Rutgers Model United Nations - IDIA
Rutgers Model United Nations 15 Bengali revolution has led to continued strife and questions of citizenship in the nation. This is a case of subsequent statelessness due to politics because the Biharis were recognized as citizens before the Bengali revolution and were subsequently stripped of this citizenship following the Bengali independence. In the latter case, the dissolution of the Soviet Union resulted in the separation of one federation into several smaller independent states that were previously recognized as parts of a whole. In Estonia and Latvia, Russians were systematically stripped of their citizenship because of the oppression that the Soviet Union forced on these nations. In this case, both states began enforcing policies that denied citizenship to Russians, which they found was “a convenient tool for … excluding from the citizenship large minorities perceived as threats to the very existence and identity [of] the State.” 48 Estonia went so far as to “justify its current citizenship legislation based on the collective right of ethnic Estonians to their historical territory as well as the need to protect Estonian culture and undo the injustices suffered during the years of Soviet occupation.” 49 The breakup of the USSR resulted in many cases where states which once regarded as pieces of a whole, without any distinction between each other, were forced to redefine their nationality in a way that reinforced their connection to a national history, a process that created great animosity toward their former Russian oppressors. Ethnic In cases of subsequent statelessness based on ethnocentric policies, the distinction between citizen and non-citizen is a little less clear. There are several situations throughout the world where populations that immigrated en masse to a nation were first recognized as citizens and then stripped of citizenship when a new leader came to power, mainly because the population was not native to the land. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, this is exemplified in the case of the Banyarwanda, a population that immigrated from Rwanda over the course of one hundred fifty years, aswell as in nations created out of Former Yugoslavia, where the breakup of the federation left many ethnicities stranded 48 Sokoloff, 14.
Rutgers Model United Nations 16 in new nations that were not originally theirs. In the case of the DRC, the government granted the Banyarwandas citizenship in 1972, but only if they had lived in the nation before 1950. 50 This appeased a great majority of the population because they “considered themselves to be citizens of the new State” 51 when Congo became independent in 1960. In 1981, however, “in response to significant pressure from the majority of the constituency in the eastern provinces, President Mobutu enacted a Citizenship Law invalidating the 1972 decree.” 52 The pressure was predominantly based on the lack of the Banyarwanda’s ancestral tie to the land, although in the past five years, there have been some advances in regaining the citizenship of the Banyarwanda. 53 In the case of Slovenia, “the erased” are “primarily citizens of the Former Yugoslavia republics who lived in Slovenia at the time of independence” 54 but are not of Slovenian ancestry. While this population was granted a one year resident status following the breakup of Yugoslavia, Amnesty International notes “the ‘erased’ were mainly people from other former Yugoslav republics, who had been living in Slovenia and had not applied for or had been refused Slovenian citizenship.” 55 In this case, the ethnic and racial minorities from other former Yugoslavian nations are denied citizenship, but prospects of citizenship were reestablished when Slovenia applied to become a member of the European Union in 2004. 56 Economic/Nationalist Cases of subsequent statelessness based on economic reasons often create the most destitute situations. Some nations, such as Sri Lanka or the Cote D’Ivoire, previously granted citizenship or partial citizenship to immigrant workers within their borders. 49 Lynch, M. “Lives on Hold: The Human Cost of Statelessness.” 17. 50 Sokoloff, 8. 51 Ibid. 52 Ibid. 53 Ibid, Page 8-9. 54 Ibid, Page 12. 55 Amnesty Internaitonal, Page 2. 56 Sokoloff, Page 12.