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a temporary cessation of military action by mutual agreement of the warring parties.

An armistice may be general or local. In a general armistice, military actions cease in the entire theater of war, and the armistice is concluded by the commanders in chief with authorization of their governments. A general armistice usually precedes the conclusion of a peace treaty. Thus, in World War II (1939–45) the United Nations concluded in the period from 1943 to 1945 a general armistice with Italy, Rumania, Finland, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Subsequently, peace treaties were signed with these countries.

A local armistice is established between individual units of the warring parties in a definite sector of the front. It is concluded for a definite period and usually has a special purpose, such as exchange of prisoners or burial of the dead. The 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War states that parties to the conflict “shall endeavor to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas, of wounded, sick, infirm, and aged persons, children and maternity cases, and for the passage of … medical personnel and medical equipment on their way to such areas.” If no definite period for the armistice has been established, the warring parties may renew military actions at any time.

References in periodicals archive ?
9) He also looked at "other armistice agreements of modern times on the paragraphs dealing with a demilitarized zone.
Over the last three years, the increasing numbers of people who turn out for Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day are noticeable.
South Korea will "fully abide by the armistice agreement and hold close consultations with related countries such as the United States and China to dispel any attempt by North Korea to nullify the armistice agreement, Cho said.
Expresses its conviction that the maintenance of the General Armistice Agreement is threatened by any deliberate violation of that Agreement by one of the parties to it, and that no progress towards the return of permanent peace in Palestine can be made unless the parties comply strictly with their obligations under the General Armistice Agreement and the cease-fire provisions of its resolution of July 15, 1948.
Armistice Day marked the symbolic end of World War I in 1918.
Armistice Resources (TSX:AZ) is close to moving from pre-production mode to being Ontario's and Canada's newest gold producer at its McGarry Mine, about 40 kilometres east of Kirkland Lake.
Last year they sabotaged Armistice Day by chanting: "British soldiers, burn in Hell," to the horror of veterans and the grieving families of lost soldiers who were paying their respects.
ARMISTICE DAY 1887: Construction of the Manchester Ship Canal starts at Eastham.
AS POINTED out in the letters page (Mail, November 2), this year's Armistice is special.
5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- KWAFU's 'Study on the Korean War Armistice Conference Records' released at a seminar in Wash.
Eight days later the armistice was signed and the Vichy government was set up.
Using the men's words Mr Arthur describes what the armistice involved at the Front and what it meant to soldiers and to civilians back home.