Presented below are 39 historical cases of genocide between 1955 and 2002. Originally published by Barbara Harff in the American Political Science Review, February 2003.
(See full article and datasets used in the study at the bottom of this page)
|Country||Month Begins||Year Begins||Month Ends||Year Ends||Brief Description of the Event|
|Afghanistan||4||1978||4||1992||Communist coup results in political purges of ruling circles followed
by Soviet invasion. Widespread Mujahedeen rural insurgency provokes Soviet
and Afghan government tactics of systematic terror, destruction of villages,
and execution of prisoners.
|Algeria||7||1962||12||1962||In the wake of independence from France, Algerian militants attack Europeans
and Muslim civilians who collaborated with French colonial authorities.
|Angola||11||1975||11||1994||Both National Union for the Independence of Angola (UNITA) rebels and
Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) led government forces
perpetrate destructive campaigns and atrocities against civilians. International
attempts to reconcile the contending forces result in a cessation of genocidal
tactics following the Lusaka Protocol in November 1994.
|Angola||12||1998||3||2002||Reconciliation between UNITA fighters and government forces breaks down
in December 1998 and civil war resumes. Contending forces target civilian
populations in their attempts to gain tactical advantages. Following the
death of UNITA's leader, Jonas Savimbi, in February 2002 and warring parties
reached a peace agreement in March 2002 that effectively ended the fighting.
|Argentina||3||1976||12||1980||Military stages coup and declares state of siege. Death squads target
subversives for disappearances, kidnappings, torture, and murder.
|Bosnia||5||1992||11||1995||Muslim residents of Bosnia are subject to "ethnic cleansing" measures
including destruction of property, forced resettlement, execution, and
massacres by Serb and Croat forces seeking union with Serbia and Croatia.
|Myanmar (Burma)||1||1978||12||1978||To secure border region, regular military units supported by militant
Buddhist elements depopulate Arakanese Muslim communities in Western Burma
by oppression, destruction, torture, and murder.
|Burundi||10||1965||12||1973||Attempted coup by Hutu units in 1965 results in massacres of Tutsis
countryside. Ruling Tutsis respond by unleashing Tutsi-dominated Army
to destroy Hutu leaders. In 1972, militant Hutus massacre Tutsis, Tutsi
regime responds with massive killings.
|Burundi||8||1988||8||1988||As a result of disorganized rural violence against local Tutsi officials,
Tutsi-dominated army massacres Hutus.
|Burundi||10||1993||12||1993||Disaffected Tutsi military forces revolt, assassinating Hutu president.
Armed clashes and massacres occur in three waves: Tutsi soldiers against
Hutu civilians, Hutus against Tutsis, and Tutsi against Hutus.
|Cambodia||4||1975||1||1979||Khmer Rouge initiate restructuring of society with massive deaths by
starvation, deprivation, executions, and massacres of supporters of the
old regime, city dwellers, and ethnic and religious minorities (particularly
|Chile||9||1973||12||1976||In wake of military coup, supporters of former regime and other leftists
are arrested, tortured, disappeared, exiled, and summarily executed.
|China||3||1959||12||1959||Army and security forces suppress counter-revolutionary elements of
society, including Tibetan Buddhists, landowners, and supporters of former
Chiang Kai-shek regime.
|China||5||1966||3||1975||With support of military and with the consent of the Party faction,
Red Guard youth gangs target a wide spectrum of society for arrest, harassment,
reeducation, torture, and execution.
|Congo-Kinshasa||2||1964||1||1965||To consolidate control, rebels massacre counter-revolutionaries, including
educated Congolese, missionaries, and other Europeans.
|Congo-Kinshasa||3||1977||12||1979||Episodic rebellions and agitation are countered by killings of political
opponents, dissident tribesmen, and prisoners.
|El Salvador||1||1980||12||1989||In the face of widespread insurgency, military, security units, and
death squads kill, imprison, and harass suspected leftists among clergy,
peasants, urban workers, and intellectuals.
|Equatorial Guinea||3||1969||8||1979||Equatorial Guinea gained independence from Spain on October 12, 1968.
In an attempt to consolidate power following his victory in the country's
first presidential election (September 1968), President Macias pressures
Spanish residents to abandon control of the economy in February 1969.
The ensuing crisis triggers an unsuccessful coup attempt, which triggers
a violent and sustained crackdown on all political oppositon, including
ethnic-Bubi separatists on the island of Fernando Po (now known as Bioko).
State terror ends with a successful coup led by Macias' nephew in August
|Ethiopia||7||1976||12||1979||Army, internal security units, and civilian defense squads massacre
political and military elites, workers, students, bureaucrats, and others
though to oppose the revolutionary regime.
|Guatemala||7||1978||12||1990||Military-dominated governments initiate series of anti-subversive anti-guerrilla
campaigns with indiscriminate use of death squads against suspected leftists
and indigenous Mayans. Killings become systematic and widespread after
|Indonesia||10||1965||7||1966||After attempted Communist coup, Muslim vigilantes massacre Party members
and ethnic Chinese. After government formally bans Party; military eliminates
suspected Communists and sympathizers.
|Indonesia||12||1975||7||1992||Indonesian backed coup plunges East Timor into civil war followed by
Indonesian invasion. Resisting Timorese are killed in massacres and famine.
|Iran||6||1981||12||1992||To consolidate Islamic revolution, government violently suppresses dissident
Muslims (Mujahedeen) and rebel Kurds and selectively executes prominent
|Iraq||6||1963||3||1975||To suppress repeated rebellions for independent Kurdistan in northern
Iraq, government engages in large-scale massacres.
|Iraq||3||1988||6||1991||Military and security forces launch Al-Anfal campaign of indiscriminate
destruction across Iraqi Kurdistan to neutralize Kurdish guerrillas. Measures
include gassing, massacres, disappearances, forced resettlement, and demolition
|Pakistan||3||1971||12||1971||General strikes by Bengali nationalists are met with martial law. Military
deploys in force with tanks, airpower, and artillery and indiscriminately
|Pakistan||2||1973||7||1977||Baluchi rebellion suppressed by military using indiscriminate violence
|Philippines||9||1972||6||1976||Moro resistance to government-sponsored Christian settlement and support
of guerrillas fighting for autonomy results in military and paramilitary
terror tactics in which many Moros are killed in massacres and napalm
|Rwanda||12||1963||6||1964||Local Hutu officials orchestrate vengeance attacks against Tutsis following
cross-border incursions by Tutsi rebels.
|Rwanda||4||1994||7||1994||RPF insurgency leads to full scale civil war. Hutu dominated government
deploys military and armed gangs to systematically slaughter primarily
Tutsis but also Hutu moderates.
|Somalia||5||1988||1||1991||Rebellion in the north by Somali National Movement leads to indiscriminant
government anti-insurgency operations, causing many civilian deaths (particularly
among Issaq clan). Actions lead to wider war that topples the Siad Barre
regime in 1991.
|Sri Lanka||7||1989||1||1990||Revolutionary campaign by Marxist Sinhalese JVP prompts government to
unleash military and police death squads. Killings of JVP leaders, supporters,
and poor Sinhalese youth in rural areas eliminates JVP.
|Sudan||10||1956||3||1972||Government dominated by northern Muslim-Arabs uses indiscriminate violence
to suppress mostly non-Muslim Africans who support a secessionist movement
in the south.
|Sudan||9||1983||10||2002||Government dominated by northern Muslim-Arab targets secessionist non-Muslim
southerners and Nuba for destruction by indiscriminate military attacks,
massacres by government-supported tribal militias, and government-induced
privation and population displacement. Following the signing of the Machakos
Protocol in July 2002 which signaled the beginning of an effective peace
process, the warring parties signed a memorandum of understanding in October
2002 to permit unfettered humanitarian access to affected populations.
|Syria||4||1981||2||1982||Government military and security forces crush revolt by Muslim Brotherhood
centered in cities of Hama and Aleppo.
|Uganda||2||1971||4||1979||After General Amin seizes power, he systematically exterminates political
opponents and personal enemies. Tribes closely associated with his predecessor
also are targeted for destruction. Amin's regime is ousted by Tanzanian
invasion in April 1979.
|Uganda||12||1980||1||1986||After Amin is overthrown, former Prime Minister Obote takes control
of government. Political and tribal rivals of Obote are targeted by army
and armed bands; groups targeted include West Nile supporters of Amin
and Bagandan supporters of rebel leader Musaveni.
|South Vietnam||1||1965||4||1975||Government military and paramilitary forces engage in killings, reprisals,
and bombardments against villagers supporting Viet Cong.
|Yugoslavia||2||1998||6||1999||Serb militias backed by Yugoslavian armed forces target ethnic-Albanians
to counter insurgency and cleanse Kosovo of Albanians. Targeting ends
with Yugoslavia's withdrawal in June 1999 following NATO air attacks.
|Barabara Harff. 2003. "No Lessons Learned from the Holocaust - Assessing Risks of Genocide and Political Mass Murder since 1955". American Political Science Review 97.1 (Feb 2003) 57-73||17/12/08 4:41 pm||176.38 KB|
| Annual Data on cases of Genocide and Politicide 1955-2006.xls|
Compiled by Barbara Harff for the U. S. Government's State Failure Task Force.
|19/01/09 10:51 am||65.5 KB|
|Coding guidelines for the GENPOL data set.doc||19/01/09 10:52 am||145 KB|
| Genocide and Politicide Model Data (Phase III: 1955-1999).|
Genocide and Politicide Model Data (Phase III: 1955-1999). Selected variables used in model estimates. Data compiled under the auspices of the State Failure Task Force. McLean, VA: Science Applications International Corporation. Note: Copyright permissions have been obtained from the original source for each of the variables comprising the select data provided below.
|19/01/09 11:02 am||15.89 KB|
|Model Data - SAS version.sd7||19/01/09 10:55 am||1021 KB|
|Model Data - SPSS version.||19/01/09 10:58 am||1.38 MB|
|Model Data - Stata version 6.dta||19/01/09 11:00 am||1.29 MB|