Practice Relating to Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants
Section B. Attacks against combatants
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Lesson 1 Basic notions of IHL
The principle of distinction specifies who and what can be attacked and who and what cannot be attacked.
- Who and what can be attacked?
Lesson 3. Rules of behaviour in combat
[Basic Rule No. 3]:
Only fight enemy combatants, and only attack military objectives.
- These two rules follow from the principle of distinction, which determines whom to attack during an armed conflict.
In Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
At all times, a distinction must be clearly made between combatants and civilians or the civilian population as such. Combatants can be attacked of course, insofar as they are not hors de combat
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
Combatants are legitimate objectives and can be attacked, unless they have been captured, have surrendered, have clearly expressed their intention to surrender or are hors de combat, provided that they abstain from any hostile act and do not attempt to escape.
II.1.4. Airborne troops
Airborne troops are combatants and, consequently, legitimate objectives. They can be attacked while parachuting from aircraft.