Practice Relating to Rule 106. Conditions for Prisoner-of-War Status
Section C. Situations where combatants cannot distinguish themselves
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers):
Chapter 3. Identification
The law admits that there are circumstances in which a combatant need not necessarily wear a uniform nor display a fixed distinctive sign in order to be entitled to prisoner-of-war status. This is the case in occupied territories, where, owing to the nature of the conflict, combatants cannot distinguish themselves from the civilian population in that manner. In such a case, they will nevertheless be regarded as combatants if they are under a responsible command and an internal disciplinary system.
They must further carry their arms openly:
- during each military engagement;
- when they deploy on a military operation and are visible to the enemy.
In other words, these persons are, at the time of combat, men or women clearly armed who do not try to dissimulate their military intentions.