Separatism can usually be defined as an attempt by a regional group to achieve autonomy or perhaps full independence over an area in which they live either internationally or intra-nationally.
When assessing the statement “Separation inevitably results in conflict” you have to decide what you consider conflict; is it physical conflict or just a threatening conflict (ie the Cold War). For the purpose of this statement we will consider conflict as referring to physical conflict, as separation will undoubtedly lead to some kind of passive conflict in all cases. Over recent years there have been several cases that have demonstrated examples of how separation can lead to both conflict and no conflict, with the result usually being conflict in unstable countries.
On one hand it can be heavily argued that separation does inevitably result in conflict in all cases. Whether the separation is internal within a country (ie. A state) or a country separating from a country, there is going to be a disagreement over whether this is the best decision or not. It has become increasingly clear that, with the amount of money being invested in protection and army defences, physical violence has become the most common result to a disagreement. This can be demonstrated by the violence that started in 1968 by ETA, including murdering security forces and politicians, as the Basque country was not being given independence and because the new leader of Spain, Franco, was igniting a persecution campaign against the Basques. Over the last half century conflict has continued, it gained the Basque Provinces autonomy in 1978 but its people weren’t stratified with this. This illustrates that although separatism does commonly lead to conflict, it does not mean that the outcome desired will necessarily occur, and that many innocent people have been killed (the bomb attack on a car-park in Madrid 2006) over a fight they may have never been involved in. When considering violent conflict, it may be used as a tactic to gain attention of countries of high authorities, or it may be a forced result of resistance and defence from both parties. Such as the case was with the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. The Indian Tamil’s were first discriminated against in 1949 when many workers were disenfranchised and deprived of citizenship; the outcome of this was that in 1956 there were large riots from the Tamil people that resulted in 100 deaths. However the Sinhalese people with an Anit-Tamil riot that resulted in 200 people dying mimicked this two years later. These two events provoked the prolonged violent conflict that has occurred within Sri Lanka ever since. This example however is different to the Basque case as there was a peace agreement signed between the two sides in 2002, yet in 2005 when the new President came in it became clear that the peace agreement was not something to stop the violence as Sinhalese Nationalism was strongly wanted. This illustrates that sometimes conflict is thought of as the only method of removing people from a country, either through scaring them out or by killing them.
On the other hand, there is evidence to suggest that maybe separation doesn’t always lead to conflict and that in some cases separation can be dealt