Practice Relating to Rule 158. Prosecution of War Crimes
Djibouti’s Disciplinary Regulations (1982) states that “violating the rules [of IHL] [turns members of Djibouti’s military into] war criminals who may be brought before military tribunals.”
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states:
Means of repression
These are means which implement the obligation of parties to a conflict to prevent and stop any violation [of IHL]. Concerning mechanisms of repression, the following are stressed in particular:
- the obligation to repress through national tribunals grave breaches considered to be war crimes.
Djibouti’s Law on the Status of Refugees in the Republic of Djibouti (2017) provides:
Article 2: Definition of the term asylum seeker
Under this law, the term asylum seeker or person applying for refugee status means any person who leaves the country of his or her nationality or, if he or she has no nationality, the country in which he or she was habitually resident in order to apply for refugee status in the Republic of Djibouti and who is awaiting a decision by the relevant competent authorities on his or her application.
Article 3: Definition of the term refugee
Under this law and in accordance with the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol of 31 January 1967 and the OAU Convention of 10 September 1969 Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, the term refugee shall mean every person:
b. who, owing to external aggression, occupation, foreign domination or events seriously disturbing public order in either part or the whole of his or her country of origin or nationality, is compelled to leave his or her place of habitual residence in order to seek refuge in another place outside his or her country of origin or nationality.
Article 4: Cases of exclusion from refugee status
The provisions of the law shall not apply to any person with respect to whom serious reasons exist for considering that:
a. he or she has committed a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity, as defined in the relevant international instruments;
Article 6: The decision to annul a refugee status
1. The decision to annul a refugee status shall be issued if, following recognition of the said status, serious and consistent evidence is brought to the attention of the competent authorities indicating the refugee status was granted … when the refugee had committed one of the acts set forth in article 4 of this law.
2. The decision to annul the refugee status of the head of the family also results in the annulment of the status of family members.
3. The annulment decision shall not prevent the person concerned from submitting a new application should new facts emerge.
4. The decision annulling the refugee status of the head of the family shall be without prejudice to the right of family members to submit a separate application for refugee status.
5. The refugee concerned shall be heard beforehand and informed about the appeals procedure and the possibility to appeal.