(German werra: quarrel). Armed struggle between factions or groups within the same country that breaks out in crisis as the result of irreconcilable conflicts: political, social, inter-ethnic, interfaith, etc. This is the cruelest and most abhorrent form of war, and imposes the greatest sacrifices on defenseless groups within the population: women, children, the elderly, the disabled. c.w. is also disastrous ecologically because of the extent of the destruction it generates. C.W. is a consequence of divisions in society that form opposing sides, and the attempt to resolve serious contradictions by means of violence imposed by armed minorities on all of society. In many cases it is difficult to distinguish c.w. from revolution when the latter is carried out in the form of an armed struggle and accompanied by mass terror. C.W. is bloody and leads to great loss of life. Frequently it is provoked by foreign intervention in the internal affairs of another country. At the present time there are civil wars in Cambodia, the Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, and Tajikistan. Humanists take a position against civil wars and in favor of the resolution of internal conflicts in each country by means of negotiations and compromises that acknowledge the legitimate interests of all contending parties and thus avoid the shedding of blood and public catastrophe.