Practice Relating to Rule 8. Definition of Military Objectives
The Report on the Practice of Algeria, referring expressly to the notion of “effective contribution” to military action resulting from the nature, location, purpose or use of an object, asserts that the criteria set forth in Article 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I were already taken into consideration during the Algerian war of independence.
The Report on the Practice of Algeria states that tanks and munitions and ammunition stores were considered military objectives during the war of independence.
The Report on the Practice of Algeria states:
Leaving aside the objects which do not really raise questions of interpretation such as tanks or weapons and munition depots, the National Liberation Army of Algeria resorted to “economic sabotage” throughout the war. Roads, bridges, railway tracks and telephone lines were preferred targets. It even happened that harvests of important French colonisers were burned or fuel depots used by the French army destroyed … Even the petroleum industry which had barely emerged was not spared. In fact, everything which was considered to form part of “the economic machinery of the enemy” had to be brought down.
According to the Report on the Practice of Algeria, the destruction of railways, bridges and roads was part of a policy of “economic sabotage” conducted by the ALN during the war of independence.