IRIN News: Why peace won’t be enough in Colombia
Top UN relief official in Central African Republic urgently appeals for halt in attacks on aid workers, see also this press release on ärmed attacks on the main supply road”.
Op-Ed: ‘War Crimes and Rwandan Realities’
Human Rights Watch report on South Sudan: They Burned it All: Destruction of Villages, Killings, and Sexual Violence in South Sudan’s Unity State. In response: South Sudan spokesman: ‘Army didn’t commit atrocities’
International Crisis Group report: Revisiting Counter-terrorism Strategies in Pakistan: Opportunities and Pitfalls
Timber companies paid CAR armed groups millions, report finds (see here for report).
Human Rights Watch: Syria: Deliberate Killing of Civilians by ISIS
German Federal Prosecutor on ‘Aerial Drone Deployment on 4 October 2010 in Mir Ali/Pakistan and targeted killing’
Human Rights Watch report on Colombian conflict: On Their Watch: Evidence of Senior Army Officers’ Responsibility for False Positive Killings in Colombia
On the World Policy Blog: Reintegrating Boko Haram
UN Libya envoy meets with armed groups in support of political agreement and ‘We are getting closer to a solution,’ says UN Libya envoy, opening latest round of talks on ending crisis
TedX talk by ICRC’s Helen Durham on IHL
Already a couple of weeks old, but still interesting:
Public international law advisor to the Dutch government, prof. Nollkaemper, concludes that use of force (in collective self-defence) against ISIS in Syria would be legal. See here for his report (in Dutch).
General theme: Contemporary Armed Conflicts and their Implications for International Humanitarian Law
The changing nature of contemporary armed conflicts, both in terms of actors involved and means employed, has important implications for the continuing relevance of international humanitarian law (IHL) as the legal framework governing the conduct of the parties.
A few challenges:
▪ The expansion of the entity known as “Islamic State” (IS/ISIS/ISIL) in Syria and Iraq and the military efforts to fight it raise a number of legal issues, including the role of IHL as a tool to regulate the action of a party which recognises no universal legal framework whatsoever.
▪ Russia’s alleged support to separatists and use of infiltration tactics in Eastern Ukraine, represent another challenge when it comes to determine its responsibilities in terms of compliance with IHL.▪ The direct involvement of regional powers and their use of proxies in Syria and Iraq, as well as in other countries in the region such as Libya and Yemen, has important implications in terms of responsibility for arms transfers and support to States, rebels and militias.
▪ The violence in Mexico also raises some challenges in terms of the applicability, scope and relevance of IHL: is there an argument for rethinking the threshold of armed conflict in relation to large scale criminal violence by organised armed criminal groups?▪ The annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation highlights complex issues of international law and the interaction between State sovereignty, self-determination and IHL, in particular the rules on occupation.
▪ Other ideas may relate to: The law of occupation in Crimea; The status of “volunteers” under IHL, both in Syria and Iraq as well as in Ukraine; Targeting of IS oil facilities; Increased attacks on humanitarian workers and challenges to the delivery of humanitarian aid; Extraterritorial targeting by use of armed drones; Targeting of cultural property as a specific method of warfare, for example by IS in Syria and Iraq and by jihadist groups in Mali; The threshold of armed conflict in peacekeeping operations (for instance in Eastern DRC, Mali and the CAR) and possible convergence of the positions of UN and ICRC.▪ One of the central issues in the ongoing negotiations between government and FARC rebels in Colombia is amnesty for both FARC and paramilitary leaders for ordering and directing violations of IHL.
These are only but a few examples of the implications of contemporary armed conflicts for IHL.
You are requested to send your submission, related to one of the above themes, or any other theme fitting the general theme of Vol. 18, before 1 October 2015, to YIHL Editorial Board member Dr. Christophe Paulussen email@example.com, who will assist you with further questions concerning next steps, author’s guidelines etc. The Editorial Board aims to publish Vol. 18 (year 2015) in December 2016.