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An armistice is a temporary laying down of arms in war and is usually planned as a preliminary stage to peace .

In contrast to the ceasefire , a short-term cessation of fighting for a specific purpose (e.g. rescue of the wounded), a ceasefire is designed for a longer, specific period of time, with precise conditions and, if necessary, a demarcation line being stipulated.

A ceasefire is agreed by the warring parties and forbids both parties to attack with immediate effect (ceasefire agreement). In the Hague Land Warfare Regulations of 1907, the armistice is legally defined. Thus it says in Article 36: “The armistice interrupts the war endeavors by virtue of a mutual agreement of the warring parties. If a certain period has not been agreed, the warring parties can resume hostilities at any time. ”According to the Geneva Conventions , all warring parties are obliged in an armistice treaty to enable the return of civilian internees and prisoners of war.

Nevertheless, it is not to be equated with a peace treaty , which can usually be negotiated for months or years following a ceasefire. The state of war remains until the conclusion of an international agreement in which the end of the state of war is agreed either directly or indirectly. Usually this is a peace treaty, but it can also be a treaty establishing diplomatic relations or a unilateral declaration of ending the state of war.

For the Islamic understanding of the armistice see Hudna . Islam only allows a ceasefire with non-Muslims, but no peace treaty. However, the ceasefire can be extended if necessary.

It is also figuratively referred to as a ceasefire when those in conflict agree to end their conflict, but do not agree on peace or compromise.

Major armistices and armistice treaties


  1. Keyword: Armistice taz of August 14, 2008
  2. ^ Karl Doehring , Völkerrecht , § 11 IV, Rn 651 f.
  3. ^ University of Tübingen : Working title: Jihad, Armistice or Peace with Israel? ( Memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive )

Web links

Wiktionary: Armistice  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations