Analysis

The end of non-international armed conflicts and the application of IHL

The past few weeks, several ceasefire and peace agreements were concluded in a number of non-international armed conflict situations: in South-Sudan, the Philippines and Myanmar. However, as is often the case when there are peace talks or even peace agreements in a country, the fighting between the opposing sides does not (immediately) cease. In South-Sudan, the …

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Does the violence between Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces amount to a non-international armed conflict?

As the increasingly horrifying tit-for-tat of violence between Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces continues to escalate, one cannot help but wonder whether the situation in northern Nigeria has now reached the threshold of a non-international armed conflict. A recent report from the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC finds that it does but …

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Charles Taylor’s conviction confirmed on appeal

Yesterday, the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone dismissed most of the Defence’s and Prosecution’s grounds of appeal and confirmed Taylor’s sentence of 50 years imprisonment. With this judgement the Special Court closes its doors. In comparison with the Trial Judgement, the 306-page Appeals Judgment was available on the Court’s website surprisingly …

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Guest Post by Nelleke van Amstel: Rules for Detention by Armed Groups

Nelleke van Amstel recently published In Search of Legal Grounds to Detain for Armed Groups in the latest issue of the Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies. In this post, Nelleke discusses her main arguments set out in the said article. At the time of writing the article, Nelleke was a legal adviser at the Netherlands Red Cross. Naturally, the …

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Arming the Syrian rebels – a selection of blog posts and articles

Interesting post today over at EJIL:Talk! by André Nollkaemper on whether the States which are considering supplying weapons to the Syrian opposition run the risk of falling into a shared responsibility trap. For those interested in the question of the legality of supplying weapons to the Syrian opposition, see also the following relevant blog posts/ …

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The DRC’s UN Intervention Brigade has a mission to “neutralize armed groups”: why the scepticism?

On 28 March 2013, the United Nations Security Council approved the mandate of an “Intervention Brigade” with the mandate of “neutralizing armed groups” in the Great Lakes Region of the DRC (see Security Council Resolution 2098 – S/RES/2098 (2013). The creation of the new Intervention Brigade was widely heralded as being the first time that …

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ICRC led discussion on typology of armed conflicts and related issues

Over the last few weeks, Intercross, a blog by the ICRC regional delegation in Washington, has hosted two interesting and related debates as part of a broader theme “IHL and the challenges of contemporary armed conflicts”: one on typology of armed conflicts and another one on IHL and terrorism. In this post, I will highlight some of the issues …

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Timeline: Seleka alliance – what is it? and what were the events that lead to its taking of Bangui?

The Seleka (meaning “alliance” in the national language Sango) alliance is made up of four rebel groups all known by their French acronyms – UFDR (Union des Forces Démocratiques pour le Rassemblement), FDPC (Front Démocratique du People Centrafricain) and CPSK (Convention Patriotique pour le Salut Wa Kodro) and a faction of CPJP (Convention des Patriotes pour la Justice et la Paix). Historical profiles of …

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Timeline: who is Bosco Ntaganda? what is the M23? and why did he hand himself into the US Embassy yesterday?

As reports come in that Bosco Ntaganda has handed himself in to the US Embassy in Rwanda after seven years on the run, it is helpful to present a timeline showing what Ntaganda is accused of and detailing his alleged involvement in the M23 rebel group. When one looks at recent events within the M23, one can see how recent …

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Algerian hostage crisis: Part II – did international humanitarian law apply? Some thoughts on the ‘protractedness’ requirement

Last Sunday, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described the taking of hostages at the Algerian gas plant two weeks ago as an “act of war”. He elaborated: “What strikes me the most is that we’re saying ‘hostage-taking’ but when there are so many people concerned, I think this is an act of war.” The …

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