The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Security Studies

Living Edition
| Editors: Scott Romaniuk, Manish Thapa, Péter Marton

Ceasefires

  • Robert A. ForsterEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74336-3_8-2
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Introduction

The term “ceasefire” is the antonym of the military expression “open fire” and signifies a call to terminate hostilities. Ceasefire agreements are regularly announced as part of a peace process and can suggest a level of commitment between warring parties to seek an end to armed conflict. Ceasefire periods can also be used as cover by groups to remobilize, rearm, and manoeuver. Announcing a ceasefire can be done unilaterally, but could also follow an agreement between warring parties. Ceasefires can be verbal or written, and their terms can be public or secret. Third party mediation can lead to a ceasefire, or, alternatively, ceasefires can be imposed on parties by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions under chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. The scope of ceasefires may be general and encompass an entire conflict zone and all parties active in it, or the ceasefire can be specific wherein the locations and actors are limited.

Nomenclature of Ceasefires

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Keywords

Cessation of hostilities Conflict resolution Peace accord Peace processes 
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Notes

Acknowledgments

This is an output of the Political Settlements Research Programme, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), UK. The views expressed and information contained herein are not necessarily those of or endorsed by DFID which can accept no responsibility for such views or information or for any reliance placed on them.

References

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Further Reading

  1. Example of a comprehensive ceasefire agreement: Ceasefire Agreement (Lusaka Agreement). (July 10, 1999). Movement for the Liberation of Congo-Democratic Republic of Congo. PA-X. https://www.peaceagreements.org/masterdocument/319. Accessed 15 Nov 2017.
  2. Example of a truce: Damascus Truce I between Bayt Sahem and Babila. (January 15, 2014). Syrian opposition in Bayt Sahem and Babila-Syrian Government of Bashar al-Asad. PA-X. https://www.peaceagreements.org/masterdocument/1527. Accessed 15 Nov 2017.
  3. Fortna, V. (2004). Peacetime: Cease-fires and the durability of peace. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Haysom, N., & Hottinger, J. (2010). Do’s and don’ts of sustainable ceasefire agreements. http://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/DosAndDontofCeasefireAgreements_HaysomHottinger2010.pdf. Accessed 4 Nov 2017.
  5. Public International Law and Policy Group. (2013). The ceasefire drafter’s handbook: An introduction and template for negotiators, mediators, and stakeholders. New York: PILPG.Google Scholar
  6. Smith, J. D. D. (1995). Stopping wars: Defining the obstacles to cease-fire. Boulder: Westview Studies.Google Scholar
  7. Wählisch, M.. (2015). Peace settlements and the prohibition on the use of force. In M. Weller (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of the use of force in international law (pp. 962–987). Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Political Settlements Research Programme, Edinburgh Law SchoolUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK