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The Market of Force

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1. Introduction

Globalization is considered as one of the factors that have resulted into internationalization of violence. In the current changing political conditions and the need to focus on attention of non-state armed groups, most governments have relied on the services of private militias and other non state organizations in internationalization of violence. There is a growing realization of the need to put more attention on intra state conflicts (Avant 200). This is because there have been a rise in inter-state conflicts and civil conflicts that have been experienced among non-state actors. Many non state armed groups have been involved in international conflict and their contribution is considered significant in ensuring national well being and human security across various countries.  The number of NSAG involved in conflicts management provides a clear and useful definition but there is diversity in the nature of the groups, their goals and the resources they use.

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This paper provides a study of non state armed groups that are not in pursuit of their private agenda but rather political and economical conditions. This results into exclusion of criminal organizations such as mafia, drug cartels and mercenaries or private security organizations (Avant et al  201). The paper also presents the difficulties experienced by state actors such as non-governmental organizations and the approaches used to engage NSAG in humanitarian situations. This paper focuses on humanitarian actions as a result of the fact that their involvement in this arena is challenging aspect since there are shortcomings with respect to articulative legal framework, a factor that is extensively illustrated in this paper. Involvement of private militias in peace actions provide a much more open arena as it allows creation of a legal foundation that is fit for the participants through simple legal agreements such as ceasefire and peace treaties. Humanitarian situation refers to a condition where there is still violence in the society and there is the need to create a more diplomatic susceptibility as it’s considered an area where private militias are defined as insurrectionists.

2. Role of non state actor such as private militias in internationalization of violence

Non-state actors such as private militias always operate outside the legal system of a country and national and international security systems always face the challenges of having to adjust to operating principles of private militias. These militias have always acquired a better control over many parts of the population of a nation and occasionally have been considered a de facto government. With this consideration, it has been observed that private militias are important as international actors in both situations of war and during peace processes, disarmament actions and demobilization of the multitudes. They have also been observed to be useful in the processes of collection of weapons or destruction initiatives (Bull & McNeill 17). They have also been in contact with armed groups and have been useful in addressing violence and its consequences. Government sides have always considered that a complementary process would result into legitimacy and recognition of the status of belligerent groups such as rebels. The private militias, on their side have cnsidered that private process makes them vulnerable to intelligence and surveillance. This has resulted into the need to engage nongovernmental organizations with private militias as they do not have more restrictions like the states that may have diplomatic connections with governments that are in disagreements with the militia groups. Consequently, it has been suggested that there is more possibility of creative involvement where private militias are involved with NGOs to provide monitoring education.

It is evident that the government experiences certain difficulties in engaging states militias yet NSAG are considered a key factor in humanitarian situations as they operate as de facto government of a particular territory and hence contribute critically in humanitarian situations, and eventually can become political parties that are significant in peace agreements.

NGOs have also played a crucial role in monitoring, providing public education and providing networking services to bring capacity situations in the process of convincing militia groups to avoid demobilization of child soldiers since there are usually limited chances for international community. A UN child treaty preventing child soldiers was implemented in February, 2002 but it was speculated that there was a possibility of excluding NSAG from this process. There has been a call for establishment of a process that allows state actors commit themselves to the Optional Protocol in addition to opening themselves to current, independent monitoring and accountability. On the contrary to this, a number of private militias have pledged to commit to avoid the use of child militias.

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3. How national legal systems deal with internationalization of violence

Governments have not been willing to allow the operations of private militias since it has been feared that there can be a spillover of activities of these groups into illegitimate political activities that are prohibited by state actors. Despite cases of spillover of private militias activities such as human rights abuses were considered as domestic challenges. However, governments have formed International humanitarians rights standards that provides only a limited amount of freedom for private militias to comply, while a collection of legal frameworks  have been created to assist state actors in guidance that ensures that they are compliant to the IHL requirements (Clinton 43). Furthermore, human rights law de jure is only applicable to state organs and it is only state organs that have the accede to participate in international treaties or international constitution. This dichotomy is observable in the situation of anti-personnel landmines and the case of child soldiers, where in both cases private militias are subject but do not contribute to international conventions. The implementation of certain provisions to violations by entities or groups of people in a territory is restricted to the level of criminalization of certain violations. This has not been effective since private militias are usually in favor of clandestine or guerilla tactics so as to overcome state power. Thus in a situation where the state is not capable of preventing or punishing violations, the laws enable them to hold private militias responsible for such violations (Deitelhoff 56). Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, the second addition concerned with Protection of Victims of non-international armed conflicts are applicable to private militias in the context of non-international armed conflicts.

A convention has also been conducted following the initiation by the government of Canada to discuss a calling for Agreement Against the International Transfer of Military and Small Arms or Light weapons to Non-state actors. However, this proposal was rejected by a number of state actors and non-governmental organizations for the reasons of maintaining inherent right to maintain self-defense for the people involved in peace keeping.

4.Implications for Global governance

It can be observed that different approaches can be used to engage the services of private militias in internationalization of violence. These approaches are based on environmental settings in which actors operate. Due to the flexibility required in operation of these groups, organizations such as UN have been observed to experience difficulties in engaging NSAG in comparison to NGOs. This is because; the operation of the UN involves a union of states that operates within a central system. Consequently, it is difficult to interact with non-state actors. It is also an implication that strategies related to private militias are more concentrated not only on humanitarian situations, but also are accountable for complete political situation. This results into the need for UN member states to determine or stabilize sovereignty of states. This is aimed at constructing a peaceful boundary with other countries (Deitelhoff 89). However, state authorities bear the greatest priority than that of private militias. Despite the difficulties faced by the UN in implementation of these policies, it is focusing on tackling these issues within international settings. This is targeted towards addressing all the parties to a conflict to ensure there is a move away from a state-centric foundation to include all actors involved in conflict situations.

In a similar situation, the EU has move away from its state-centric basis. On the contrary to the system at the UN, the EU has transferred most of its authority to supra-national organs thus becoming simpler for organs to adapt to changes in situations in a similar manner to actors. The EU has become less diplomatic in dealing with private militias having dealt with them earlier in Europe.

NGOs, however, have been able to benefit from almost total legal freedom by engaging the cooperation of NSAG. This freedom is mainly applicable naturally in legal activities with concern to IHL or national legislations within the host nations (Grävingholdt & Klingebiel 102). On the contrary, national legislation differs from country to country, which implies that possible restrictions for international activities in which NGOs are involved and private militaries are dependent on respective national legislations. On the other hand, NGOs are most capable of engaging private military in humanitarian actions, thus ensuring the necessity to protect personnel as well as material regions in which privet militaries are present as de facto governments.

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