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News Roundup – 10-19 April 2017

April 19, 2017

Livestream to ALMA’s IHL Forum this evening: Recent Events in Syria 

“Things that money alone cannot buy”: defining reparations in cases of sexual violence. 

Ms Virginia Gamba of Argentina for Special Representative of the Secretary General on children and armed conflict. 

April monthly update on children and armed conflict, by Watchlist. 

Rebel court sentences Yemen journalist to death. 

Syrian safe zones: the dangers. 

Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs condemns bombing of civilians killed during Syria evacuation. 

Nigerian government confirms further negotiation with Boko Haram to free Chibok girls. 

Further mass graves and killings found in Kasais, says Zeid. 

South Sudan: new spate of ethnic killings. 

South Sudan governor says repulsed rebel attack on Raja. 

Rebel commander splits away from SLM-AW in Central Darfur. 

Philippine army plans all Muslim units to tackle insurgency. 

Call for papers for special edition of HR&ILD on relationship between IHL and IHRL

April 11, 2017

Together with Steven Dewulf from Antwerp University, I am co-editing a special edition of the Journal of Human Rights and International Legal Discourse on the relationship between international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Here is the call for papers:-

The relationship between human rights law and IHL is a topic that has prompted considerable academic debate ever since the Geneva Conventions and Universal Declaration of Human rights were drafted in the late 1940s. In the early years, the debate centred on the question of whether human rights law should apply in terms of armed conflict. Now although it is generally accepted that human rights law does continue to apply in terms of armed conflict, a debate continues about when and how human rights law should apply alongside international humanitarian law. For example, scholars remain divided about the role of human rights law within the conduct of hostilities paradigm. They also remain divided about the role of human rights law on issues such as the detention and the killing of enemy fighters. There also remains uncertainty about which legal principles and rules should determine when a particular rule applies. Different institutions have approached this question in different ways. Moreover, the entire discussion also impacts on the criminal prosecution of alleged war criminals and perpetrators of other core crimes, as international criminal law borrows heavily from both IHL and human rights law.

This special edition of the journal of Human Rights and International Legal Discourse seeks to review contemporary practice on these questions. It seeks to re-visit the relationship between human rights law and international humanitarian law from theoretical, operational, international criminal law and practical perspectives. By viewing the problem from multiple perspectives, this edition seeks to capture the ‘state-of-play’ on a debate which has moved on considerably since it was last addressed in academic literature.  By seeking to pin down modern perspectives on the relationship between international humanitarian law and human rights law, the edition seeks to take the debate further, clarify best practices and identify areas of consensus.

There will be 9 articles in the journal of around 5,000 words each (references included). The two first articles have been commissioned from two major scholars in the field. The first article will provide a far reaching review of some of the main issues related to the concurrent application of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. The author will provide a retrospective on  the last ten years of developments in practice, and provide a view on where the relationship between international humanitarian law and international human rights law is heading in the future. The second article will focus more squarely on human rights law in armed conflict, taking a specific look at issues of detention and the right to life.  We will provide selected authors with more detailed outlines of these two headline articles in August 2017 to ensure no overlap and allow a cohesive flow.

Submissions are welcomed on the following broad themes:-

  1. Which rules and legal principles should determine whether international humanitarian law or international human rights law applies in a specific situation?
  2. An operational military perspective on the relationship between international human rights law and international humanitarian law;
  3. The manner in which the relationship between international human rights law and international humanitarian law manifests itself in international criminal law jurisprudence;
  4. The role of international human rights law vis-a-vis international humanitarian law in special operations abroad;
  5. The relationship between international humanitarian law and human rights law and new methods of warfare e.g. cyberwarfare;
  6. Human rights law and international humanitarian law vis-à-vis a-typical conflict situations, (transnational) terrorist groups and/or transnational armed conflicts;
  7. The relevance of the relationship between international humanitarian law and human rights law when it comes to non-State actors, such as armed groups or transnational corporations;
  8. A regional perspective on the relationship between international human rights law and international humanitarian law (e.g. European Court of Human Rights);
  9. The role of international human rights law in the developing customary international law that applies in armed conflicts (international and non-international).

Other themes are also welcome.

Timeline for special issue Call for papers:

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 1 July 2017

Green light for papers: 15 August 2017

Deadline for full papers: 1 December 2017

Feedback to authors: 6th February 2018

Issue delivered to publisher by editors: 24th April 2018

Publication of special issue: 15th May 2018

These dates are estimations and may be subject to change.

For submissions and questions relating to this edition please contact both:

Katharine Fortin at and Steven Dewulf at

News Roundup – 27 March-3 April

April 3, 2017

Vigilante groups could plunge Ghana into armed conflict – top police officer warns

Colombia News | Colombia Reports, Profiles, EPL / Los Pelusos

Only 1 Out of 15 Terror Groups Operating in Syria’s Homs Linked to Nusra Front

Syrian army pushing back insurgent offensive, military source says

Rebel Court In Yemen’s Insurgent-Held Capital Sentences President To Death

Air raids hit Syria rebel areas

Syrian rebels seize swathes of south as Islamic State retreats

Yemen’s rebel supporters vow to continue resistance on conflict anniversary

Taliban insurgent admits beheading of civilians after joining peace

Yambio: Military officers from former armed groups trained in protecting children in conflict situations

Myanmar Military Chief Defends Crackdown Against Rohingya in Rakhine State

Myanmar state counselor calls on non-ceasefire signatory armed groups to join signing

Sudan rebel group accuses government forces of killing aid workers

Sudan rebel leader accuses IGAD of reneging on 2015 peace agreement

IGAD “condemns” South Sudan’s armed groups

SPLM-N deputy resigns, status of rebel government questioned

Government says SPLM-N rift affects efforts for peace in Sudan, as opposition calls to end it

Armed Groups Suspend Production At Two Libyan Fields

Note ban effect: Northeast rebel ‘governments’ feel the squeeze, refrain from increasing tax rates

Five more groups likely to sign NCA with government

Philippines push for rebel truce ahead of Norway talks

How will Abadi handle Iraq’s Shiite militias

Implementing the Guidelines: a Toolkit to Guide Understanding and Implementation of the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict

News Roundup – 20-27 March 2017

March 27, 2017

New Crisis Group Report: Counter-terrorism pitfalls – what the US fight against ISIS and Al-Qaida should avoid. 

New Crisis Group Report: Hizbollah’s Syria Conundrum. 

New HRW Report: Pakistan – attacks on schools devastate education. 

International, independent probe of alleged violations in Yemen needed – deputy UN human rights chief. 

UN expresses profound concern about terrible loss of life in Mosul. 

ISIL after Mosul: insurgency and rivalry. 

Marine killed for injured insurgent to learn the fate of his appeal next week. 

Syrian army pushing back insurgent offensive, military source says. 

Taliban offensive forces retreat of US, Afghan forces in key district. 

Body of rebel leader exhumed and displayed in Benghazi, Libya. 

Court awards $1 million for victims of Congolses war lord. 

ICC Trial Chamber II awards victims individual and collective reparations. 

ICC adds one year to Bemba’s conviction for attempted bribery of witnesses. 

MILF releases hundreds of child soldiers as part of action plan with UN. 

Blockade of rebel held east Ukraine to hurt Ukraine economy. 

Some legal blog posts you may have missed….

IHL does not authorise detention in a NIAC: a response to Murray. 

The ‘Command Responsibility’  Controversy in Colombia. 

The evaculation of eastern Aleppo: Humanitarian Obligation or War Crime?  and a reply

Opening the floodgates, controlling the flow: Swedish court rules on the legal capacity of armed groups to establish courts. 

The impact of Morocco’s admission to the African Union on the dispute over Western Sahara. 

News roundup 14-20 March 2017

March 21, 2017

Confirmed al Qaeda member convicted of terrorism in New York court

Widespread conflict between Dinka and non-Dinka in the Equatorias

Security forces in Congo Republic kill 15 alleged rebel fighters

Fresh clashes in Tripoli threaten fragile ceasefire

European Court of Justice: “Actions by armed forces during periods of armed conflict, within the meaning of international humanitarian law, may constitute ‘terrorist acts’”

Ukraine orders blockade on rebel-held east

Syria: Six years of conflict

Six years into Syria’s war, rebel areas face deepening medical crisis

Damascus Suicide Bombings Could Indicate New Insurgent Strategy

Mounting claims of civilian deaths after U.S. targets al-Qaeda in Syria

How chlorine gas became a weapon in Syria’s civil war

Syrian Kurds say Russia to build base in Afrin

100,000 flee as Iraqi forces advance in west Mosul

Rebel missile attack said to have killed 22 Yemeni troops

New Report on Mental Health and the Foreign Fighter Phenomenon: A Case Study of The Netherlands

March 17, 2017

Title of Report on Mental Health and FFThis new report from the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism explores the suggested link between radicalisation, the foreign fighter phenomenon, terrorism and mental health problems, taking the situation in the Netherlands as a case study. After an initial mapping of the suggested link, including the presentation of new numbers, the report presents research exploring the causes and mechanisms of radicalisation in relation to mental health issues in more detail. In particular, the social defeat hypothesis, addressing dopamine disturbance due to social exclusion, is discussed in relation to radicalisation. The paper subsequently examines possible responses and looks at some preliminary thoughts as well as concrete ideas, both more long-term and more short-term focused. Finally, the report offers a few thoughts on the way forward.

News Roundup – 6-13 March 2017

March 13, 2017

Denmark to give 7 million DKK to prosecute war crimes in Syria. 

Hitting rock bottom: Children’s suffering in Syria at its worst. 

Mass grave found near Mosul after IS retreat. 

Can a new court deliver long awaited justice in Central African Republic?

New Crisis Group report: Fighting Boko Haram in Chad – Beyond Military Measures. 

Thousands of Nigerians trapped by Boko Haram insurgency, MSF says. 

Two soldiers killed as rebel attacks intensify in eastern Ukraine. 

Suspected rebel planted mine hits Yemeni ship, kills two. 

Karate and wooden guns: how new insurgent group stoked Myanmar crisis. 

South Sudan general announces new rebel group. 

Former rebel chief joins National Salvation Front in South Sudan.