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Since its creation around a decade ago, the Wagner Group has become notorious for its brutality. Its members have allegedly committed international crimes, in particular war crimes, in countries such as Ukraine, Libya, the Central African Republic, and Mali, among others. Furthermore, the group has been accused of various forms of ruthless violence such as using booby-traps and landmines in civilian areas in Libya, committing inhumane treatment of civilians as well as rapes and robberies against civilians in the Central African Republic.
This IHL Talk aims at clarifying the relevant frameworks of responsibility for the crimes committed by the Wagner troops. Panelists will notably address the following questions:
The IHL Talks are a series of events, hosted by the Geneva Academy, on international humanitarian law and current humanitarian topics. Every two months, academic experts, practitioners, policymakers and journalists discuss burning humanitarian issues and their regulation under international law.
Watch or re-watch our IHL Talk on accountability for the Wagner Group and its members.
Panelists notably discussed:
- The status of Wagner Group members: PMSCs, #mercenaries, or de facto members of the Russian armed forces and the legal framework that governs this status.
- Whether the conduct of Wagner Group members be attributable to Russia
- The avenues for holding the members of the Wagner Group criminally responsible and whether the question of command responsibility of the Wagner Group leaders and Russian officials arises.
Daniel Fyfe follows our online Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict while working as an Associate Expert at OHCHR in Geneva on UN treaty bodies’ individual communications procedures.
Dr Yosuke Nagai is the founder and CEO of Accept International, which works on de-radicalization and reintegration for defectors and prisoners formerly involved with violent extremist groups. He just started as Visiting Fellow at the Geneva Academy and will stay with us until the end of March.
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