/73 Two-party democracy is undermined by Tupamaro’s campaign of urban guerrilla warfare. Army mutiny leads to dissolution of Congress and creation of civilian-military rule.
USSR (Soviet Union) Regime change 8/91 12/91 Popular front movements win control of Baltic republic governments and declare sovereignty. Russian Republic (RSFSR) Congress adopts declaration of sovereignty, and Russian President Boris Yeltsin uses his new position of power to challenge authority of Gorbachev. Failed coup by Communist hard-liners leads to formal dissolution of USSR.
Vietnam, South Complex 1/58 4/75 South Vietnamese communists, supported by North Vietnam, rebel against regime; war becomes internationalized civil war in 1965 (REV 1/58-12/65); fighting continues until South Vietnamese government falls and Vietnam is reunified in 1975. Government military and paramilitary forces engage in killings, reprisals, and bombardments against villagers supporting Viet Cong (GEN 1/65-4/75).
Yemen, North Revolutionary War 9/62 1/70 Royalist and Republican forces battle for control of government. Rival tribes join on opposite sides.
Yemen, South Revolutionary War 1/86 2/86 Rival factions in the Yemen Socialist Party (YSP) battle for control of government.
Yemen Revolutionary War 4/94 7/94 Transition toward unified Yemen undermined by factional fighting, finally erupting with southern declaration of secession in May 1994. Rebellion quickly collapses when northern forces capture Aden in July 1994.
Yemen Revolutionary War 6/04 Followers of dissident cleric Husain Badr al-Din al-Huthi create a stronghold in Saada; government forces attack In June 2004. Leader al-Huthi is killed in September 2004, however, serious fighting flares again in early 2005 (REV from 6/04).
Yugoslavia Complex 6/91 1/92 Slovenes and Croats fight wars of independence against Yugoslav federal troops (ETH 6/91-1/92). Federated Republic disintegrates after Communist government allows multiparty elections and republic administrations vote to secede from union (REG 6/91-7/91).
Yugoslavia Complex 2/98 6/99 President Milosevic rescinds Kosovo autonomy in 1989, leading to a 1990 declaration of independence by ethnic Albanians, who establish shadow government and form Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1996. KLA mobilizes resistance to Serbian control of Kosovo, precipitating crackdown by Yugoslav Army in February 1998. Sustained NATO bombing campaign forces Yugoslavia to accept ceasefire and NATO administration of Kosovo in June 1999 (ETH 2/98-6/99). Serb militias and Yugoslav armed forces target ethnic Albanians (GEN 2/98-6/99).
Zambia Complex 7/64 12/72 Fighting breaks out in July 1964 when followers of the militant, anarchist Lumpa Church defy UNLP government. Clashes continue until Lumpa leaders, having voluntarily surrendered, are released in September (REV 7/64-9/64). Democratic institutions are weakened when political opposition to President Kaunda is restricted. Kaunda consolidates his political authority with formal establishment of one-party state (REG 8/68-12/72).
Zambia Regime change 11/96 11/96 Constitutional amendments disqualify main opposition leader; President Chiluba easily wins subsequent elections.
Zimbabwe Complex 12/72 12/87 White-dominated government fights black nationalists of ZAPU (Zimbabwe African People’s Union) and ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union), leading to negotiated settlement and black majority government (REV 12/72-12/79). Ndebele people initiate rioting and local rebellions against Shona-dominated ZANU governing coalition (ETH 6/81-12/87). Ethnic tensions and crackdown on political opposition weaken Zimbabwe’s fragile democratic institutions. Merger of ZAPU with ruling ZANU effectively establishes one-party system (REG 12/87).


1. The PITF Problem Set list of “Historical Conflicts, Crises, and Transitions” is an updated and enhanced version of earlier versions that first appeared in Esty, Gurr, Goldstone, Surko, and Unger, Working Papers: State Failure Task Force Report (McLean, VA: Science Applications International Corporation, November 1995), and subsequently in the second (July 1998) and third (September 2000) State Failure Task Force reports. A comprehensive review of cases was undertaken in 2000-2001 and substantial revisions to cases were made, particularly in regard to beginning and end dates. Updates and enhancements were undertaken by researchers under the direction of Monty G. Marshall and the refined version first appeared in Jack A. Goldstone, Ted Robert Gurr, Barbara Harff, Marc A. Levy, Monty G. Marshall, Robert H. Bates, David L. Epstein, Colin H. Kahl, Thomas M. Parris, John C. Ulfelder, Mark Woodward, and Michael Lustik, Political Instability Task Force Report: Phase IV Findings (McLean, VA: Science Applications International Corporation, November 2003) and subsequent reports. Area experts have reviewed the list on several occasions; several cases were added, deleted, or modified on their recommendation. Specific information on individual cases and coding rules can be found on the Political Instability Task Force (PITF) Web site:

2. Complex events are made up of two or more temporally linked wars and crises. If events overlap or if five years or less separate the end of one event and the onset of the next distinct event, they are combined into complex events (subsequent flareups of events are considered continuations). The specific types of events and their dates, if different from the dates of the complex event, are shown in parentheses after the description.

3. A dash in place of an ending date indicates a failure that is ongoing as of December 31, 2006.

4. Some problem cases may have begun prior to the officially recognized date of independence in some former colonial and secessionist states. In general, changes in state structures (i.e., the basic units of analysis) present special difficulties in analyzing issues of continuity and change in political behavior and complex societal conflict processes. Problem cases that coincide with the independence of states are not used in modeling the factors associated with the start of new problems.

5. The dissolution of the Pakistani union (state code PKS) in December 1971 produces a discontinuity in the nature of the Pakistan state. As such, the subsequent complex failure in (formerly West) Pakistan (state code PAK) that begins in February 1973 is considered to be unrelated to the previous complex state failure, despite the fact that it occurs within five years of the ending of the earlier failure, and is coded as a separate consolidated event.

The PITF is funded by the Central Intelligence Agency. The PITF website is hosted by hosted by the Center for Global Policy at George Mason University and is provided as a public service. The views expressed herein are those of the Task Force and its individual members, and do not represent the views of the University or the US Government.