Practice Relating to Rule 139. Respect for International Humanitarian Law
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) notes in Book I (Basic instruction):
In 1961, Côte d’Ivoire acceded to the four Geneva Conventions. In 1977, it signed the two Additional Protocols, and ratified them in 1989. Since then, it has committed itself to respect and to ensure respect for the law of war.
In Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
Lesson 3. Obligations and responsibilities
The authors of the Conventions were aware that there can be no respect for the law of armed conflicts [LOAC] without knowledge of the rules of that law. This is a necessary but not sufficient condition. In fact, it still needs the will of the authority to respect these rules, to ensure their respect and to punish perpetrators of grave violations.
The Law of Armed Conflicts contains a series of obligations to which States have subscribed by its ratification. They are mainly:
- the obligation to respect and to ensure respect for the LOAC,
I.2. Obligation to respect and to ensure respect
“The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.” (Common Article 1 to the four Geneva Conventions)
To do this, States undertake
- to take without delay all necessary measures for the execution of these obligations;
- to give orders and instructions to ensure observance of the Conventions, and to supervise the execution.
III.4. Mechanisms to engage the responsibility of the State
Signatory States to the Geneva Conventions undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the Conventions in all circumstances.
In 2009, in its report to the UN Human Rights Council, Côte d’Ivoire stated:
[T]he Ministry [of Justice and Human Rights] is responsible for chairing the Inter-Ministerial Committee whose task is to ensure that international humanitarian law is applied and respected in Côte d’Ivoire. One way in which it does this is to ensure that laws are in conformity with the principles of international humanitarian law.