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Legal responsibility for IHL and human rights violations committed by United Nations peacekeeping missions

Adaeze Udeze Oguekwe


The question as to the relationship between International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights Law in armed conflict and their application to peacekeeping operations is a very cardinal one. Another more challenging issue is the increasing allegations of violations of the rights of persons living within areas of armed conflict or disturbances by peacekeepers and absolute disregard to IHL rules. This research is laid out in sections to critically evaluate the laws concerning legal responsibility by States and troops in cases of armed conflict. Thus, the legal personality of the United Nations and other international organisations in general is appraised. Among the findings of this research are the facts that it is difficult to hold the United Nations responsible for violations committed by their peacekeeping troops because of the controversy as to the legal personality of the UN; the fact that individual peacekeepers can be criminally responsible for such actions. The research draws on judicial authorities and statutes to reach its conclusions.

Keywords: Legal responsibility, Peacekeeping, Human rights, IHL.