Accountability of armed opposition
groups as such
In order to enforce international law applicable to armed opposition groups effectively, we should be able to involve the group itself as a collectivity. Indeed, the acts that are labelled as international crimes find their basis in the collectivity. These crimes are unlikely to be prevented nor will compliance with the relevant provisions of international law be significantly improved through punishment of one single individual. Therefore, the most challenging level of accountability is the accountability of armed opposition groups as such.
To make armed opposition groups themselves accountable under international law raises a host of problems. The principle that armed opposition groups may be held accountable for wrongful acts committed by them has been recognized.1 But a number of difficulties remain to be resolved. For one thing, there is the important threshold question of defining armed groups, namely the threshold as to their level of organization____________________