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18 Application of International Humanitarian Law to United Nations Operations

From: The Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions in Context

Annyssa Bellal, Stuart Casey-Maslen

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 10 December 2023

Armed conflict — Conduct of hostilities

This chapter explores the operation of the United Nations (UN) to enforce peacekeeping. It covers the key issues determining the responsibility of the UN under international law on forces enacting peace-enforcement operations under effective control. Additionally, the chapter recognises the moment when a UN force becomes a party to armed conflict and is subjected to international humanitarian law (IHL). Similarly, a UN force loses its civilian status when pursuing an armed group engaged in a non-international law of armed conflict. The chapter then looks into the application of the 1977 Additional Protocols’ rules and the customary law to UN operations. It acknowledges the frequency of peacekeeping operations crossing the line into peace enforcement under the guise of protecting civilians.

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