Evaluating the Application of International Humanitarian Law in Internal : Current School News

Evaluating the Application of International Humanitarian Law in Internal Armed Conflicts

Filed in Current Projects, Law Project Topics by on October 27, 2020

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Evaluating the Application of International Humanitarian Law in Internal Armed Conflicts.


International Humanitarian Law is applicable to Internal Armed conflict situations as provided by Article 3 Common to the Four Geneva Conventions 1949 and their Additional Protocol II of 1977.Provisions of these two Legal Regimes apply during extreme violence.

Determining whether a particular situation is an Internal Armed Conflict is a question one should put in mind. Again even if a situation is determined to be an Internal Armed Conflict how do parties in an extreme violence implement and comply with these rules seem to be very difficult.

In most situations, states deny a situation in their territory to be an armed conflict. They prefer to address the situation to be Internal Tensions and Disturbances which are not recognized by International Humanitarian Law. The research work aims at emphasizing on the compliance of International Humanitarian Law during extreme violence.

The research work aims at enlightening the readers that International Humanitarian Law is Applicable to internal armed conflict that is within the confines of a single state.

The objective of this research work is to show that states like Liberia and Sierra Leone and any other state facing the same armed conflict can begin to end the culture of impunity and bring in a sustainable peace by compliance with the rules of International Humanitarian Law.

The working method chosen is more of a doctrinal approach which is qualitative in order to reach an understanding of the current position of Internal Armed Conflict and rules applicable to their violent activities. The primary source of materials for this research works are the Treaty Laws, textbooks, law reports and journals on international humanitarian law.


Within the modern regime of international law a branch has evolved referred to as law of armed conflict popularly known as International Humanitarian Law (IHL). International Humanitarian Law is found in the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949.

Out of the 195 independent sovereign states in the world, virtually all the states have agreed to be bound by them1. The Conventions have been developed and supplemented by two further agreements. Additional Protocols of 1977 (I) and (II) relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict.

The States parties to the 1949 Geneva Conventions have entrusted International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) through the statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, to work for the understanding and dissemination of knowledge of International Humanitarian Law, applicable in armed conflict and to prepare any development thereof.

International Humanitarian Law distinguishes two types of armed conflict4 namely;

  • International Armed Conflicts (IAC), meaning fighting or opposition between two or more sovereign
  • Non-International armed conflicts (NIAC), meaning fighting or opposition between state and governmental forces and non-governmental armed.

Non-International armed conflict occur today much more frequently and entail more suffering than International Armed conflict.


Abdullah. I, (2004) Between Democracy and Terror: The Sierra Leone Civil War Council for  the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar.p.99,229

Adebajo, A. (2002) Liberia’s Civil War; Nigeria, ECOMOG and Regional Security in West Africa. Published by U.S of America Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc. P.21.

Barber, F. (2009) Facilitating Humanitarian Assistance in International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, Humanitarian Debate; Law, Policy, Action War Victims, International Review of the Red Cross. Volume 91, Number, 874, p.385

Cullen, A. (2010), The Concept of Non-International Armed Conflict in International Humanitarian Law. Cambridge University Press the Edinburgh buildingcb28ru, UK.p.119.

Duyvesteryn, I. (2005) Clausewitz and African War, Frank Cass, London/New York, p.27Easter Day, J. (2010)

Garner, B. A (2004) Black’s Law Dictionary Eighth Edition, West a Thomson Business 6 Cooperman Drive USA p.758.

CSN Team.

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