Practice Relating to Rule 36. Demilitarized Zones
Section B. Attacks on demilitarized zones
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers):
IV.2. Protected zones
The law of armed conflicts makes provision for various protected zones or localities. …
Attacks against these zones or localities are prohibited.
IV.7. Demilitarized zones
These zones are areas in which combat is excluded, established in order to protect the civilian population against attacks … Demilitarized zones must not be occupied, nor used in any manner whatsoever for military purposes.
In Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
In order to protect the civilian population as a whole or particularly vulnerable persons … it is possible, by common agreement between the parties, to establish safety zones
… Such zones must not be attacked militarily. On the other hand, they must also no longer be defended against the advancing of the enemy.
[emphasis in original]
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.3.4. Demilitarized zones
It is prohibited for the Parties to the conflict to lead military operations or attacks in an area which they have agreed to treat as a demilitarized zone.
A demilitarized zone must normally respect the following conditions:
- all combatants, as well as mobile weapons and mobile military equipment, must have been evacuated;
- no hostile use shall be made of fixed military installations or establishments;
- no acts of hostility shall be committed by the authorities or by the population;
- any activity linked to the military effort must have ceased.
An area loses its status as a demilitarized zone if:
- one Party breaches the conditions described above;
- one Party uses the demilitarized zone for purposes linked to the conduct of military operations if it has agreed not to do so;
- one Party unilaterally revokes the status of demilitarized zone of an area when it has agreed not to do so.