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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The law of war in Southern Africa; the growing debate
Author:Borrowdale, A.
Periodical:The Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subject:law of war
Abstract:The tenor of the humanitarian law of war underwent a radical change with the emergence in 1977 of the Additional Protocols I and II to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, relating to the protection of victims of international and non-international armed conflicts respectively. The particular importance of the Additional Protocols for South Africa (who is a party to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 but has not acceded to the Additional Protocols) lies in the interpretation of article 1 (4) of Protocol I which defines international armed conflicts (to which Protocol I and the Geneva Conventions apply by virtue of article 1(3) and common article 2 respectively). On 20 October 1980 the African National congress of South Africa (ANC) declared its intention to respect and be guided by the general principles of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts. This declaration is highly significant not only because it indicates the increasing relevance of the law of war in Southern Africa, but also because it probably presages the making of a declaration in terms of article 96(3) of Protocol I regulating the position of national liberation movements. The author examines the fundamental questions raised by the ANC declaration in the context of the South African juridical standpoint on the law of war. Notes.