Practice Relating to Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) states: “The main aim for all commanders and individual combatants is to distinguish combatants and military objectives from civilian persons and objects at all times.”
According to the Report on the Practice of Nigeria, it is Nigeria’s opinio juris
that the principle of distinction between combatants and civilians is part of customary international law.
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) and Soldiers’ Code of Conduct state that combatants must “fight only combatants”.
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) and Soldiers’ Code of Conduct state: “Civilian persons and objects must be spared.”
The Report on the Practice of Nigeria confirms the existence of a norm of a customary nature prohibiting direct attacks against civilians and cites Nigeria’s Operational Code of Conduct in this respect. The report also states that, according to Nigeria’s opinio juris
, the prohibition of direct attacks against civilians is part of customary international law.