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From Engines for Conflict into Engines for Sustainable Development: The Potential of International Law to Address Predatory Exploitation of Natural Resources in Situations of Internal Armed Conflict

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the issue of predatory behaviour by parties to an armed conflict which causes severe damage to the very natural resources that are the basis for development. The principal question addressed concerns the role that international law should play in addressing this problem. It argues that international law should first and foremost provide an adequate legal framework to govern the exploitation of natural resources during armed conflict. This is currently not the case. Rather, the existing international legal framework is both fragmented and imprecise. It is posited that this is problematic because it provides parties to an armed conflict with possibilities to bypass the few rules that are in place. The chapter examines the structural approach adopted by the Security Council in some of its recent sanctions regimes aimed at breaking the link between natural resources and armed conflict.

Keywords: armed conflict; international law; legal framework; predatory exploitation; sanctions regimes; Security Council



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