What is armistice?

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What is armistice?

An armistice is like a truce between warring parties or groups.  It involves suspension of any fighting while the warring parties try to discuss between themselves all their concerns or demands regarding their fight.  In the case of war, an armistice doesn’t mean that the fighting is over just because the parties involved are in ceasefire mode.  It simply means that both parties agreed to some kind of peaceful negotiation and discussion involving each of their sides of various concerns and grievances.

The term “armistice” is a derivation of two Latin words namely “arma” and “statium”.  The former literally means weapons while the latter refers to “stopping”.  From its literal meaning, one can easily understand the origin and meaning of this particular word.

Another characteristic of an armistice is that no members of the warring parties actually surrender.  No party is also declared the winner of the war and hostilities involved.  The parties basically discuss with each other possible resolutions to their conflict or the next steps they should take if they are still in disagreement with their issues.  In the eyes of international law, armistice may have a fixed or unfixed duration.  Fixed duration armistice refers to a legal agreement between warring parties to hold the ceasefire at a specified period of time.  After the agreed period expires, the fighting between the parties involved may continue.  Unfixed durations meanwhile refer to armistices that allow warring parties to resume fighting anytime they please as long as there is some form of notification.

Several armistices were already recorded over the history of the world.  One of most famous so-called ceasefire happened back during the time of World War I.  Back then, the ceasefire between nations was called simply “The Armistice” and it marked the end of the First World War in 1918.  The effectivity date of the legal agreement was on November 11, 1918, which is considered to be the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”.

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