Wars of national liberation in the Geneva Conventions and Protocols
by Georges Abi-Saab
Host item entries:
Recueil des cours : Académie de droit international de la Haye = Collected courses of the Hague academy of international law, T. 165, IV, 1979, p. 353-445
The main humanitarian law issues related to wars of national liberation can be reduced to four queries: Which status? For what conflicts? Between which parties? For what purpose? Each of these queries is examined first by reference to the Geneva Conventions, then to the Protocols. The examination of the Geneva Conventions does not only serve to bring out the "value added" of the Protocols in this respect. More important is the fact that the Protocols are not yet widely ratified and most probably shall remain unratified by the States most affected by wars of national liberation. In such cases, the Geneva Conventions remain the only applicable law.