15 April 2019
In 2018, 69 situations of armed violence amounted to armed conflicts according to international humanitarian law and international criminal law. The vast majority are non-international armed conflicts, as in preceding years.
The 156 pages War Report, edited by our Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law Dr Annyssa Bellal, identifies, describes, and discusses the situations of armed violence that amounted in 2018 to armed conﬂicts, in accordance with the deﬁnitions under international humanitarian law (IHL) and international criminal law (ICL).
In 2018, 69 armed conflicts occurred in 30 states and territories: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the Central African Republic (CAR), Colombia, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Eritrea, Georgia, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Moldova, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Western Sahara and Yemen.
As in previous years, the report highlights that the majority of today’s armed conflicts – 51 out of 69 – are non-international, involving states and organized armed groups, a trend that has been highlighted since the first edition of the War Report back in 2012.
These non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) are taking place in the territory of 22 states, namely Afghanistan, CAR, Colombia, DRC, Egypt, India, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philip¬pines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Yemen.
‘The 2018 edition classifies as NIACs, as our Rule of Law in Armed Conflict (RULAC) online portal, four new situations of violence in Northern India, as well as the armed violence between armed groups and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Mission (MINUSCA) in CAR’ explains Dr Bellal.
Dedicated articles analyse recent developments or particular aspects of the NIACs in CAR, DRC, Mali, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand and Eastern Ukraine.
Articles in this year's edition focus notably on some situations of military occupation, to which IHL of international armed conflicts applies, other than the well-known case of Palestine: the military occupation of a small part of Eritrea by Ethiopia, the military occupation of parts of Georgia by Russia and the military occupation of parts of Ukraine by Russia.
‘While these situations are not well known and might sometimes be considered as 'forgotten conflicts', military occupations are often politically sensitive for many states. The authors of the War Report took great care of reminding the history of these conflicts, but also of highlighting the positions of each concerned party’ underlines Dr Bellal.
Like last year's edition, the War Report continued its exploration of armed gang violence and addresses the situation in Brazil.
‘Despite the high level of armed gang violence in this country, particularly in Rio de Janeiro, we concluded that the armed actors involved do not meet the organization criteria required for IHL to classify the situation as a NIAC‘ explains Dr Bellal.
Regarding armed gang violence in Mexico, the 2018 edition continues to classify, as our RULAC online portal, the armed violence between the government and the Jalisco Cartel New Generation as a NIAC.
The 2018 edition of the War Report will be launched at our upcoming Current Issues in Armed Conflict Conference that will take place in Geneva on 17 June 2019.
The War Report is an essential reference for experts, governments, policy-makers, NGOs, international organizations, donors, international courts and tribunals, judges and lawyers who work on human rights, humanitarian issues, and peace or security.
With our RULAC online portal, the War Report is the only independent global classification of armed conflicts under international law.
‘Such independent classification is essential as it has far-reaching implications, notably regarding applicable law (and therefore the protections those affected benefit from), the possible commission of war crimes or the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)’ underlines Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy.
Our new War Report article Iraq: Any Hope for Change? provides an overview of the non-international armed conflict in the country, including information about the classification of the conflict, its history, parties and developments in 2019.
Our Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts (RULAC) online portal provides a detailed analysis and legal classification of the multiple non-international armed conflicts that are taking place in Myanmar between the Myanmar Armed Forces and several Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs), as well as between various EAOs.
A side event co-organized with Geneva Call at the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
This short course provides an overview of the evolution of the rules governing the use of force in international law, focusing on military intervention on humanitarian grounds and the creation of the United Nations collective security system. It then addresses the concept of the responsibility to protect.
UN Photo/Manuel Elias
This short course provides an introduction to the regime of sanctions under international law and their effectiveness in addressing contemporary forms of conflict. It addresses the questions related to state responsibility, the pacific settlement of international disputes and the role of the International Court of Justice.
This project, initiated in 2014 by the Swiss Chair of International Humanitarian Law, Professor Noam Lubell, intends to identify, via expert meetings and research, a set of best practices that states should apply when they investigate or examine alleged violations or misconduct in situations of armed conflict.
This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.