a civil war is an armed conflict, which takes place between groups within a country (frequent under interference of foreign powers).
The arguments find usually between insurgent one (rebel) and the government, or however between organized political, national or also religious andsocial groups instead of. A civil war takes frequently the form of an unsettled war, which is then led without consideration for international-law rules. About two thirds of the wars since 1945 were civil wars.
Frequent causes for civil wars are changes of government by force z. B.because of the fall of dictators, Putschversuchen or revolutions and autonomy - and/or secession efforts of ethnical or national minorities. With a fight of rising layers for a around or a reorganization of the national order one speaks afterwards not of civil war, but of Revolution.
Examples for this are
- the Roman civil wars 133-30 v. Chr.
- the English civil war 1642-1649
- the Portuguese civil war 1828-1834
- the war of secession (American civil war) 1861-1865
- the young-recent revolution 1905-11
- the Russian civil war 1917-1922
- the Austrian civil war 1934
- the Chinese civil war 1917-1937, 1945-1949
- the Spanish civil war 1936-1939
- the Angolan civil war 1975-1989, 1991-1994 and 1998-2002
- the Lebanese civil war 1975-1990
- the Afghan civil war 1979 - 1989
- the Somali civil war 1991-2005
in former times the dreissigjährige war was called also German civil war.
Actually the civil war applies as internal affair of a state according to international law. But that Geneva agreements of 1949 set up some principles, which apply also to the civil war:
- Protection of the prisoners
- supply of wounded
- sparing of the civilian population
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