Table of Contents

War Crimes and the Conduct of Hostilities

War Crimes and the Conduct of Hostilities

Challenges to Adjudication and Investigation

Edited by Fausto Pocar, Marco Pedrazzi and Micaela Frulli

Most charges for war crimes are brought for violations of the rules on the treatment of protected persons in armed conflict situations. However in certain cases, they are brought for serious breach of international humanitarian law rules governing the conduct of hostilities. This book seeks to address this somewhat neglected area of international criminal law.

Chapter 9: The crime of attacking peacekeepers

Andrea Spagnolo

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, public international law, terrorism and security law


For over a decade the international community has focused extensively on the protection of peacekeepers. Undoubtedly in many circumstances, and especially in non-international armed conflicts, attacks on peacekeepers constitute an unlawful method of warfare. Parties to a conflict use such illicit conduct to achieve a military or political advantage. In Sierra Leone the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) attacked peacekeepers in order to show their opposition to the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programs; in Sudan the rebels attacked the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) camp because they thought it provided the government with some intelligence; in the former Yugoslavia peace keepers were taken hostage in response to the NATO bombing campaign. These situations represent only a few examples of the many instances resulting in attacks on peacekeepers. The UN suffers image and communication problems and such problems are shared by the peacekeepers.

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