Practice Relating to Rule 3. Definition of Combatants
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
Members of the armed forces and security forces of a country in conflict, members of militias, voluntary corps and resistance groups in a country in conflict, civilians who spontaneously take up arms during mass uprising are generally considered to be combatants.
Specific conventions establish the conditions for identifying combatants:
- wearing the uniform of the country in conflict;
- openly and visibly carrying weapons so that they can be seen by the enemy;
- the presence of identifiable leaders at the head of the troops;
- participation in an attack or deployment in preparation for a military operation;
- bearing distinctive signs that can be recognized from a distance.
The manual also states: “As members of a nation’s armed forces, they [combatants] are authorized by the law of war to take direct part in an armed conflict on behalf of their country or State.”
The manual further states: “Medical and religious personnel have a special status and are not considered as combatants.”