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News roundup – 16th Oct -5th November 2018

November 9, 2018

Sam Jackson has prepared the news roundup for the period 16th October – 5th November. Please see below!

16th October – 22nd October

Syria destroying homes in ex-rebel areas to block residents from returning: HRW

Deadline passes for Syria’s Idlib buffer without fighters leaving

Egypt says security forces killed 450 fighters in Sinai peninsula

East Libya forces reopen probe into Abdel Fattah Younes killing

DRC rebels kill 13, abduct a dozen children in Ebola epicentre

Where armed groups rule

Nigeria: Boko Haram killing of aid worker Hauwa Liman is a war crime

Dissident republicans: Armed groups in Co Derry warn of ‘serious consequences’ for ‘criminal elements’

23rd October – 29th October

Syria summit: call for ‘lasting ceasefire’ at last rebel-held stronghold, Idlib

Coalition troops in Manbij clashed with armed group believed to be Turkish-backed rebels

India, Myanmar agree to take on insurgents

Wave of rebel attacks leads to surge in DRC Ebola cases

ICC trial of LRA leader only part of search for justice in Uganda

Armed US militia groups prepare to see off migrant caravan at the Mexico border

30th October – 5th November

Turkey tries managing Syrian rebel factions without disturbing status quo – analyst

Early solution to insurgency problem in Manipur difficult: Army

Yemen war: 150 killed over weekend as Saudi-led airstrikes pound rebel areas

Once at Guantanamo, 5 senior taliban members now join political office in Qatar

TV journalist, two policemen killed in India rebel attack

Israel’s deliberate targeting of children is an ongoing war crime, says PLO official

Three Palestinian teenagers killed by Israeli drone strike as tensions mount on Gaza strip

South Sudan frees rebel chief’s associates to back peace deal

South Sudan rebel leader Machar back in Juba after two years

Support for ethnic armed group service provision will aid federalism, say researchers

Colombia: Guerrillas should free kidnapped people

Call for Papers: 3rd Young Researchers Workshop on Terrorism and Belligerency – Haifa, Israel

October 30, 2018

The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions (RLEC) at the
University of Haifa, Faculty of Law and the Geography and Environmental Studies
Department, invite submissions for participation in the third young researchers workshop on “Terrorism and Belligerency”. The workshop will be held at the Minerva Center, University of Haifa, February 3-17, 2019.

Papers are welcomed on theoretical or practical legal issues related to terrorism and belligerency from varied perspectives, such as: history, philosophy, sociology, geography, technology, economics, and politics. A non-exhaustive list of possible subjects includes:

  • National law applicable to dealing with situations of high and low intensity belligerency (international and non-international armed conflicts).
  • International law applicable to dealing with situations of high and low intensity belligerency (international and non-international armed conflicts).
  • Law applicable to counter-terrorism efforts.
  • Constitutional design for armed conflicts and counter-terrorism.
  • Judicial review related to situations of counter-terrorism and belligerency.
  • Application of constitutional or international human rights protection in situations of armed conflict and counter-terrorism.
  • Legal aspects of economic and sociological developments in counter-terrorism situations.
  • Geographical scope of application to counter-terrorism and belligerency legal regimes.
  • Legal aspects of the use of advance technologies in the battlefield or for counter-terrorism purposes.
  • Application of “Just War” doctrine in situations of armed conflict and counter-terrorism

This workshop will feature twelve papers selected through this call. The expected formation will include twelve both from Israel and abroad. The workshop will be held over a 2 weeks period; participants from abroad will be offered residency in the university dormitories.

The purpose of this workshop is to convene a group of scholars for a high-level discussion on enduring and emerging questions on law and policy related to terrorism / belligerency. This workshop will offer participants a balanced combination of rigorous scholarly discussion and more relaxed social interaction.

The full call can be found here: Call-for-proposals-Terrorism-and-Belligerency-Workshop-February-2019. Abstracts are due by November 18, 2018.

13th Annual Minerva/ ICRC International Conference on IHL: Recent Developments in IHL and Detention Law and Practice, 12-3 November 2018

October 29, 2018

The topic of the 13th Annual Minerva/ ICRC International Conference on IHL is on developments in IHL and detention law and practice. There are lots of interesting papers on armed groups and international law, including papers on:-

– permission to intern in NIACs

– legal basis and scope of obligations by non-State armed groups

– power to detain and non-State armed groups in NIAC

– emergent norms for detention of non-State actors in hostilities

– disciplinary detentions by armed groups

– status based detention in armed conflicts involving non-State armed groups

– foreign fighters

See here for the full programme.

News Roundup – 1- 11th October 2018

October 11, 2018

Can International Humanitarian Law Restrain Armed Groups? Lessons from NGO Work on Anti-Personnel Landmines

New report from UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings on the impact of counter terrorism legislation on humanitarian action. 

New UNAMA report (quarterly) on protection of civilians in Afghanistan. 

Syria opposition rejects Idlib demilitarisation amid uncertainty over Sochi deal

US and UK halt key Syria aid shipments over extremist “taxes”

First rebel group begins withdrawal from demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib

Dutch government backed groups involved in ethnic cleansing in Afrin: Experts

Iran votes to join pact to combat terror financing

Is armed insurgency a viable option for Kashmiri youth?

Surge in fighting among Libya’s ‘super militias’ imperils Western peace efforts

Concern over Bahai’ followers trial by Yemen rebels

Cameroon insurgency drains life from once vibrant towns

Cameroon’s Anglophone crisis: Red Dragons and Tigers – the rebels fighting for independence

German police arrest six on suspicion of belonging to far-right terror group

Call for Papers – Legal Resilience in an Era of Hybrid Threats

October 11, 2018

A call for papers has been issued for a conference on the subject of ‘Legal Resilience in an Era of Hybrid Threats’. The event will take place on 8-10 April 2019 at the University of Exeter. It is hosted by the Exeter Centre for International Law, in collaboration with the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and the Lieber Institute of the United States Military Academy.

The aim of the conference is to explore the legal challenges presented by gray zone conflict, hybrid threats and lawfare, and to develop the notion of legal resilience as a conceptual and policy framework for countering these challenges more effectively.

Please follow the link for the text of the call  (deadline 30 November 2018) with further information about the conference theme:


Consolidated news roundup for summer break 11th July -10th September 2018

September 17, 2018

Many thanks to Sam Jackson for producing this consolidated news roundup to cover the period of the summer break. Some interesting stories here that you may have missed – take a look!

11th July – 17th July


Deraa rebels prepare to leave south Syria for rebel-held north

Syrian state flag to be raised in birthplace of 2011 uprising, residents say

Rebel attack in northwest Syria kills 27 government fighters: Observatory

Israel and Gaza militants agree to end fierce flare-up of fighting

Cameroon’s anglophone war, part 1: A rifle as the only way out

‘Whoever they met, they would cut and kill’: displaced Congolese recount rebel atrocities

Ethiopian rebel group declares ceasefire in wake of reforms

Ethnic groups challenge Tatmadaw chief’s Panglong opening speech

‘This massacre must stop’: Nicaraguan student rebels face militia assault

16000 displaced in guerrilla turf war in northeast Colombia: UN

FARC recruited more than 5000 minors during Colombia’s war: prosecution

Video: Armed groups using riots to target police, says senior Derry police officer


18th July – 24th July


Government forces close on last rebel group in southwestern Syria

From kidnap to torture, the database rigorously logging every Syrian atrocity

Syrian rebels ‘reach agreement’ with government to leave Quneitra

‘Forced to take arms’: Syria civil society turn to factions after US funding freeze

Israel, Hamas agree to de-escalation in Gaza: Hamas spokesman

An island in the Philippines hopes for peace but braces for war

Nicaragua: at least four dead as security forces retake rebel stronghold

Colombia: New Congress marks rebel group’s transition ‘from weapons to politics’, says UN


25th July – 31st July


The orphans of so-called Islamic State left in Libyan limbo

U.S. Diplomats Held Face-to-Face Talks With Taliban, Insurgents Say

Yemen’s rebels ‘attack’ Abu Dhabi airport using a drone

17 Malian civilians killed in clashes before presidential vote

Another Darfur armed group joins SRF umbrella

Attacks on aid workers rise in Central African Republic

Philippine Bombing Kills 10, Showing Insurgents Remain a Problem

Philippine rebels begin campaign for Muslims’ approval of autonomy law

Analysis: Trading Armed Struggle for Battle in the Market Place

Thai Police: Drug Traffickers have Links with Southern Insurgents


1st August – 7th August


Head of Syria research center killed in car bombing: newspaper, rebel group

Syria: Armed Group Recruiting Children in Camps

Syria: Turkey must stop serious violations by allied groups and its own forces in Afrin

Growing number of suicide attacks wreak havoc in eastern Afghanistan

Egypt’s military says 52 fighters killed in the Sinai Peninsula

Human Rights Watch Letter on child recruitment to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) – led Autonomous Administration and People’s Protection Units (YPG)

Resolute Support invents new terms to obfuscate Taliban control

South Sudanese celebrate peace deal signed by Kiir and Machar

Will Congo Go to the Polls – Or Go to War?

Cameroon’s anglophone war, part 2: Inside the separatist conflict

Apparent attack in Venezuela highlights risk of drone strikes

ELN and EPL Conflict Intensifies at Colombian-Venezuela Border


8th August – 14th August


Wave of strikes hits Syria’s last rebel-held bastion

Three suspected militants and four members of security forces killed as building collapses during raid in Jordan

Crisis Group warns of new armed conflict in Oil Crescent region

Afghan candidates linked to armed groups disqualified from parliamentary polls: IECC

Libya: Tawergha IDP camp attacked by militia in danger of further attack and demolition

Palestinian official says Gaza armed groups will end round of fighting if Israel reciprocates

Dozens dead in Yemen as bus carrying children hit by airstrike

In Iraq, families linked to so-called Islamic State suffer for their relatives’ sins

India: Six people killed after ‘infiltration bid’ in Kashmir

Ebola: Tedros calls on armed groups to ensure access in Ituri, North Kivu

Ethiopian rebels declare ceasefire amid government reforms

South Sudan’s Kiir grants rebel leader Machar, others amnesty

More children released from South Sudanese armed groups – UNICEF


15th August – 21st August


Use of ‘killer robots’ in wars would breach law, say campaigners

‘It’s like you have red flags all over you’: In rebel-held north, Syrians displaced by the Islamic State face discrimination, social stigma

What may unfold in Syria’s Idlib and why is a ‘bloodbath’ likely?

Syria rebel group accused of abduction, murder of key activist

Afghanistan’s Ghani declares Eid ceasefire with Taliban

Turkish Airstrike in Iraqi Territory Kills a Kurdish Militant Leader

Two Palestinian killed, 240 injured in clashes with IOF at Gaza border protest

Hamas decries Israeli decision to end ‘Black Friday’ probe

Opinion: The danger of a better-behaved Boko Haram

Nigeria: Boko Haram kills 19 villagers in Borno state

As killing rise, aid workers confront era of growing risk

Las turbas: Who are Nicaragua’s pro-government armed groups?


22nd August – 28th August


Syria: ISIS Holding Children Hostage

Suicide bomb attack kills two in eastern Afghanistan

Citing ISIS, Rahul says exclusion of people leads to insurgency

Boko Haram: Nigerian troops overpower insurgents, kill scores in Borno

DRC: Doctor stricken with Ebola in rebel stronghold

Central African Republic: Bar Amnesty for Atrocity Crimes

Report: Armed groups in C.A.R. want power-sharing deal, amnesty

Duque vows to use force to ‘dismantle’ paramilitary group that offered to demobilize voluntarily


29th August – 4th September


Syrian war: Understanding Idlib’s rebel factions

Syria’s war: Iran’s Zarif calls for Idlib to be ‘cleaned out’

Syria’s war: Deadly car bomb attack hits rebel-held Azaz

End of the line for Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham in Syria?

Libya’s chaos explained: ‘Everybody vying for a piece of the pie’

Iraq says no ‘armed groups’ received ballistic missiles from Iran

Rockets rain on Libya’s Tripoli as fresh fighting erupts

PLO official denounces Israeli court’s ruling legalizing settlement outpost as travesty

UN: Suspected war crimes in Yemen committed by all sides

Egypt: Security forces kill 5 armed men in the south

Libya: Armed groups vie for control in deadly Tripoli clashes

“I have lost everything”: In central Mali, rising extremism stirs inter-communal conflict

CAR armed groups conclude Russian-brokered peace meeting in Sudan

DRC rebel tells ICC he’s a revolutionary, not the ‘terminator’

South Sudan rebel leader Machar ‘refused’ to sign peace deal

Russia to treat killing of east Ukraine rebel leader as ‘international terrorism’

Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko killed in explosion in Ukraine


5th September – 10th September


Inside Israel’s Secret Program to Back Syrian Rebels

Shells hit Syria’s Idlib as rebels brace for assault

Armed groups agree to keep Tripoli ceasefire: U.N

‘11 dead’ after rockets hit Iranian Kurdish offices in Iraq

UN brokers ceasefire for Libya’s warring armed groups

Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of prominent Afghan armed group, dies

Mali peace deal jeopardised by armed groups linked to terrorism, UN warns

Ethnic Armed Groups to Meet Myanmar Peace Commission For Talks in China

U.N. says six ex-rebel leaders have left Colombia reintegration zones

Leader of Colombia rebel dissident group killed, president says

Colombia’s president says ELN rebels may free more hostages soon

Separatists in Ukraine’s Donestsk Choose Zakharchenko Successor


Geneva Call Report: Administration of Justice by Armed Non-State Actors

September 10, 2018

Garance TalksLast week, Geneva Call launched a fascinating new report on the Administration of Justice by Armed-Non State Actors (ANSAs). The report is drafted by Ezequiel Heffes, the thematic legal adviser at Geneva Call who coordinated the Garance Talks 2017 out of which it emerged.

The Garance Talks is a relatively new initiative by Geneva Call which brings together ANSAs and experts biannually to discuss the current challenges faced by ANSAs when attempting to comply with humanitarian norms and to identify possible ways forward in order to enhance their compliance with their obligations under international law.

The report explains how the administration of justice by armed non State actors is relevant to Geneva Call’s work. It continues by setting out how administration of justice by armed non State actors is regulated by (i) international humanitarian law (ii) international criminal law and (iii) international human rights law.

The report then presents views from armed non State actors on:-

a) the legal basis for the establishment of courts and judicial processes by ANSAs and in territories controlled by ANSAs;

b) deprivation of liberty by ANSAs, including the treatment of detainees; and

c) the procedural safeguards –– rights and protection of detainees.

These views emerged during presentations and Q&A sessions by Mr. Edgar Lopez Gomez, a former high-level military commander from the FARC-EP; Mr. Esmat Alabsi, a judge from an area controlled by the Southern Front in Syria; and Mr. Kara Abass Billo, a judge from the SPLM-N. The report ends with conclusions and recommendations.

Very interesting reading!