Protection Of The Rights Of Individuals In Armed Conflict Situation

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RESEARCH PROJECT TOPIC ON PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS IN ARMED CONFLICT SITUATION
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
The history of human kind right from antiquity testified that, conflict or rather armed conflict between individuals, families, tribes and nations has been part of the nature of human persons.
Policy of force was encouraged by disinclination of state of Europe during the dark ages through the Middle Ages, to consider any community other than one which was loosely related to them as Barbarian who did not deserve to be treated on equal footing.  An example is the case of Romans who treated none but their Latin cousins as equals, while they treated the rest of the world as
Barbarians who deserved to live only under Roman Dominance.[1]
During the period referred to above, the rights of combatants as well as non-combatants, e.g. civilians, women, children, aged persons, religious persons and injured combatants were not properly and adequately respected and protected during armed conflict situations.  However, even at that period, certain individuals as well as some religious leaders tried with some greater or lesser success to limit the suffering of war among combatants and non-combatants.[2]
For instance, two thousand years before Christ, King Hammurabi of Babylonia (now in Iraq) codified rules of conduct in war.[3]
In India, the text of Maharabati and Manu Codes provided that, mercy be shown to the disarmed and wounded enemy. [4]
Over fourteen hundred years ago (7th Century, A. D.), the religion of Islam laid down comprehensive rules of war, in order to alleviate the suffering of war to both combatants and noncombatants.[5]
In the 17th Century, the Dutch legal scholar and diplomat, Grotius, wrote his book entitled De juri Belli – Acpacis, which was considered to be the first attempt to draw up rules of international law, protecting the victim of armed conflict.[6]
[1] George, Schwarzanberger and Brown, A Manual of International Law, Professional Book Limited, U.K., 6th Edition, 1976, page 5.
[2] Ladan, M.T., Introduction to International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Ahmadu ello University Press, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria, Page 108.
[3] Ibid
[4] Ibid
[5] Ibid
[6] Ibid

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