Practice relating to Rule 66. Non-Hostile Contacts between the Parties to the Conflict
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers):
Chapter 1. Introduction to the law of war
II. The fundamental principles of IHL
Just as military operations are based on principles concerning attack, defence, withdrawal, etc., the law of armed conflicts contains a set of well-defined principles. These concrete principles reflect the realities of conflicts. They represent a balance between the principle of humanity and military necessity, and they are valid at all times, in all places, and in all circumstances. It is essential that these rules are known by all combatants. They must permanently be taken into consideration in every activity of evaluation, planning, and military training or operation. The following principles can be found throughout the texts of the law of armed conflicts.
II.5. Good faith
Good faith between belligerents is a customary principle of the conduct of war. Soldiers must show good faith in their interpretation of the law of armed conflicts. Good faith must also be respected in negotiations between belligerents and in talks with humanitarian organizations.
Chapter 4. Behaviour in action
II. 2. Temporary ceasefires
There are moments during the conduct of operations – apart from combat, of course – when contacts with the enemy can occur. What is meant here are non-hostile contacts, or relations which the opposing forces can regard as necessary.
Every officer has the competence to conclude a temporary ceasefire of a precise and limited scope. Of course, any decision of that type must receive the approval of the hierarchy. Temporary ceasefires can be extremely useful for evacuating or collecting the wounded on the battlefield, or to allow the evacuation of civilians to a safer place. Ceasefires are limited in time and in scope. It is indispensable that the two parties show complete good faith.
IV.3.1. Evacuation of the sick and wounded
The law demands of the parties to the conflict to strive to conclude local arrangements for the evacuation of the wounded, sick, infirm, elderly, children and maternity cases who find themselves in zones under siege or encircled.