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Relationship between Armed Conflict and Genocide - Essay Example

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Relationship between Armed Conflict and Genocide Introduction to Genocide and Armed Conflict Raphael Lemkin, the Polish jurist coined the term “genocide” to refer to the massacre of Armenians by Turks during the First World War and the massacre of Jews by Nazis during the Second World War…
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Relationship between Armed Conflict and Genocide
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Download file to see previous pages 21). Genocides have become more frequent over the time and a potential contributing factor to it is the advancement of technology (Kuper, 1983). The Uppsala University (2011) defines armed conflict in these words, “An armed conflict is a contested incompatibility which concerns government and/or territory where the use of armed force between two parties, of which at least one is the government of a state, results in at least 25 battle-related deaths” (Uppsala University, 2011). In light of this definition of armed conflict, genocide does not qualify as an armed conflict, since one of the two parties is armed in genocide but the second party is a victim. In a conflict, both of the two parties make use of force against each other in one way or another but in the genocide, the force is used by just one party against the other, and the other suffers because of a number of reasons that include but are not limited to the lack of force, lack of technical equipment, lack of skill and training in the use of equipment, and most importantly, lack of political support. “Apart from cases of subaltern genocide, the defenders and deniers of some of history’s worst genocides often justify the killings on the grounds of legitimate defensive or retributory action against traitors and subversives” (Jones, 2011, p. 50). Comparison of Genocide and Armed Conflict The difference between armed conflict and genocide is that in the former, it is at least two states that are fighting with each other whereas in the latter, a state fights with a nation. “Genocidal regimes thrive on the very types of social categories that anthropologists analyze and deploy – peoples, cultures, ethnic groups, nations, religious groups” (Hinton, 2002, p. 18). Thus, when people belonging to a certain community are victimized by another community particularly with the support of the government, the violence classifies as genocide. “Genocide is an extreme method by which a polity eliminates ethnic conflict” (Palmer, 1998). Genocide resembles armed conflict as a campaign and takes place in the context of armed conflict. However, there is a lot of difference between genocide and armed conflict: “Genocide is the antithesis of the ... doctrine (…) [which] holds that war is directed against sovereigns and armies, not against subjects and civilians. In its modern application in civilized society, the doctrine means that war is conducted against states and armed forces and not against populations. It required a long period of evolution in civilized society to mark the way from wars of extermination, which occurred in ancient times and in the Middle Ages, to the conception of wars as being essentially limited to activities against armies and states.” (Lemkin, 2008, p. 80). From this statement, it can be inferred that defining the genocide as a form of violence different from armed conflict relies on the difference between an uncivilized and civilized warfare. Genocide can be distinguished from armed conflict only by understanding the difference between armies and civilians. Relationship between Armed Conflict and Genocide Genocide was initially identified in the war’s context. In the contemporary age, the terms war and armed conflict are used interchangeably. Although the military prefers to refer to it as the “law of armed conflict” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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