Practice Relating to Rule 55. Access for Humanitarian Relief to Civilians in Need
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers):
III.2. Humanitarian aid
The parties to the conflict shall allow the free passage of all consignments of humanitarian aid essential for the survival of the civilian population, even if these relief supplies are intended for the enemy population. This aid can comprise, for example, medical and hospital stores, essential foodstuffs, clothing, bedding, emergency accommodation, clothing and medicine especially intended for children, expectant mothers or maternity cases.
The armed forces of the two sides can prescribe technical arrangements for the transport through their territory, for example the routes the convoys must take or the detailed schedule. The convoys can be searched, but their passage must be authorized.
Côte d’Ivoire’s Penal Code (1981), as amended in 2015, states:
Whoever commits a war crime is punished with life imprisonment.
War crimes are:
2 - other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
- intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival, including wilfully impeding relief supplies as provided for under the Geneva Conventions[.]