Practice Relating to Rule 142. Instruction in International Humanitarian Law within Armed Forces
Burundi’s Constitution (2005) provides: “The members of the defence corps and the security corps at all levels [of the military hierarchy] are to be trained in international humanitarian law”.
In 2008, at the opening of the Seminar on Human Rights and IHL for the High Command of the National Defence Force, a spokesperson for Burundi’s Ministry of National Defence and Former Combatants stated:
[T]he command of the FDN [National Defence Force], aware of the importance of its mission, has just implemented regulations for the teaching of international humanitarian law (IHL) to all servicemen … , together with the BINUB [United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi].
… Thus, by accepting to strengthen the dissemination of IHL and human rights within the FDN, the command shows its irreversible determination to break with those completely outdated backward practices which are not concerned with the respect for the human person.
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “The commander must … ensure that … his subordinates know their obligations under the law of war.”
The Regulations further states: “It is the responsibility of the commander to incorporate the law of war into the various military training programmes.”
The Regulations also states: “Since respect for the law of war is linked to discipline, the instruction of the law of war must be an integral part of military training.”
In 2008, at the opening of the Seminar on Human Rights and IHL for the High Command of the National Defence Force, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defence and Former Combatants stated:
The commanders … must understand and master this law [IHL] so they can teach it to their subordinates.
[W]ithin a national political context directed at the reconciliation of the Burundian people, the contribution of any serviceman shall be to carry out the missions assigned to him in strict respect for the laws and regulations. He must constantly have in mind the respect for persons and their objects. It’s a matter of honour, dignity and discipline which all commanders shall understand and make their subordinates understand.