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News Roundup – 18-24 July 2015

July 25, 2015

IRIN News: Why peace won’t be enough in Colombia

Turkey carries out first ever airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. 

UN asks ICC to investigate destruction of Mali mausoleums

More People Flee To Mauritania To Escape Insecurity In Northern Mali

More than 50 dead in suspected Boko Haram attacks in Cameroon and Nigeria

Op-Ed: ‘Recent attacks show that Boko Haram remains far from broken, and is drawing closer to ISIS

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”.

Mobile Courts Tackle Sexual Violence in DRC

Uganda ADF rebel charged with crimes against humanity

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’

AU and Somali Troops Seize Somali City From Shabab Militants

Rebel shelling in east Ukraine kills three civilians, soldier according to Ukraine military

Russian Rejection of U.N. Tribunal Casts Doubt on Possibility of MH17 Prosecution

Gaza car blasts target Hamas and Islamic Jihad armed wings

Suicide Bombing Kills at Least 30 in Suruc (Turkey) and Suicide Bomber in Suruc Is Said to Be a Turk With Possible Ties to ISIS

Syrian Airstrikes said to have killed 995 children in 9 months

UN Envoy in Damascus for Talks on Solution to Syrian War

Senior al-Qaida figure, Muhsin al-Fadhli, killed in US air strike in Syria, officials say

Town of Hit has resisted Islamic State for 18 months. But food is running low

Shiite rebel shelling in war torn Yemen town kills 45

In Yemen’s grinding war, if the bombs don’t get you, the water shortages will

Saudi-backed Yemeni troops and fighters control Aden

Suicide bomber strikes market in Afghanistan, killing more than a dozen

International Crisis Group report: Revisiting Counter-terrorism Strategies in Pakistan: Opportunities and Pitfalls

Myanmar government and ethnic groups set to resume ceasefire talks in Yangon

Former PULO leader paroled by Thai government so he can in help with efforts to restore peace in the South

News Roundup – 12-17 July 2015

July 17, 2015

More satellite imagery to assist human rights work. 

Why peace won’t be enough for Colombia.

Colombia fails to support child soldiers deserting illegal armed groups according to Colombian Ombudsman

The FARC’s biggest fear: Colombia’s paramilitary groups

Widespread human rights violations being committed by all sides in Iraq, says UN (see here for report).

UN humanitarian head appalled by catastrophic situation in Yemen. 

The Libyan Political Dialogue: an incomplete consensus. 

HRW: DRC should arrest rebel leader wanted by ICC. 

Progress in UN-DRC action against armed group. 

Taking justice to a whole new level: the special criminal court in CAR. 

Timber companies paid CAR armed groups millions, report finds (see here for report).

Textbooks and Assault rifles: the student soldiers in rebel-held Ukraine. 

Russia fights calls for tribunal one year after downing of MH17.

Burundi president’s faces emerging armed rebellion as vote looms

Tunisian Forces Kill 3 Senior Leaders of Insurgent Group

The forgotten conflicts

Islamist Insurgent Attacks Kill at Least 14 in Northeast Nigeria

Fugitive rebel chief of Allied Democratic Forces extradited to Uganda

Battle Breaks Out on Ethiopia-Eritrea Border

Far right group challenges Ukraine government after shootout

Pentagon Faces Heat Over Syria Rebel Training Program

Where will all the weary Taliban fighters go?

News Roundup – 4-10 July 2015

July 11, 2015

Colombia arrests 15 alleged rebel collaborators in investigation of bomb blasts in capital

Colombia threatens to end peace talks with FARC rebels

Colombia government and FARC exchange blame over talks

Islamist group Ansar Dine claims multiple attacks in Mali

Boko Haram offers to swap kidnapped girls for detainees

Nigeria struck by new wave of Boko Haram atrocities

‘Boko Haram slit throats of 26 civilians’ in Chad

Deadly car bomb attacks hit Mogadishu hotels

Israel decides to open dialogue with ICC over Gaza preliminary examination

Human Rights Watch: Syria: Deliberate Killing of Civilians by ISIS

Turkey Arrests 21 Suspected of Ties to ISIS

How Russia’s labor migration policy is fueling the Islamic State

Pregnant woman and children killed in Aleppo bombing

UN announces week-long humanitarian truce in Yemen

Airstrikes and fighting said to halt minutes before Yemen truce

Suspected U.S. drone strikes kill key Islamic State figures in Afghanistan

Afghans and Pakistanis cite varying degrees of progress in Taliban talks

Afghan Envoys Say Insurgents at Peace Talks Had Taliban’s Blessing

German Federal Prosecutor on ‘Aerial Drone Deployment on 4 October 2010 in Mir Ali/Pakistan and targeted killing’

New Clash Breaks Out Between Army And Karen Soldiers in Southern Myanmar


News Roundup – 30 June 2015

June 30, 2015

ISIL beheads women for first time in Syria. 

Targeting Saada: Unlawful Coalition Strikes on Saada city in Yemen. 

Tunisia killer trained in Libya. 

NY Times Op Ed: A Close encounter with Boko Haram. 

Niger: Boko Haram’s neglected crisis. 

Islamist extremists linked to Al-Qaida launch an offensive in Southern Mali. 

Ukraine ceasefire: there is shooting all the time. 

News Roundup – 29 June 2015

June 29, 2015

Polisario Front becomes ‘party to Geneva Conventions’. 

Women in armed groups are more than just an exotic novelty. 

FARC slams Colombian government for causing environmental destruction. 

We need an ICJ ruling on Syria. 

Tanzanian court orders extradition of Islamic rebel leader to Uganda. 

South Sudan President and rebel leader hold direct talks in Kenya. 

News Roundup – 24-27 June 2015

June 27, 2015

Human Rights Watch report on Colombian conflict: On Their Watch: Evidence of Senior Army Officers’ Responsibility for False Positive Killings in Colombia

Gunmen attack military camp near Mauritania border

UN: DRC Rebel Group Weakened in Joint Operation

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

Gunman storms Tunisia resort in deadly attack aimed at foreigners

ISIS claims to be behind deadly Tunisia attack

Deadly blast hits Kuwait mosque after Friday prayers

Al Shabab Militants Attack African Union Base in Somalia

U.S. Army Begins Training Ukrainian Soldiers

Mass Killings by ISIS Fighters in Syrian Kurdish Town

Syrian Kurds force ‘IS’ militants out of Kobani

Yemen’s Houthis attack oil refinery in Aden

The psychological cost of Yemen’s war

TedX talk by ICRC’s Helen Durham on IHL

Already a couple of weeks old, but still interesting:

How Boko Haram Courted and Joined the Islamic State


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).

Call for Papers from Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law – Vol 18 (2015)

June 26, 2015

YIHLThe editorial board of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law has issued the following call for papers:-

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, 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.


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