Practice Relating to Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
The aim of the instruction of law of war within the armed forces is to ensure that, in fulfilling their mission, each and every member of them respects the fundamental rules of the law, which is based on the distinction that must be made at all times between military objectives and civilian persons and objects, and protects all civilians and persons not or no longer involved in combat actions, irrespective of the situation, place, time or any other circumstances.
The manual further states:
In every military operation a distinction must be made between combatants and non-combatants
For example those taking direct part in hostilities may be attacked and those not or no longer taking part in hostilities may not be attacked.
[emphasis in original]
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) provides: “Fight only enemy soldiers. This means that civilians are not to be attacked and are not to take part in hostilities.”
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) provides: “[A]ll combat activity must be justified on military grounds, attacks which are not justified or militarily necessary are prohibited. Attacking civilians … is prohibited because no military advantage is gained by doing so.”
The manual further states that those “who may not be attacked during armed conflict” include “civilians and civilian population (unless they are fighting)”.
Sierra Leone’s Geneva Conventions Act (2012) states:
2. Grave breaches of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions and the  First [Additional] Protocol.
(1) A person of whatever nationality commits an offence if that person, whether within or outside Sierra Leone[,] commits, aids, abets or procures any other person to commit a grave breach specified in –
(e) … paragraph … 3 … of Article 85 of the First Protocol [on, inter alia
, the grave breach of making the civilian population or individual civilians the object of attack].