Related Rule
Côte d’Ivoire
Practice Relating to Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Lesson 1 Basic notions of IHL
The Law of War is based on three fundamental principles:
- The principle of distinction;
- The principle of limitation;
- The principle of proportionality.
The principle of distinction specifies who and what can be attacked and who and what cannot be attacked.
NB: For the soldier, the principle of distinction is the most important. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 13 and 14–16.
In Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
II. The fundamental principles of IHL
Just as military operations are based on principles concerning attack, defence, withdrawal, etc., the law of armed conflicts contains a set of well-defined principles. These concrete principles reflect the realities of conflicts. They represent a balance between the principle of humanity and military necessity, and they are valid at all times, in all places, and in all circumstances. It is essential that these rules are known by all combatants. They must permanently be taken into consideration in every activity of assessment, planning, and military training or operation. The following principles can be found throughout the texts of the law of armed conflicts.
II.1. Distinction
At all times, a distinction must be clearly made between combatants and civilians or the civilian population as such. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 12; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 13; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 13.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
Chapter 2. Combatants and objectives
In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, military leaders must at all times distinguish between civilian populations and combatants, and between civilian objects and military objectives. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 17.
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Lesson 1 Basic notions of IHL
The principle of distinction specifies who and what can be attacked and who and what cannot be attacked.
- Who and what can be attacked?
- Combatants,
Lesson 3. Rules of behaviour in combat
[Basic Rule No. 3]:
Only fight enemy combatants, and only attack military objectives.
[Observation]:
- These two rules follow from the principle of distinction, which determines whom to attack during an armed conflict. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 13–14, 18 and 21; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre II: Instruction du gradé et du cadre, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 16; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 39; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 65.
In Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.1. Distinction
At all times, a distinction must be clearly made between combatants and civilians or the civilian population as such. Combatants can be attacked of course, insofar as they are not hors de combat. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 12; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 13.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.1.3. Combatants
Combatants are legitimate objectives and can be attacked, unless they have been captured, have surrendered, have clearly expressed their intention to surrender or are hors de combat, provided that they abstain from any hostile act and do not attempt to escape.
II.1.4. Airborne troops
Airborne troops are combatants and, consequently, legitimate objectives. They can be attacked while parachuting from aircraft. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 25–26.
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Lesson 1. Basic notions of IHL
The principle of distinction specifies who and what can be attacked and who and what cannot be attacked.
- Who and what cannot be attacked?
- Non-combatants,
- Civilians,
- Civilian population, …
Lesson 4. Breaches and repression of violations of IHL
I. Grave violations
They are enumerated by the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols, as well as by the Ivorian Penal Code.
They are:
- … attacks directed against the civilian population. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 14–15 and 29.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides: “As a general rule, civilians and civilian objects must not be attacked.” 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 31; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1 ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 31; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 21.