Practice Relating to Rule 54. Attacks against Objects Indispensable to the Survival of the Civilian Population
Section B. Attacks against objects used to sustain or support the adverse party
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers):
II.2.5. Protection of goods indispensable for the survival of the population
It is prohibited to use starvation as a method of warfare against the civilian population, i.e. to resort to the former concept of siege. It is therefore prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works. This prohibition does not apply to objects exclusively used by the armed forces or for the direct support of a military action.
Even in such a case, attacks are prohibited if they risk endangering the civilian population, i.e. leave it with inadequate food, water, cause its starvation or force its movement.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.2.3. Objects indispensible to the survival of the population
Objects indispensible to the survival of the civilian population can be attacked if they serve an adverse Party:
- as sustenance solely for the members of its armed forces;
- in direct support of military action, to the extent that the actions against these objects do not leave the civilian population with inadequate food or water, which would cause starvation or force its movement.