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News Roundup – 29 October 2014

October 29, 2014

Tunisia, after igniting Arab Spring, sends the most fighters to Islamic State in Syria

Rwanda’s FDLR ‘Disarmament’ Process Sluggish, Deadline Ignored

Scores killed in Syria barrel bomb ‘massacre’

Islamic State has a guide to shoot down Apache helicopters with MANPADS

Mark Kersten: What counts as evidence of Syria’s war crimes?

US renews airstrikes against ‘Islamic State’ as reinforcements head to Kobani

Yemen’s Houthis capture strategic city

ICRC’s “How Does Law Protect in War?” available online

October 28, 2014

The ICRC reports that its core publication on teaching international humanitarian law (IHL), How Does Law Protect in War? Cases, Documents and Teaching Materials on Contemporary Practice in International Humanitarian Law (by Marco Sassòli, Antoine A. Bouvier and Anne Quintin) is now available (for free) online, providing academics, researchers and students with a wealth of updated resources, cases and references, in a user-friendly format.

Users will find three main sections through which they can easily navigate. “The Law” presents IHL carefully and systematically, outlining each topic and referring readers to the pertinent parts of “Cases and Documents,” to articles from the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, and to the rules set out in the ICRC Study on Customary IHL. Selected bibliographies facilitate further study and a deeper understanding of each topic. Many of the articles mentioned are available through the ICRC’s library.

“Pedagogical resources” offers recommendations on how to teach IHL, and a series of useful course outlines for university professors in the fields of law, journalism and political science.

The book itself was in fact already available online (through the ICRC and the American Department of Defence), but the novelty of the online platform resides in its easy navigation, through hyperlinks, from legal theory to humanitarian practice. New case studies on emerging humanitarian and legal issues will be regularly added, supplying professors with up-to-date teaching materials. A search engine and an extensive index will also permit users to perform quick searches using key words.

News Roundup – 28 October 2014

October 28, 2014

France to send troops back to north Mali as insurgent activity revives

Amnesty International: Fear and Loathing in Bangui (CAR)

Machete-armed locals patrol cities after Beni (DRC) massacre

Lebanon’s once-mighty Hezbollah is facing attacks in Syria — and also at home

Lebanon army back in control of Tripoli

Iraqi Kurds gather forces to aid embattled Syrian town fighting Islamic State

The Islamic State’s ‘Call of Duty’ allure

John Cantlie, British Hostage, Seen in ISIS Video Apparently From Kobani

Geneva Call: Major brigade of the Free Syrian Army commits against anti-personnel mines and sexual violence

“U.S. sees Syria rebels in political, not military solution” according to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper

UN Women Executive Director’s 28 October 2014 statement at the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security: As nature of conflicts change, swifter action to protect targets of violence urged (see here for the UN secretary-General’s report on women and peace and security)


News Roundup – 27 October 2014

October 27, 2014

U.S. judge gives ex-Colombian rebel 27 years prison for taking hostages

FARC to recognize military victims of war crimes

Blast injures three U.N. peacekeepers in northern Mali

Human Rights Watch report: ‘Those Terrible Weeks in Their Camp’: Boko Haram Violence against Women and Girls in Northeast Nigeria

Dozens said to be killed in fresh CAR violence

UN and African Union in DRC urge eastern town to support operations to end rebel threat

Libyan death toll rises to 130 as heavy fighting in Libya’s Benghazi continues

Egypt blames ‘foreign hands’ in Sinai attacks

Kurdish Fighters Deny Claims of Syrian Rebel Assistance in Kobane

Missiles of ISIS May Pose Peril for Aircrews

Al Qaeda militants push back Shi’ite rebels’ advance on central Yemen stronghold

Pakistan targets fighters in tribal region

Indian police kills ‘most-wanted’ KLO rebel

Myanmar Army Kills Journalist It Calls Karen Rebel

Bellinger on Lawfare on The Convention Against Torture: Extraterritorial Application and Application to Military Operations

News Roundup – 23-24 October 2014

October 24, 2014

Looking back on 10 days of violence in Bangui (CAR)

UN Mission in DRC comes under attack, steps up security

Huge blast rocks Egypt army checkpoint

International Crisis Group report “Toward a Lasting Ceasefire in Gaza” (report, summary)

Sudan Speaks About Contacts With Rebel Commanders in Darfur

Kurdish fighters regain ground in Kobane

Turkey says 1,300 Syria rebels heading to Kobani

Look Who Else Has Drones: ISIS and Al Nusra

Islamic State militants allegedly used chlorine gas against Iraqi security forces

Ukraine Warns of Separatist Attacks, as Rebel Leader Threatens ‘Heavy Military Action’

Russian fighter suspected of terrorism and held in Afghanistan to be prosecuted in U.S.

Marko Milanovic’s “Few Thoughts on Hassan v. United Kingdom


9th Annual Minerva/ICRC Conference on International Humanitarian Law on Access for Humanitarian Action on 3-4 November 2014

October 23, 2014

In a couple of weeks, I have the pleasure to speak at a conference organised by the ICRC and the Minerva Center for Human Rights on “Access for Humanitarian Action: Legal and Operational Challenges in Assisting and Protecting People Affected by Armed Conflict”. This 9th Annual Minerva/ICRC Conference on International Humanitarian Law will take place on 3 and 4 November 2014 in Jerusalem. These IHL conferences always have a great combination of the academics and practitioners and benefit from the excellent local experts (take Yuval Shany or David Kretzmer) and an outspoken crowd of attendees. The organisers have a very good eye for selecting truly contemporary topics. With the recent fighting in Gaza fresh in mind, and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq, this year’s topic is once again highly relevant.

The conference consists of six sessions. The first day starts with an opening session with two of IHL’s most well-known academics, Yoram Dinstein and Michael Bothe, followed by a general session on “Overviews and Overarching Themes”, featuring, e.g., Tristan Ferraro of the ICRC’s Legal Division. Day two has sessions on “UN Contexts”, “Non-International and Non-State Contexts”, “Arbitrary Withholding of Consent”, and “Humanitarian Access and Gaza”. Speakers of these sessions include Essex’s Francoise Hampson and UN OCHA’s Emanuela Gillard.

For more information on the programme, see here and here. The topic is introduced here.

News Roundup – 22 October 2014

October 22, 2014

British drone operators could be breaking international law, says former GCHQ chief. 

New report: Security impact of drones: challenges and opportunities for the UK. 

Yemen’s Southerners see hope in Houthis rise. 

ISIS claims that it has US airdrop of weapons. 

New freedoms in Tunisia drive support for ISIS. 

Iraq divided: the fight against ISIL. 

My brother wanted to be a jihadi, and society is creating many more like him. 

Attempted kidnapping in Turkey shows reach of Islamic State. 

No alternative to silencing the guns, UN South Sudan envoy tells Security Council. 

KNLA second in command on why he backs a united Karen force. 


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