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Solid Squares and Dynamic Circles, A Humanitarian Assessment of Prolonged Hostilities in Central Africa

Skarbro, Sanna LU (2014) JURM02 20141
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Uppsatsen analyserar den pågående konflikten i Centralafrikanska republiken och dess angränsande länder, med särskilt fokus på regionen omfattande nordöstra Centralafrikanska Republiken, östra Chad och västra Sudan (CCS-regionen). Med anledning av dess orsakande av avsevärda civila förluster och dess efterlämnande av åtskilliga förstörda samhällen utgör konflikten en betydande angelägenhet för det internationella samfundet. Konflikten anses generellt omfattas av det humanitärrättsliga ramverket för inomstatliga väpnade konflikter. I uppsatsen framförs dock argumentet att vid en kategorisering av situationen som en nationellt begränsad konflikt bortses från väsentliga aspekter av konflikten.
Kategorisering av en strid i enlighet med... (More)
Uppsatsen analyserar den pågående konflikten i Centralafrikanska republiken och dess angränsande länder, med särskilt fokus på regionen omfattande nordöstra Centralafrikanska Republiken, östra Chad och västra Sudan (CCS-regionen). Med anledning av dess orsakande av avsevärda civila förluster och dess efterlämnande av åtskilliga förstörda samhällen utgör konflikten en betydande angelägenhet för det internationella samfundet. Konflikten anses generellt omfattas av det humanitärrättsliga ramverket för inomstatliga väpnade konflikter. I uppsatsen framförs dock argumentet att vid en kategorisering av situationen som en nationellt begränsad konflikt bortses från väsentliga aspekter av konflikten.
Kategorisering av en strid i enlighet med international humanitärrätt kräver en analys av de involverade aktörerna och den geografiska omfattningen av konflikten. Kapitel 2 presenterar det grundläggande humanitärrättsliga ramverket och belyser att tillämpningen av humanitärrättsliga normer erfordrar särskilda förutsättningar: urskiljningsbara väpnade grupper och avgränsade territorier.
Kapitel 3 presenterar den historiska bakgrunden till och den praktiska kontexten i vilken konflikten pågår. Ett resultat av den europeiska kolonisationen av CCS-regionen i början av 1900-talet var nationell koherens för de tre staterna i teorin, men fragmenterad samhörighet i praktiken. Alla tre staterna har lidit av långvariga konflikter och det argumenteras i kapitlet att CCS-regionen utgör en sammanflätad, regionaliserad konflikt omfattande territorier och aktörer från alla tre staterna. Det belyses att den regionaliserade kontexten i vilken konflikten utspelar sig är tveksamt kompatibel med den kontext som förutsätts för korrekt tillämpning av humanitärrättsliga normer eftersom såväl kravet om urskiljningsbara aktörer som kravet om avgränsade territorier saknas. Genom att tydliggöra att konflikten varken kan kategoriseras som en internationell väpnad konflikt eller med enkelhet omfattas av ramverket för interna konflikter belyses att karakteriseringen av konflikten och tillämpningen av det humanitärrättsliga ramverket i enlighet därmed, är problematiskt. Uppsatsen konstaterar att den pågående konflikten i CCS-regionen utgör en från tidigare erkända konflikt-typologier särskiljd typ av konflikt: en postkolonial, regionaliserad konflikt, svårligen angripbar med tillämplig internationell humanitärrätt.
Från slutsatsen att konflikten utgör en regionaliserad konflikt följer dock svåra bedömningar avseende vem som är och vem som inte är rättmätig innehavare av statens exklusiva, legitima rätt att utöva våld. Det blir svårt att utkräva juridiskt ansvar för potentiella krigsbrott när själva utpekandet av särskilda personer och grupper i sig är högst problematiskt. Uppsatsen avslutar med att konstatera att beklagansvärda konsekvenser av detta inte enbart är att allvarliga brott mot den civila befolkningen kan förbli ostraffade, utan dessutom tycks kunna fortsätta ohindrat då det förefaller oklart vem som borde, och vem som innehar den exklusiva rätten att sätta stopp för våldet. (Less)
Abstract
The thesis examines the contemporary conflict in the Central African Republic and its neighbouring countries, in particular the region comprising north-eastern Central African Republic, eastern Chad and western Sudan (the CCS-region). Having caused numerous civilian casualties and left countless societies entirely ruined, the conflict is one of major concern for the international community. The conflict is generally considered to be governed by the humanitarian legal framework of non-international armed conflict. It is however argued in the thesis that by categorizing the situation as a purely internal conflict intrinsic characteristics of the situation are ignored.
Categorizing hostilities in terms of international humanitarian law... (More)
The thesis examines the contemporary conflict in the Central African Republic and its neighbouring countries, in particular the region comprising north-eastern Central African Republic, eastern Chad and western Sudan (the CCS-region). Having caused numerous civilian casualties and left countless societies entirely ruined, the conflict is one of major concern for the international community. The conflict is generally considered to be governed by the humanitarian legal framework of non-international armed conflict. It is however argued in the thesis that by categorizing the situation as a purely internal conflict intrinsic characteristics of the situation are ignored.
Categorizing hostilities in terms of international humanitarian law necessitates an analysis of the actors involved in the conflict and the geographical scope of the same. Chapter 2 outlines the fundamental humanitarian framework and emphasizes that the application of humanitarian norms requires certain presuppositions; distinguishable armed forces and confined territories.
Chapter 3 addresses the historical background to and practical context in which the conflict takes place. A result of European colonization of the CCS-region in the early 20th century was national coherency of the three states in theory, but fragmented communality in practice. All three states suffer from prolonged hostilities and it is argued that the CCS-region presents an intertwined and regionalized conflict embracing territories and actors from all three states. It is emphasized that the regionalized context in which the conflict takes place is difficultly compatible with the context required for correct application of humanitarian norms as both the requirement of distinguishable armed forces and the requirement of confined territories are essentially missing. By pinpointing that the conflict can neither be characterized as an international armed conflict, nor be easily accommodated within the framework regulating non-international armed conflicts, the chapter enlightens that characterizing the conflict and subsuming it under the international humanitarian framework is a challenging undertaking. The thesis finds that the conflict occurring in the CCS-region constitutes a from previously recognized conflict-typology distinguished type of conflict: a post-colonial regionalized conflict, difficultly compatible with the contemporary humanitarian framework.
From the finding that the conflict constitutes a regionalized conflict it becomes extraordinarily difficult to distinguish who are and who aren’t the legitimate holders of the exclusive right to use violence and coercion within the states. It becomes difficult to hold persons and groups accountable for misconduct and potential war crimes, when simply characterizing the persons and groups involved in hostilities is in the nearest impossible. As a deplorable consequence it is found that severe crimes against the civilian population may not only go unpunished, but continue as it appears unclear who should, and has the exclusive right, to put an end to the violence. (Less)
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author
Skarbro, Sanna LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20141
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Public International Law, International Humanitarian Law
language
English
id
4451569
date added to LUP
2014-06-12 09:05:58
date last changed
2014-06-12 09:05:58
@misc{4451569,
  abstract     = {The thesis examines the contemporary conflict in the Central African Republic and its neighbouring countries, in particular the region comprising north-eastern Central African Republic, eastern Chad and western Sudan (the CCS-region). Having caused numerous civilian casualties and left countless societies entirely ruined, the conflict is one of major concern for the international community. The conflict is generally considered to be governed by the humanitarian legal framework of non-international armed conflict. It is however argued in the thesis that by categorizing the situation as a purely internal conflict intrinsic characteristics of the situation are ignored.
Categorizing hostilities in terms of international humanitarian law necessitates an analysis of the actors involved in the conflict and the geographical scope of the same. Chapter 2 outlines the fundamental humanitarian framework and emphasizes that the application of humanitarian norms requires certain presuppositions; distinguishable armed forces and confined territories.
Chapter 3 addresses the historical background to and practical context in which the conflict takes place. A result of European colonization of the CCS-region in the early 20th century was national coherency of the three states in theory, but fragmented communality in practice. All three states suffer from prolonged hostilities and it is argued that the CCS-region presents an intertwined and regionalized conflict embracing territories and actors from all three states. It is emphasized that the regionalized context in which the conflict takes place is difficultly compatible with the context required for correct application of humanitarian norms as both the requirement of distinguishable armed forces and the requirement of confined territories are essentially missing. By pinpointing that the conflict can neither be characterized as an international armed conflict, nor be easily accommodated within the framework regulating non-international armed conflicts, the chapter enlightens that characterizing the conflict and subsuming it under the international humanitarian framework is a challenging undertaking. The thesis finds that the conflict occurring in the CCS-region constitutes a from previously recognized conflict-typology distinguished type of conflict: a post-colonial regionalized conflict, difficultly compatible with the contemporary humanitarian framework.
From the finding that the conflict constitutes a regionalized conflict it becomes extraordinarily difficult to distinguish who are and who aren’t the legitimate holders of the exclusive right to use violence and coercion within the states. It becomes difficult to hold persons and groups accountable for misconduct and potential war crimes, when simply characterizing the persons and groups involved in hostilities is in the nearest impossible. As a deplorable consequence it is found that severe crimes against the civilian population may not only go unpunished, but continue as it appears unclear who should, and has the exclusive right, to put an end to the violence.},
  author       = {Skarbro, Sanna},
  keyword      = {Public International Law,International Humanitarian Law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Solid Squares and Dynamic Circles, A Humanitarian Assessment of Prolonged Hostilities in Central Africa},
  year         = {2014},
}