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Civilian population

  • Iraqi civilian casualties on a bridge over the Euphrates River at Al Hindiyah (Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003)

    The Body Counts : Civilian Casualties in War

    May 10, 2012

    Throughout the post Cold War period there has been a widespread view that war and armed conflict have changed radically since the First World War to the point where some 80-90% of war victims are now civilians. Many modern wars have been accompanied by significant depopulations, along with destruction of infrastructure and resources.

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  • Dresden 1945

    Dresden 1945: An Allied War Crime?

    February 18, 2011

    Since 1945, the bombing of Dresden is considered by many as a violation of international law and as a crime against humanity, even though positive rules of international humanitarian law were absent at the time. The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, were among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the nascent body of international law. However these conventions, adressing the codes of wartime conduct on land and at sea, were adopted before the rise of air power. Despite repeated diplomatic attempts (→ The Hague Rules of Air Warefare 1922/1923) to update international humanitarian law to include aerial warfare, it was not done before the outbreak of World War II. The absence of positive international humanitarian law does not mean that the laws of war did not cover aerial warfare, but there was no general agreement of how to interpret those laws. The aerial bombardment of Dresden does not only raise the question as to whether or not it was an Allied war crime, but it also makes a moral appeal to prevent total war against civilian populations. It’s memory is kept alive.

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  • United Nations Sanctions Against Zimbabwe Leadership Vetoed

    July 14, 2008

    A United States-led attempt to impose United Nations (UN) sanctions against Zimbabwe failed when on Friday, 11 July, China and Russia, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, voted against a draft resolution that would have instituted a travel ban and asset freeze against President Robert Mugabe and thirteen senior government/security officials in connection with the election violence in Zimbabwe.

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