Analysis

Geneva Call Report: Conduct of Hostilities by Armed Non-State Actors

This week, Geneva Call published a new report on the Conduct of Hostilities by Armed Non-State Actors (ANSAs). The report emerges out of the third edition of the Garance Talks, which took place on February 2020, and focuses on the application of the rules of IHL governing this topic: distinction, proportionality and precaution. The 2020 …

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Negotiating Peace with (Proscribed) Non-State Armed Groups

“We don’t negotiate with criminals… We bring them to justice, not to the negotiating table”, responded an aide to the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia to calls by the African Union on the Ethiopian government to enter into talks with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to end the conflict that erupted in the …

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Instant Non-international Armed Conflict? Classifying the situation in Northern Ethiopia under IHL

Introduction The seemingly sudden outburst of significant violence in Northern Ethiopia has raised international concern, as well as critical legal paradigmatic issues. Accordingly, in this post, we evaluate this current situation in Ethiopia in light of international humanitarian law (IHL) requirements for the classification of armed conflicts. The post argues that the carefully planned, coordinated, …

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Regulating ceasefires in the grey zone between war and peace

Recent scholarship in the social sciences – primarily in the fields of anthropology, political economy, security and development – has found that ceasefires have effects on the ground beyond only halting violence. These include for other more political areas such as governance institutions, economic resources and citizenship and property rights. While parties to an armed …

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Scratching below the surface: what can local peace agreements tell us about armed groups and conflict fragmentation?

The call for an immediate global ceasefire launched by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on March 23, 2020, as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has been backed by some 70 states and answered by conflict parties in at least 9 countries around the world. In some of the most protracted contemporary conflicts, such as in …

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Business and Armed Non-State Groups: Where Do We Stand?

While nowadays it is widely accepted that non state actors play important roles in international relations, the specific traits of obscure relationships between two or more non-state actors remain unclear and insufficiently explored. In my recent contribution to the Business and Human Rights Journal entitled “Business and Armed Non-State Groups: Challenging the Landscape of Corporate …

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Outsourcing Justice: State Obligations and the Prosecution of Foreign Fighters by Armed Groups in Syria

Several weeks ago, the Kurdish-dominated Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES or Rojava) has announced that it will hold trials for Islamic State fighters from more than 50 States – including the UK, The Netherlands and France – after repeated calls for repatriation by their home countries had failed. Whereas the question of …

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Monitoring IHL Compliance during Non-International Armed Conflicts: The Need for a Complementary Approach – Part II

The Monitoring System of the Office of the Special Representative of the SG for Children and Armed Conflict Apart from the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Optional Protocol to the CRC, the thematic area of children in armed conflict is monitored by the Office of the Special Representative of the …

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Monitoring IHL Compliance during Non-International Armed Conflicts: The Need for a Complementary Approach – Part I

The majority of armed conflicts taking place nowadays are non-international in character. In this type of conflicts, the fighting takes place between governmental armed forces and organised armed groups or between such groups within a state. Despite the predominance of non-international armed conflicts (NIAC), treaty-based compliance mechanisms applicable to this type of situations are either …

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The UN and the protection of children affected by armed conflict: how States curtail a multi-stakeholder, dialogue-based approach

The situation of children affected by armed conflict (CAAC) has been one of the UN’s priorities when engaging with the parties to the conflict in South Sudan. Since 2012, several action plans were adopted within the UN’s CAAC framework, in order to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children and other violations. In …

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