Other Situations of Violence: Classification Issues and Concerns: The Nigerian Situation
Akpoghome, Theresa U

The classification of conflicts into two broad categories – international and internal armed conflicts is to help determine the law that applies in any given situation of conflict. Beside these broad classifications, there are other situations of violence which according to the provisions of Additional Protocol II are not covered by IHL. This distinction has given rise to unsettled areas which revolves around when a given situation becomes an armed conflict and the applicable law when there is an intervention by foreign armed troops either on the side of the government or the insurgents. The issue of the applicable law in any situation of violence usually begins with the analysis of the distinctions that have been drawn between internal conflicts and other situations of violence which a lot of people find very difficult to understand when placed against the backdrop of IHL’s objectives of humanity and being effective and credible. This paper discusses the concerns that have arisen as a result of the classification and the non applicability of IHL to other situations of violence in Nigeria and the justification for such. It also discusses the relevant provisions of AP II and the effect on IHL’s aim of protecting humanity and suggests a possibility for reform by reconsidering the threshold question. The paper also suggests ways of ensuring that State do not hide under the guise of other situations of conflict and allow such situations to continue to claim the lives of civilians.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.15640/jlcj.v3n1a6