Violence Against Civilians

Authored by: Lisa Hultman

Routledge Handbook of Civil Wars

Print publication date:  February  2014
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415622585
eBook ISBN: 9780203105962
Adobe ISBN: 9781136255786

10.4324/9780203105962.ch23

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Abstract

The 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War stipulates that civilians should be protected against all acts of violence in both international and civil wars. Yet, in many civil wars civilians are subjected to deliberate attacks and massacres committed by the conflict parties in direct violation of international humanitarian law. The conflict in Darfur serves as an example of where the government targeted civilians as a brutal counterinsurgency method seemingly aimed at terrorizing and displacing the population (Prunier 2007: 99–110). Ten years after the genocide in Rwanda when the world had promised “never again,” the atrocious violence against the civilian population in Darfur escalated to disastrous levels (International Crisis Group 2004). In the Peruvian civil war, the civilian population suffered greatly at the hands of both government and rebel violence, where both targeted killings and massacres seemed common (Fielding and Shortland 2012; Weinstein 2007).

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