Practice Relating to Rule 28. Medical Units
According to Ethiopia’s Standing Rules of Engagement (2007), hospitals do not constitute military objectives.
Ethiopia’s Penal Code (1957) punishes anyone for “crimes against the wounded, sick or shipwrecked” who organizes, orders or engages in “the destruction, rendering unserviceable or appropriation of supplies, installations or stores belonging to the medical or first-aid services, in a manner which is unlawful, arbitrary or disproportionate to the requirements of strict military necessity”.
Ethiopia’s Criminal Code (2004) states:
Article 271.- War Crimes against Wounded, Sick or Shipwrecked Persons or Medical Services.
(1) Whoever, in the circumstances defined above [i.e., in time of war, armed conflict or occupation … and in violation of the rules of public international law and of international humanitarian conventions] organizes, orders or engages in:
(b) the destruction, rendering unserviceable or appropriation of supplies, installations, transport materials or stores belonging to the medical or first aid services, in a manner which is unlawful, arbitrary or disproportionate to the requirements of strict military necessity …
is punishable in accordance with Article 270 [i.e., with rigorous imprisonment from five years to twenty-five years, or, in more serious cases, with life imprisonment or death].
The Criminal Code of 2004 repealed Ethiopia’s Penal Code of 1957.