[This is an excerpt from a paper I presented for my mid-term grade at the Master’s programme. It’s been graded now, so I have no qualms about putting it on-line. You can read the whole thing here.]
Ethnic conflict is currently the most pervasive type of conflict in the world, claiming thousands of lives every year. The kind and level of violence perpetrated between warring factions is varied, but in some cases it has reached alarming levels, which should be considered terrorism. These actions, perpetrated against unarmed peoples, simply because they belong to a different ethnicity, are sometimes used to send messages to both the ethnic group in general and the armed militants in particular. Escalation of violence means that no one is safe.
Is this not what we consider terrorism? Should we only act when violence affects directly some economic interest of the West? And what do we make then of our claims to seek peace, freedom and democracy around the world and for all peoples? If we begin to think of our common humanity in terms of national interest, compounding it with already-established economic, political or social interests, it would be easier to apply the label of terrorism to ethnic conflicts and intervene in a decisive and timely manner.