France (Corsica)


Conflict Summary

Corsican nationalists have been involved in a centuries-old struggle against the French government. While the main nationalist party, the Front de Libération Nationale de la Corse (FLNC), has sought independence for Corsica, there is more popular support for greater autonomy. The FLNC has waged a violent campaign since the late 1970s, declaring a ceasefire only in 1999. Peace negotiations have not deterred continuing bomb attacks and assassinations on the island. Official recognition of the Corsican language and increased legislative autonomy would require amendments to the French constitution, which the administration is reluctant to initiate. The years 2003 and 2004 saw a proliferation of armed groups increasingly involved in infighting and criminal activities. Chances of a political settlement were reduced by the return of the FLNC-UC to armed resistance following the beginning of the trial of its alleged leader in March 2005, 17 months after the group had declared a unilateral ceasefire in November 2003.