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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The legal regulation of the South African 'armed conflict' by common article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions
Author:Boister, Neil
Periodical:South African Yearbook of International Law
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:national liberation struggles
law of war
Abstract:Faced with the critical necessity of providing some form of international legal regulation of the 'armed conflict' between the South African government and the ANC, the author argues that temporary relief can be found through the application of common article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, regulating noninternational armed conflict. This article contains a set of humanitarian rules controlling the actions of the parties to a noninternational armed conflict from the outset of such a conflict. The author begins by defining 'armed conflict', distinguishing it from such conflicts as riots and faction fights. Having thus classified the South African conflict as an article 3 conflict, the author makes clear how both parties involved are automatically bound to apply the article. The South African government is bound through its contractual obligation (it is a party to the 1949 Conventions). Concerning the ANC, and insurgent movements in general, the situation is less clear. In 1949 not much attention was paid to the issue of how to bind an entity which is not a party to the Convention. Since then, a number of theories have been advanced as to how the insurgent party is bound. The author suggests applying articles 34-36 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. It then only depends on the political will of the ANC to adhere to article 3. According to the author, this will is present. Notes, ref.