Armed opposition groups, likewise other non-state actors, confront international law with the challenge of their "otherness". This challenge has been so far met in three different ways, reflecting the diverging degree of participation and acceptability that various armed opposition groups (national liberation movements, insurgent groups in non-international armed conflicts, and criminal and terrorist groups) show. The approaches international law adopts towards these three categories of AOG differ considerably in the extent and content of rights bestowed upon the groups' members. This plurality is made possible by the flexibility of the international legal personality concept, which is not a matter of simple presence and absence but of degree. As such, it helps to ensure the dominance of the state over the "other", but fails to meet the needs of the wider international community. While there is no easy solution to this problem, it is clear that any move forward has to include either a moderation of the goals the legal regime pursues or a reassessment of some of its premises and a more active incorporation of "otherness".
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