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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Guerrilla Forces

Christian Schaller

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 19 October 2019

Armed forces — National liberation movements — Armed conflict, non-international — Geneva Conventions 1949 — Combatants, unlawful — Prisoners of war

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 The term ‘guerrilla’ is mainly used in military science to describe certain strategies, tactics, and methods of irregular or asymmetric warfare . In this context, guerrilla forces can be characterized as groups of fighters who avail themselves of such strategies, tactics, and methods during an armed conflict in order to gain a military advantage against superior opponents. Guerrilla forces typically aim at creating a specific momentum of surprise. Therefore, they operate in small and highly mobile units, hide in a civilian environment, and carry out their...
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