Civil War

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Civil War

Civil war exists when two or more opposing parties within a country resort to arms to settle a conflict or when a substantial portion of the population takes up arms against the legitimate government of a country. Within International Law distinctions are drawn between minor conflicts like riots, where order is restored promptly, and full-scale insurrections finding opposing parties in political as well as military control over different areas. When an internal conflict reaches sufficient proportions that the interests of other countries are affected, outside states may recognize a state of insurgency. A recognition of insurgency, whether formal or de facto, indicates that the recognizing state regards the insurgents as proper contestants for legitimate power. Although the precise status of insurgents under international law is not well-defined, recognized insurgents traditionally gain the protection afforded soldiers under international rules of law pertaining to war. A state may also decide to recognize the contending group as a belligerent, a status that invokes more well-defined rights and responsibilities. Once recognized as a belligerent party, that party obtains the rights of a belligerent party in a public war, or war between opposing states. The belligerents stand on a par with the parent state in the conduct and settlement of the conflict. In addition, states recognizing the insurgents as belligerents must assume the duties of neutrality toward the conflict.


U.S. Civil War; War.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
By Ron Jacobs In the territories of Palestine, an internecine war ebbs and flows between the factions that represent the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, a rival military strongman and master of a multibillion cocaine empire plunges into his own fray with the mob, planting Jack squarely in the middle of an internecine war. An explosive thriller from cover to cover.
Healy argues that the case of Austria was even more extreme in that the home front was itself a site where "residents waged an internecine war against one another" (300).
We have probably fomented internecine war in the Muslim world between the Shias and the Sunnis, and I think Bush may well have started the third world war....
In denying bail, Mr Justice Girvan said: "The fact this appears to have been part of an internecine war between loyalists...
Africa, which has been singled out for special concern (though appalling poverty exists elsewhere) is in fact a very rich continent but has been made poor by debt, unfair trade, colonial exploitation, corruption and endless internecine war.
The plot itself is so involved--and yet so simple--that it is best to account it simply the record (Captain Davenport's record) of the beautiful Creole widow Bressie LaRouche--proud, cultured, cosmopolitan--and the hopeless love of the Confederate colonel Trosler White and the Federal Davenport, a triangular relationship that melds passion, deception, and betrayal in ways that parallel the tragic and bloody internecine war being drawn in its own epic fashion upon the national canvas.
We are told countries on the African continent, despite HIV, famine and internecine war ( have burgeoning populations.
If not for such nuggets of gentle human wisdom and religious tolerance, the central drama of Tierno Bokar's life--the internecine war he inadvertently starts between two Islamic religious factions--would seem absurd.
All this should be good news for a resurgent PRD, which has been crippled by internecine war for a decade.
'The only flaw in the plan is the internecine war which has always afflicted right-wing parties and has led to them splintering into so many groups because everyone wants to be in charge.
But the closer the clubs move to internecine war, the greater the fears of the TV firms, some of whom are starting to feel it would be bad business to do a deal with a group that could self-destruct over payouts.