Practice Relating to Rule 4. Definition of Armed Forces
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states:
The armed forces of a party to the conflict comprise all organized armed forces, groups and units which are under a command responsible to that party, even if the latter is represented by a government or authority not recognized by the adverse Party. This requirement of organization and responsibility extends to national liberation movements and their forces. All such forces must be subject to an internal disciplinary system which is required to enforce adherence to the rules of international law relating to armed conflict.
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states: “If a Party to a conflict incorporates paramilitary or armed law enforcement agencies into its armed forces it must inform other parties to the conflict of this fact, so that such forces may be acknowledged as lawful combatants.”
The manual provides two examples of paramilitary agencies incorporated into the armed forces of a State, namely “the Special Auxiliary Force attached to Bishop Muzorewa’s United African National Congress in Zimbabwe and which was embodied into the national army after the Bishop became Prime Minister [and] India’s Border Security Force in Assam”.
The manual also provides an example of an armed law enforcement agency incorporated into the armed forces of a State, namely:
At the time of the outbreak of World War II, the Burma Frontier Force was serving as a police force under authority of the Burma Frontier Force Act; after the fall of Burma, the Burmese Government in exile in Simla, India, passed legislation making the Force part of the Burmese Army and subject to the Burma Army Act.