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Armistice

Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, 1648

An armistice is a formal agreement of warring parties to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, since it might be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace. It is derived from the Latin arma, meaning weapons and statium, meaning a stopping.

A truce or ceasefire usually refers to a temporary cessation of hostilities for an agreed limited time or within a limited area. A truce may be needed in order to negotiate an armistice. An armistice is a modus vivendi and is not the same as a peace treaty, which may take months or even years to agree on. The 1953 Korean War Armistice Agreement is a major example of an armistice which has not been followed by a peace treaty.

The United Nations Security Council often imposes, or tries to impose, cease-fire resolutions on parties in modern conflicts. Armistices are always negotiated between the parties themselves and are thus generally seen as more binding than non-mandatory UN cease-fire resolutions in modern international law.

The key aspect in an armistice is the end of fighting without the surrender of any party to the conflict.[1]

Contents

  • International Law regarding armistices 1
  • Armistice Day 2
  • Armistices in early modern history 3
  • Armistices of the 20th century 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

International Law regarding armistices

Under International Law an armistice is a legal agreement (often in a document) which ends fighting between the "belligerent parties" of a war or conflict.[2] The Hague II (1899) Treaty, says "If [the armistice's] duration is not fixed," the parties can resume fighting (Article 36) as they choose, but with proper notifications. This is in comparison to a "fixed duration" armistice, where the parties can renew fighting only at the end of the particular fixed duration. When the belligerent parties say (in effect), "this armistice completely ends the fighting" without any end date for the armistice, then duration of the armistice is fixed in the sense that no resumption of the fighting is allowed at any time. For example, the Korean Armistice Agreement calls for a "ceasefire and armistice" and has the "objective of establishing an armistice which will ensure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved..."

Armistice Day

Armistice Day (which coincides with Remembrance Day and Veterans Day, public holidays) is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. Most countries changed the name of the holiday after World War II, to honor veterans of that and subsequent conflicts. Most member states of the Commonwealth of Nations adopted the name Remembrance Day, while the United States chose All Veterans Day.

Armistices in early modern history

Armistices of the 20th century

The announcing of the armistice on November 11, 1918, was the occasion for large celebrations in the allied nations.
Delegates sign the Korean Armistice Agreement

References

  1. ^ "Armistice". Merriam-Webster. 
  2. ^ Hague Convention of 1899 specifically, Laws of War: Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague II); July 29, 1899; Chapter V.
  3. ^ "The Armistice". The War to End All Wars. FirstWorldWar.com. 1 May 2004. Archived from the original on 5 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  4. ^ "1949 Armistice". Middle East, Land of Conflict (CNN). Archived from the original on 2007-05-03. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 

External links

  • "Allied Armistice Terms, 11 November 1918". The War to End All Wars. FirstWorldWar.com. Archived from the original on 2 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  • The Expanded Cease-Fires Data Set Code Book (Emory University)
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