Practice Relating to Rule 23. Location of Military Objectives outside Densely Populated Areas

Note: For practice on the removal of military objectives from the vicinity of medical units, see Rule 28. For practice on the use of human shields, see Rule 97.
Additional Protocol I
Article 58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I states that the parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible “avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas”. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 58(b). Article 58 was adopted by 80 votes in favour, none against and 8 abstentions. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.42, 27 May 1977, p. 214.
Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding
Article 3 of the 1996 Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding states that the two parties commit to ensuring that “civilian populated areas and industrial and electrical installations will not be used as launching grounds for attacks”. 
Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding, concluded between the United States of America, Israel and Lebanon, in consultation with Syria, 26 April 1996, also known as the Grapes of Wrath Understanding, Article 3.
Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property
Article 8 of the 1999 Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property provides: “The Parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible: … b) avoid locating military objectives near cultural property.” 
Second Protocol for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, The Hague, 26 March 1999, Article 8.
New Delhi Draft Rules
Article 11 of the 1956 New Delhi Draft Rules states: “[T]he Parties to the conflict shall, so far as possible, avoid the permanent presence of armed forces, military material, mobile military establishments or installations, in towns or other places with a large civilian population.” 
Draft Rules for the Limitation of the Dangers Incurred by the Civilian Population in Time of War, drafted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, September 1956, submitted to governments for their consideration on behalf of the 19th International Conference of the Red Cross, New Delhi, 28 October–7 November, Res. XIII, Article 11.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 6 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 6.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.5 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.5.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 5.4 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin states: “In its area of operation, the United Nations force shall avoid, to the extent feasible, locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.” It specifies, however, that: “Military installations and equipment of peacekeeping operations, as such, shall not be considered military objectives.” 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 5.4.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) states: “The parties to the conflict shall, to the extent possible, avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 4.07(2).
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
Defences and defensive positions should also be sited, if practicable, to avoid or minimise collateral damage. Ideally, all military objectives, including defensive positions, should be sited outside heavily populated areas. As in offensive operations, where a location or object may be equally successfully defended from any one of several defensive positions, LOAC requires that the defence should be conducted from the position which would cause the least danger to civilians and civilian objects. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 553.
The manual requires commanders to refrain from “locating military objectives within or near densely-populated areas”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 556(b).
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
Defences and defensive positions should also be sited, if practicable, to avoid or minimise collateral damage. Ideally, all military objectives, including defensive positions, should be sited outside heavily populated areas. As in offensive operations, where a location or object may be equally successfully defended from any one of several defensive positions, the LOAC requires that the defence should be conducted from the position which would cause the least danger to civilians and civilian objects. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 5.58.
The manual also requires commanders to refrain from “locating military objectives within or near densely-populated areas”. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 5.61.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) states: “The belligerents must avoid locating their military installations in the vicinity of the civilian population.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule III, p. 12.
The manual further specifies that:
Defence shall be organized, as far as possible, outside inhabited areas … When a choice is possible between several defence positions for obtaining an equivalent military advantage, the position to be selected shall be that which would cause less danger to civilian persons and objects … Military units, except medical units, shall move or stay preferably outside populated areas, when their presence, even temporary, could endanger civilian persons and objects. Even a temporary military presence can create a dangerous situation for the civilian areas and persons. Units located in or close to populated areas shall be so deployed as to create the least possible danger to civilian areas. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule III, p. 15.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “The principle of discrimination requires that, to the extent possible, it must be avoided to locate military objectives within or near densely populated areas.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 63; see also Part I bis, pp. 10, 23 and 86.
The Regulations also states: “Sufficient distance must be maintained between these [cultural] objects and military objectives. Moreover, they must be located at sufficient distance from important industrial centres or any important military objective”. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 87.
The Regulations also states with respect to “units and means of medical transport” that “they must be removed from military objectives”. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 5.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states: “To protect civilians, the parties to a conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible … avoid locating legitimate targets within or near densely populated areas.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-4, § 30(b).
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting:
To protect civilians, the parties to a conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible:
b. avoid locating legitimate targets within or near densely populated areas. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 421.1.b.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 3 (Instruction for non-commissioned officers studying for the level 1 and 2 certificates and for future officers of the criminal police) that “belligerents must avoid establishing military installations in the vicinity of the civilian population.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section 1.
Also in Volume 3, the manual states: “The defence must be organized as far as possible outside inhabited areas. … Military units, except medical units, shall move and halt preferably outside populated areas, when their presence could endanger civilian persons and objects, even if temporarily.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Sections 3 and 4.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers):
IV.2.1. Obligations in the planning of defensive actions
… [P]ersons participating in the preparation or conduct of defensive operations must take into account the following demands defined by the law of armed conflict.
So far as possible, defensive positions shall be chosen and installed well away from populated areas. If there is a choice between several defensive positions offering an equivalent military advantage, those which probably represent the least danger to civilians or civilian objects will be chosen. 
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. 49; see also 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. 71–72.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and military commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
In order to protect civilians, the Parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible:
- avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas. 
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. 29.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) states:
Where there are tactically equivalent alternatives, the defence position shall be chosen so as to cause the least danger to civilian persons and objects. Movements and/or halts of military units near civilian objects shall be limited to a minimum. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 42.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) states:
57. Within tactically equivalent alternatives, the defence position shall be chosen so as to expose civilian persons and objects to the least danger.
63. Movement and stay during movement near civilian objects shall be restricted to the minimum duration possible.
64. The location of combat units shall be chosen so as to avoid the close vicinity of military objectives and civilian persons and objects.
65. In case of unavoidable close vicinity of military objectives and civilian persons and objects, the following principles shall guide the commander:
(a) in the vicinity of important concentrations of civilian persons and objects only smaller military objectives shall be placed;
(b) larger military objectives are to be placed in the vicinity of less important concentrations of civilian persons and of smaller civilian objects. 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, §§ 57 and 63–65.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states: “Any party to an armed conflict must separate military activities and installations from areas of noncombatant concentration.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 11.2.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) states:
Where there are tactically equivalent alternatives, the defence position shall be chosen so as to cause the least danger to civilian persons and objects. Movements and/or halts of military units near civilian objects must be limited to a minimum. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, pp. 67–68.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) prohibits “mingling military targets among civilian objects, as for instance, a military force located within a village or a squad of soldiers fleeing into a civilian structure”. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 38.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states that “it is prohibited to scatter military targets among civilian installations in an attempt to prevent an attack on them”. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 27.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) states:
57. Within tactically equivalent alternatives, the defence position shall be chosen so as to expose civilian persons and objects to the least danger.
63. Movement and stay during movement near civilian objects shall be restricted to the minimum duration possible.
64. The location of combat units shall be chosen so as to avoid the close vicinity of military objectives and civilian persons and objects.
65. In case of unavoidable close vicinity of military objectives and civilian persons and objects, the following principles shall guide the commander:
a) in the vicinity of important concentrations of civilian persons and objects only smaller military objectives shall be placed;
b) larger military objectives are to be placed in the vicinity of less important concentrations of civilian persons and of smaller civilian objects. 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, §§ 57 and 63–65.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states: “The belligerents should avoid locating their military installations near the civilian population.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 2.
The manual further states:
Defence shall be organized primarily outside populated areas … When a choice is possible between several defence positions for obtaining a similar military advantage, the position to be selected shall be that which would cause the least danger to civilian persons and objects, if attacked … Military units, except medical units, shall move or stay preferably outside populated areas, when their presence, even temporary, could endanger civilian persons and objects. Movements which have to pass through or close to populated areas shall be executed rapidly. Interruptions of movements (e.g. regular stops after given periods of time, occasional stops) shall, when the tactical situation permits, take place outside populated areas or at least in less densely populated areas. Even a temporary military presence can create a dangerous situation for the civilian areas and persons. Units located in or close to populated areas shall be so deployed as to create the least possible danger to civilian areas (e.g. at least physical separation; appropriate distance between militarily used houses and other buildings). For a longer presence in civilian areas, additional danger reducing measures shall be taken by the competent commander (e.g. clear and, where necessary, marked limit of unit’s location, restricted and regulated access to the location, relevant instructions to members of the unit and appropriate information to the civilian population. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, pp. 9–10.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states:
31. Among tactically equivalent defence positions, that position must be chosen which exposes civilian persons and objects the least to danger.
41. Movements (and stops during movements) in the vicinity of civilian objects shall be limited to the minimum.
42. The placement of combat units must be chosen in order to avoid proximity between military objectives and civilian objects.
43. In case of inevitable proximity between military objectives and civilian persons and objects, the commander must be guided by the following principles:
a) only small military objectives may be placed in the vicinity of important concentrations of civilian persons and objects;
b) larger military objectives must be placed in the vicinity of smaller concentrations of civilian persons and objects. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 6-O, §§ 31 and 41–43.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides that one of the precautions against the effects of attacks consists of:
avoiding the placement of military objectives in or near densely populated areas … Although the physical separation of civilians and civilian objects from military objectives is an obvious measure for the protection of the population, it is nevertheless a measure that will often encounter great difficulties in densely populated areas. It is essential that the civilian population is not used as a human shield for military operations. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-12, § 10.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
Section 8 - Precautions against (effects of) attacks
0549. Precautions when attacking
This is about the measures which a party to an armed conflict must take against the consequences of attacks on military objectives in the area under its control.
The precautions are as follows:
- to avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0549.
[emphasis in original]
The manual further states that “the positioning of military objectives near cultural property should be avoided”. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0530.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “They [participants in an internal armed conflict] must not place fighters, weapon systems, etc., near vital civilian objects or cultural property.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1046.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states: “The Parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible, … avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 519(1)(b).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) states:
As regards the conduct of defence, it shall be organised primarily outside populated areas … Similar to when conducting an attack, where a choice is possible between general defence positions, the position to be selected shall be that which would cause the least danger to civilian persons and objects … Movements and locations presupposes that military units, except medical units, shall move or stay preferably outside populated areas if their presence would endanger civilian persons and objects. Movements which have to pass through populated area[s] shall be executed rapidly. Where it becomes expedient to locate military units temporarily near populated areas, such units shall be deployed so as to create the least possible danger to civilian areas. For longer lasting military locations, additional danger reducing measures shall be taken by the competent commander. 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 44, § 15.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Defending forces must minimize civilian casualties to the maximum extent feasible by … avoiding the location of military objectives within or near densely populated areas”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 30; see also §§ 97.e, 107.a and 107.b.
The manual also states: “Where there is a choice between a number of defensive positions and they offer a similar military advantage, the position chosen must be the one likely to cause the least danger to the civilian population and civilian objects.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 30.p.
The manual further states that “it is prohibited to fire mortars from areas with a high concentration of civilians”.  
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 26.g.(3).
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Defending forces must minimize civilian casualties to the maximum extent feasible by … avoiding the location of military objectives within or near densely populated areas”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 31, p. 245.
The manual also states: “Where there are tactically similar alternatives, the defensive position chosen must be the one likely to cause the least danger to civilians and civilian objects.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 57, p. 425.
The manual further states: “Military groups, except for medical ones, must preferably be located outside inhabited zones if their presence, even if only temporary, could put civilians and civilian objects at risk.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 98(a), p. 196.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990) requires that commanders, in peacetime, “avoid deploying military objects in or near densely populated areas”. 
Russian Federation, Instructions on the Application of the Rules of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the USSR, Appendix to Order of the USSR Defence Minister No. 75, 1990, § 14(a).
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states: “To the greatest possible extent … the military command shall avoid deploying military objectives in densely populated areas or in their vicinity.” 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 54.
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states: “The placement of military objects in close proximity of protected objects, where there is no military necessity for such, is not allowed.” 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 50(h).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) lists among the required precautionary measures to be taken in defence the duty to “do everything possible to organize defence outside densely populated areas”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, División de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 2.3.b.(4).
The manual further specifies that armed forces must “to the extent possible … avoid locating military objectives within densely populated areas”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, División de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 4.5.a.(2).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “As far as possible, the defence of military objectives should be organized outside densely populated areas.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.3.b.(4).
The manual further states: “To the extent possible … military objectives must not be sited in densely populated areas”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 4.5.a.(2); see also § 11.3.b.(2).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) refers to the obligation enshrined in Article 58(b) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to “avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas” and notes that “the expression ‘endeavour’ is not used in this case, which gives the rule greater force than that of Article 58(a)”. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.2.1.5, p. 74.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states: “To the extent possible, that is, as far as the interests of Swiss national defence allow, no military objective shall be placed within or in the vicinity of densely populated areas.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 29(3); see also Article 151(2)(b) and (3).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
165 The following precautionary measures must be taken into consideration when making decisions, when issuing orders and in particular when conducting military operations.
170 Anyone who acts in defence:
2 avoid[s] locating military objectives or positions within or near densely populated areas. 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, §§ 165 and 170(2).
[emphasis in original]
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) states: “The belligerents must avoid locating their military installations in the vicinity of the civilian population.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule III, p. 12.
The manual further states:
Defence shall be organized, as far as possible, outside inhabited areas … When a choice is possible between several defence positions for obtaining an equivalent military advantage, the position to be selected shall be that which would cause less danger to civilian persons and objects … Military units, except medical units, shall move or stay preferably outside populated areas, when their presence, even temporary, could endanger civilian persons and objects. Even a temporary military presence can create a dangerous situation for the civilian areas and persons. Units located in or close to populated areas shall be so deployed as to create the least possible danger to civilian areas. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule III, p. 15.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states that, in the conduct of defensive actions, “[d]efence shall be primarily organized outside of densely populated areas”. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 2.3.2.1.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides: “The belligerents should endeavour to avoid siting their military installations near the civilian population.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 14, § 4(d).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “Parties to a conflict are required, to the maximum extent feasible, to … avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.36.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states:
As a corollary to the principle of general civilian immunity, the parties to a conflict should, to the maximum extent feasible, take necessary precautions to protect the civilian population, individual civilians, and civilian objects under their authority against the dangers resulting from military operations. Accordingly, they should endeavor … to avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas. It is incumbent upon states, desiring to make protection of their own civilian population fully effective, to take appropriate measures to segregate and separate their military activities from the civilian population and civilian objects. Substantial military advantages may in fact be acquired by such separation. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 5-4(a).
With respect to the result of failure to separate military activities from civilian areas, the Pamphlet states:
The failure of states to segregate and separate their own military activities, and particularly to avoid placing military objectives in or near populated areas and to remove such objects from populated areas, significantly and substantially weakens effective protection for their own population. A party to a conflict which places its own citizens in positions of danger by failing to carry out the separation of military activities from civilian activities necessarily accepts, under international law, the results of otherwise lawful attacks upon valid military objectives in their territory. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 5-4(b).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 58(b), is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(b).
Colombia
In 2007, in the Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
The precautionary principle is the cornerstone of a number of specific rules which are considered to have attained customary status and to be applicable in internal armed conflicts … Among these rules is … the obligation to avoid, to the extent feasible, locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, pp. 99–100.
[footnote in original omitted]
Botswana
On the basis of an interview with a retired army general, the Report on the Practice of Botswana states that it is Botswana’s practice to separate military camps from civilian areas. 
Report on the Practice of Botswana, 1998, Interview with a retired army general, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 1.1.
Colombia
The Report on the Practice of Colombia states that if the location of police units may generate danger for the civilian population, their redeployment is considered advisable. 
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 1.7.
Egypt
According to the Report on the Practice of Egypt, Egypt considers that parties to a conflict are required to take precautions against the effects of attack, in particular to refrain from placing military objectives within or near populated areas. 
Report on the Practice of Egypt, 1997, Chapter 1.7.
France
In 1996, the Monitoring Group on the Implementation of the 1996 Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding, consisting of France, Israel, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the United States, pleaded with combatants to respect the precautionary measure of separating military objectives from densely populated areas, re-emphasizing that artillery fired from populated areas endangered civilians. The Monitoring Group also asked combatants to take all necessary precautions during military operations launched from the vicinity of populated areas. 
Monitoring Group on the Implementation of the 1996 Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding, Fourth and fifth meetings, 22–25 September and 14–18 October 1996.
Guinea
In 2011, Guinea’s Prime Minister stated before the National Transitional Council: “Working closely with the military high command, we were able to immediately remove heavy weapons from Conakry and move them to garrisons within the country.” 
Guinea, Speech of the Prime Minister before the National Transitional Council on general policy matters, 18 March 2011, p. 10.
Iraq
In a message to the UN Secretary-General in 1984, the President of Iraq stated: “Both parties should refrain from placing military concentrations in or near towns so that there will be no intermingling between during military operations.” 
Iraq, Message from the President of Iraq, annexed to Letter dated 10 June 1984 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/16610, 19 June 1984, p. 2.
Islamic Republic of Iran
The Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran notes: “In many Iranian cities, especially in Tehran, due to [the] expansion of city limits [over] the years, some garrisons are now located in the center of the cities.” 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 1.7.
Israel
In 1992, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Israel stated:
Operating with cruel indifference to the fate of innocent Lebanese civilians, Hizbollah and other terrorist organizations continue to use civilian centres as bases of operation. Therein lies the true cause of the suffering of the civilian population of southern Lebanon. 
Israel, Letter dated 27 January 1992 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/23479, 27 January 1992, p. 2.
Israel
In 1996, the Monitoring Group on the Implementation of the 1996 Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding, consisting of France, Israel, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the United States, pleaded with combatants to respect the precautionary measure of separating military objectives from densely populated areas, re-emphasizing that artillery fired from populated areas endangered civilians. The Monitoring Group also asked combatants to take all necessary precautions during military operations launched from the vicinity of populated areas. 
Monitoring Group on the Implementation of the 1996 Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding, Fourth and fifth meetings, 22–25 September and 14–18 October 1996.
Israel
The Report on the Practice of Israel states: “The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] endeavours, to the maximum extent possible, not to place military objectives within or in the vicinity of densely populated civilian areas.” The report remarks, however, that demographic changes have sometimes caused certain longstanding military bases to end up in mainly civilian areas. The IDF General Headquarter in Tel Aviv is cited as an example.  
Report on the Practice of Israel, 1997, Chapter 1.7.
Israel
In 2006, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
The deliberate placement of missile launchers and stockpiles of weapons in the heart of civilian centers, frequently inside and beneath populated apartment blocks, means that [the risk of collateral injury to civilians] is tragically high. This dilemma posed by this violation of the fundamental humanitarian principle of distinction between combatants and civilians has been exceptionally acute in densely populated areas in south Beirut, where Hizballah has deliberately located its headquarters and terrorist strongholds. 
Israel, Responding to Hizbullah Attacks from Lebanon: Issues of Proportionality, Legal Background, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, 25 July 2006, § 4.
Israel
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
The parties in control of the territory where the hostilities take place also have obligations under the Law of Armed Conflict to minimise civilian harm, including with regard to their own population. Thus, the parties to the conflict “shall, to the maximum extent feasible, take the other necessary precautions to protect the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control against the dangers resulting from military operations.” [1977 Additional Protocol I, Article 58(c)]. This means they should “avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas” [1977 Additional Protocol I, Article 58(b)]. … To do the opposite – to place weapons systems in or near apartment buildings, schools, mosques or medical facilities … – violates the Law of Armed Conflict, because such tactics inevitably increase civilian casualties beyond what otherwise might occur in connection with an attack on a legitimate military target. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 139.
[emphasis in original; footnotes in original omitted]
Jordan
The Report on the Practice of Jordan refers to the existence of “a legal obligation under Jordanian practice prohibiting the location of military objectives in densely populated areas”. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 1.7.
The report considers it “regrettable that military installations are sometimes located in the vicinity of densely populated areas”. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 1.7.
Kuwait
The Report on the Practice of Kuwait states that, with the growth of populations and the development of towns, the Kuwaiti authorities find themselves obliged to remove military sites from urban agglomerations. 
Report on the Practice of Kuwait, 1997, Chapter 1.7.
Lebanon
In 1996, the Monitoring Group on the Implementation of the 1996 Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding, consisting of France, Israel, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the United States, pleaded with combatants to respect the precautionary measure of separating military objectives from densely populated areas, re-emphasizing that artillery fired from populated areas endangered civilians. The Monitoring Group also asked combatants to take all necessary precautions during military operations launched from the vicinity of populated areas. 
Monitoring Group on the Implementation of the 1996 Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding, Fourth and fifth meetings, 22–25 September and 14–18 October 1996.
Lebanon
The Report on the Practice of Lebanon notes that, according to an adviser of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is forbidden for resistance movements to maintain a military presence in populated areas. It is also prohibited to use such areas as the starting point of a military operation. The adviser thought that the same principles should also apply to Israel, whose military forces should remain outside the towns and villages. 
Report on the Practice of Lebanon, 1998, Interview with an adviser of the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chapter 1.7.
Malaysia
The Report on the Practice of Malaysia considers that permanent and operational military camps may not be located within or near densely populated areas. The report notes, however, that at present, owing to the development of surrounding areas, many permanent and operational military camps are situated within or near densely populated areas. 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Chapter 1.7.
Republic of Korea
At the CDDH, in the explanation of its vote on Article 51 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 58), the Republic of Korea stated with respect to sub-paragraph (b):
This provision does not constitute a restriction on a State’s military installations on its own territory. We consider that military facilities necessary for a country’s national defence should be decided on the basis of the actual needs and other considerations of that particular country. An attempt to regulate a country’s requirements and the fulfilment of those requirements in this connexion would not conform to actualities. 
Republic of Korea, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.42, 27 May 1977, pp. 234–235.
Switzerland
In 2005, Switzerland withdrew its reservations to Articles 57 and 58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Switzerland, Withdrawal of reservations to the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 17 June 2005.
Switzerland
In 2010, in its Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
Combatants in civilian attire who blend in with the civilian population, thereby deliberately placing civilians and civilian objects in danger, are in flagrant contradiction with the obligation that international law imposes on all parties to a conflict to take all feasible measures to ensure the protection of the persons and objects concerned. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, 17 September 2010, Section 3.3, p. 12.
[footnote in original omitted]
Syrian Arab Republic
In 1996, the Monitoring Group on the Implementation of the 1996 Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding, consisting of France, Israel, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the United States, pleaded with combatants to respect the precautionary measure of separating military objectives from densely populated areas, re-emphasizing that artillery fired from populated areas endangered civilians. The Monitoring Group also asked combatants to take all necessary precautions during military operations launched from the vicinity of populated areas. 
Monitoring Group on the Implementation of the 1996 Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding, Fourth and fifth meetings, 22–25 September and 14–18 October 1996.
Syrian Arab Republic
The Report on the Practice of the Syrian Arab Republic asserts that the Syrian Arab Republic considers Article 58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to be part of customary international law. 
Report on the Practice of the Syrian Arab Republic, 1997, Chapter 1.7.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In reply to a question in the House of Lords with respect to the 1991 Gulf War, a UK government spokesman stated:
The noble Lord asked if the bombing of civilians was not contrary to the Geneva Convention. The answer to that is no. We attacked targets accepted as legitimate in international law. Iraq’s stationing of military targets in civilian areas was contrary to the rules of war. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Statement by a government spokesman, 6 March 1991, Hansard, Vol. 526, col. 1485.
United States of America
In 1966, in the context of the Vietnam War, the US Department of Defense stated:
It is impossible to avoid all damage to civilian areas, especially when the North Vietnamese deliberately emplace their air defense sites, their dispersed POL, their radar and other military facilities in the midst of populated areas, and, indeed, sometimes on the roofs of government buildings. 
United States, Department of Defense, Statement on targeting policy in Vietnam, 26 December 1966, reprinted in Marjorie Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 427.
United States of America
In 1966, in reply to an inquiry from a member of the US House of Representatives asking for a restatement of US policy on targeting in North Vietnam, a US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense wrote: “It is impossible to avoid all damage to civilian areas, particularly in view of the concerted effort of the North Vietnamese to emplace anti-aircraft and critical military targets among the civilian population.” 
United States, Letter from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Goulding to US Representative Ogden Reid from New York, 30 December 1966, reprinted in Marjorie Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 428.
United States of America
In 1972, the General Counsel of the US Department of Defense stated:
The principle [contained in paragraph 1(c) of UN General Assembly Resolution 2444 (XXIII) of 1969 that a distinction must be made at all times between persons taking part in the hostilities and members of the civilian population to the effect that the civilians be spared as much as possible] addresses primarily the Party exercising control over members of the civilian population. This principle recognizes the interdependence of the civilian community with the overall war effort of a modern society. But its application enjoins the party controlling the population to use its best efforts to distinguish or separate its military forces and war making activities from members of the civilian population to the maximum extent feasible so that civilian casualties and damage to civilian objects incidental to attacks on military objectives, will be minimized as much as possible. 
United States, Letter from J. Fred Buzhardt, General Counsel of the Department of Defense, to Senator Edward Kennedy, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Refugees of the Committee on the Judiciary, 22 September 1972, AJIL, Vol. 67, 1973, p. 123.
United States of America
In 1991, in response to an ICRC memorandum on the applicability of IHL in the Gulf region, the US Department of the Army stated:
The obligation of distinguishing combatants and military objectives from civilians and civilian objects is a shared responsibility of the attacker, defender, and the civilian population as such … A defender must exercise reasonable precaution to separate the civilian population and civilian objects from military objectives. 
United States, Message from the Department of the Army to the legal adviser of the US Army forces deployed in the Gulf, 11 January 1991, § 8(E), Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 1.7.
United States of America
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United States denounced Iraq for having “intentionally placed civilians at risk through its behaviour”. The report cited the following examples of such behaviour:
(a) The Iraqi Government moved significant amounts of military weapons and equipment into civilian areas with the deliberate purpose of using innocent civilians and their homes as shields against attacks on legitimate military targets;
(b) Iraqi fighter and bomber aircraft were dispersed into villages near the military airfields where they were parked between civilian houses and even placed immediately adjacent to important archaeological sites and historic treasures;
(c) Coalition aircraft were fired upon by anti-aircraft weapons in residential neighbourhoods in various cities. In Baghdad, anti-aircraft sites were located on hotel roofs;
(d) In one case, military engineering equipment used to traverse rivers, including mobile bridge sections, was located in several villages near an important crossing point. The Iraqis parked each vehicle adjacent to a civilian house. 
United States, Letter dated 5 March 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22341, 8 March 1991, pp. 2–3.
United States of America
In 1992, in its final report to Congress on the conduct of the Gulf War, the US Department of Defense stated:
Historically, and from a common sense standpoint, the party controlling the civilian population has the opportunity and responsibility to minimize the risk to the civilian population through the separation of military objects from the civilian population … The defending party must exercise reasonable precautions to separate the civilian population and civilian objects from military objectives, and avoid placing military objectives in the midst of the civilian population. 
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Appendix O, The Role of the Law of War, ILM, Vol. 31, 1992, p. 625.
United States of America
In 1993, in its report to Congress on the protection of natural and cultural resources during times of war, the US Department of Defense stated:
The obligation to take reasonable measures to minimize damage to natural resources and cultural property is shared by both an attacker and a defender … The defender has certain responsibilities as well, not the least of which is to take all reasonable measures to separate military objectives from civilian objects and the civilian population. Regrettably, in conflicts such as the Korean and Vietnam Wars, as well as the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the armed forces of the United States have faced opponents who have elected to use their civilian populations and civilian objects to shield military objectives from attack. Notwithstanding such actions, U.S. forces have taken reasonable measures to minimize collateral injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects while conducting their military operations, often at increased risk to U.S. personnel. 
United States, Department of Defense, Report to Congress on International Policies and Procedures Regarding the Protection of Natural and Cultural Resources During Times of War, 19 January 1993, p. 203.
United States of America
In 1996, the Monitoring Group on the Implementation of the 1996 Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding, consisting of France, Israel, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the United States, pleaded with combatants to respect the precautionary measure of separating military objectives from densely populated areas, re-emphasizing that artillery fired from populated areas endangered civilians. The Monitoring Group also asked combatants to take all necessary precautions during military operations launched from the vicinity of populated areas. 
Monitoring Group on the Implementation of the 1996 Israel-Lebanon Ceasefire Understanding, Fourth and fifth meetings, 22–25 September and 14–18 October 1996.
United States of America
The Report on US Practice states: “It is the opinio juris of the United States that parties to a conflict should, to the maximum extent feasible, segregate and separate their military activities from the civilian population to protect the latter.” 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 1.7.
Zimbabwe
The Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe states that the provisions of Article 58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I would be regarded as customary by Zimbabwe because of its adoption of the Geneva Conventions Amendment Act which incorporates the 1977 Additional Protocol I into Zimbabwe’s law and practice. 
Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe, 1998, Chapter 1.7.
UN Secretary-General
In 1991, in a special report on UNIFIL in Lebanon, the UN Secretary-General stated:
Most of the above-described hostilities have taken place near IDF/DFF [Israel Defense Force/De Facto Forces] positions that are close to population centres and in areas where UNIFIL’s deployment overlaps the Israeli-Controlled Area (ICA). In order to reduce hostilities, to avoid further hardship to the civilian population and to prevent additional UNIFIL casualties, I have proposed to the Government of Israel that it withdraw IDF/DFF personnel from the most affected positions, which would then be taken over by UNIFIL. I am convinced that, as in the case of Tallet Huqban in October 1987 (S/19445), such a move would have a beneficial effect. 
UN Secretary-General, Special report on UNIFIL, UN Doc. S/23255, 29 November 1991, § 9.
The Secretary-General resubmitted his proposal to the Israeli Government in 1992. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on UNIFIL, UN Doc. S/24341, 21 July 1992, § 31.
No data.
No data.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Kupreškić case in 2000, the ICTY Trial Chamber noted that Article 58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I was now part of customary international law, not only because it specified and fleshed out general pre-existing norms, but also because it did not appear to be contested by any State, including those who had not ratified the Protocol. 
ICTY, Kupreškić case, Judgment, 14 January 2000, § 524.
With reference to the Martens Clause, the Trial Chamber held:
The prescriptions of … [Article 58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I] (and of the corresponding customary rules) must be interpreted so as to construe as narrowly as possible the discretionary power to attack belligerents and, by the same token, so as to expand the protection accorded to civilians. 
ICTY, Kupreškić case, Judgment, 14 January 2000, § 525.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Galić case in 2003, the ICTY Trial Chamber stated:
As suggested by the Defence, the parties to a conflict are under an obligation to remove civilians, to the maximum extent feasible, from the vicinity of military objectives and to avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas. However, the failure of a party to abide by this obligation does not relieve the attacking side of its duty to abide by the principles of distinction and proportionality when launching an attack. 
ICTY, Galić case, Judgment, 5 December 2003, § 61.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Dragomir Milošević case before the ICTY in 2007, the Trial Chamber stated: “The parties to a conflict are under an obligation to … avoid locating military objectives within or near densely-populated areas.” 
ICTY, Dragomir Milošević case, Judgment, 12 December 2007, § 949.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that:
439. Defence shall be organized primarily outside populated areas …
440. When a choice is possible between several defence positions for obtaining a similar military advantage, the position to be selected shall be that the defence of which would cause the least danger to civilian persons and objects.
446. When the tactical situation permits, defence measures which may affect civilian persons shall be announced by effective advance warning (e.g. for evacuation of specific houses or areas, for removal and shelter).
448. Military units, except medical units, shall move or stay preferably outside populated areas, when their presence, even temporary, could endanger civilian persons and objects.
449. Movements which have to pass through or close to populated areas shall be executed rapidly …
450. Interruptions of movement (e.g. regular stops after given periods of time, occasional stops) shall, when the tactical situation permits, take place outside populated areas or at least in less densely populated areas.
451. Even a temporary military presence can create a dangerous situation for the civilian areas and persons. Units located in or close to populated areas shall be so deployed as to create the least possible danger to civilian areas (e.g. at least clear physical separation: appropriate distance between militarily used houses and other buildings).
452. For longer lasting locations in civilian areas, additional danger-reducing measures shall be taken by the competent commander (e.g. clear and where necessary marked limit of unit’s location, restricted and regulated access to location, instructions to members of the unit and appropriate information to the civilian population). 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 439, 440, 446 and 448–452.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in 1979 with respect to the conflict in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, the ICRC specifically requested that the Patriotic Front “clearly separate civilian establishments, particularly refugee camps, from military installations”. 
ICRC, Conflict in Southern Africa: ICRC appeal, 19 March 1979, § 7, IRRC, No. 209, 1979, p. 89.
Institute of International Law
In a resolution adopted during its Edinburgh Session in 1969, the Institute of International Law stated: “The provisions of the preceding paragraphs do not affect the application of the existing rules of international law which prohibit the exposure of civilian populations and of non-military objects to the destructive effects of military means.” 
Institute of International Law, Edinburgh Session, Resolution on the Distinction between Military Objectives and Non-military Objects in General and Particularly the Problems Associated with Weapons of Mass Destruction, 9 September 1969, § 5.