The implementation of the International Humanitarian Law (hereinafter referred to as IHL) mainly rests upon the effort of the state parties. International humanitarian law is currently accepted by every country in the world. Still, the absence of a comprehensive and meticulous mechanism to enforce the rules embodied in IHL is an Achilles’ heel fuelled by the very nature of IHL, which is meant to regulate the issues that arise out of armed conflict.
Failure to implement IHL is a central problem in contemporary armed conflict laws in general and Ethiopia in particular. However, it must be noted that difficulties regarding securing compliance are not unique to the law of armed conflict but also an issue in international law. This problem by large is related to the lack of a central enforceable organ that looks after the implementation of those laws.
Although the lack of a central enforceable organ is one of the central problems with the implementation of international law in general and IHL in particular, there are other inimitable reasons that are typically credited for the failure of IHL being observed. These are the very nature of armed conflict, the inapplicability, and inefficiency of the international mechanism of implementation. These typical features will be explained in the following pages.