Practice Relating to Rule 89. Violence to Life
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states: “Murder … [and] executions without prior judgment are prohibited.”
The manual also states under the heading “Inalienable Rights”: “These are rights which the State may not derogate from. They include: … the right to life.”
The manual further states that the following “are currently considered as war crimes … if committed against any person not or no longer participating in hostilities: … intentional homicide”.
Djibouti’s Disciplinary Regulations (1982) states: “It is prohibited for combatants to … commit violence to the life and person of … prisoners and civilians, including all forms of murder”.
In 2010, in the History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, under the heading “Basic rules of IHL” and in a section on “Treatment”, stated that “murder ... [is] prohibited”.
In 2011, in the History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, under the heading “[O]ffences related to violations of humanitarian law”, listed “[i]ntentional homicide”.
The ministry also stated that “one of the objectives of the judicial system is to prevent abuse by demonstrating that violations such as … summary executions … will not go unpunished (fear of prosecution).”
In 2010, in its initial report to the Committee against Torture, Djibouti stated:
46. Following independence in 1977, Djibouti experienced a difficult period of internal tension, which led to a visible, steady rise in violations of human rights and individual freedoms. This state of affairs reached its height during the civil war between government forces and the armed opposition of the Front pour la restauration de l’unité et de la démocratie [Front for the restoration of unity and democracy] (FRUD).
47. With the signing of [the] peace agreement between the warring parties in 1994 and again in 2001, the human rights situation improved dramatically. …
78. The Government has been forced to … set up commissions of enquiry when police or army misconduct has been reported, as it did following the massacres at Arhiba on 18 December 1992.
Djibouti also stated:
82. Article 40 of the 1992 Constitution provides that
when the institutions of the Republic, the independence of the nation, the integrity of its territory or the fulfilment of its international commitments are threatened and the regular functioning of the governmental authorities is interrupted, the President of the Republic may, after consulting the President of the National Assembly and the President of the Constitutional Council and after informing the nation in a message, take any measure, except for a constitutional amendment, designed to restore the regular functioning of the governmental authorities and ensure the safeguarding of the nation.
Within 15 days of their promulgation, the National Assembly, convening as of right, is seized of the legislative measures put into effect by the President, with a view to their ratification.
83. These exceptional measures cannot justify violations of the right to life … accorded to individuals. In theory, their application must be in keeping with administrative legality and human rights.