Practice Relating to Rule 36. Demilitarized Zones

Karachi Agreement
Under paragraph D of the 1949 Karachi Agreement, India and Pakistan agreed that “no troops shall be stationed from south of Minimarg to the cease-fire line”. 
Karachi Agreement Establishing a Cease-fire Line in the State of Jammu and Kashmir concluded between India and Pakistan, Karachi, 27 July 1949, § d.
Panmunjom Armistice Agreement
Article I(6) and (10) of the 1953 Panmunjom Armistice Agreement stipulates that neither side shall execute any hostile act within, from, or against the established demilitarized zone and that the total number of military personnel from each side allowed to enter the zone cannot exceed 1,000 persons at one time under any circumstance. 
Agreement between the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, on the one hand, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army and the Commander of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, on the other hand, concerning a Military Armistice in Korea, Panmunjom, 27 July 1953, Article I(6) and (10).
Disengagement Agreement between Israel and Syria
The 1974 Disengagement Agreement between Israel and Syria created a demilitarized zone on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. This agreement is subject to international supervision. 
Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria, Geneva, 31 May 1974.
Additional Protocol I
Article 60 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:
2. The agreement [to establish a demilitarized zone] shall be an express agreement, may be concluded verbally or in writing, either directly or through a Protecting Power or any impartial humanitarian organization, and may consist of reciprocal and concordant declarations. The agreement may be concluded in peacetime, as well as after the outbreak of hostilities, and should define and describe, as precisely as possible, the limits of the demilitarized zone and, if necessary, lay down the methods of supervision.
3. The subject of such an agreement shall normally be any zone which fulfils the following conditions:
a) all combatants, as well as mobile weapons and mobile military equipment, must have been evacuated;
b) no hostile use shall be made of fixed military installations or establishments;
c) no acts of hostility shall be committed by the authorities or by the population; and
d) any activity linked to the military effort must have ceased.
The Parties to the conflict shall agree upon the interpretation to be given to the conditions laid down in sub-paragraph d) and upon persons to be admitted to the demilitarized zone other than those mentioned in paragraph 4.
4. The presence, in this zone, of persons specially protected under the Conventions and this Protocol, and of police forces retained for the sole purpose of maintaining law and order, is not contrary to the conditions laid down in paragraph 3. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 60. Article 60 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.42, 27 May 1977, p. 215.
Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt
The 1979 Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt created a demilitarized zone in the Sinai, subject to international supervision. Egyptian civilian police are allowed to operate in the demilitarized zone set up pursuant to the agreement. 
Treaty of Peace between the Government of the State of Israel and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Washington, D.C., 26 March 1979.
Agreement on Demilitarization of Srebrenica and Žepa
Article 3 of the 1993 Agreement on Demilitarization of Srebrenica and Žepa provided that every military or paramilitary unit should either withdraw from the demilitarized zones or hand over their weapons. 
Agreement on Demilitarization of Srebrenica and Žepa, concluded between Lt. Gen. Ratko Mladić and Gen. Sefer Halilović, in the presence of Lt. Gen. Philippe Morillon, Sarajevo, 8 May 1993, Article 3.
Under Article 5, ammunition, mines, explosives and combat supplies in the demilitarized zones were to be handed over to UNPROFOR, under whose control the demilitarized zones were placed. 
Agreement on Demilitarization of Srebrenica and Žepa, concluded between Lt. Gen. Ratko Mladić and Gen. Sefer Halilović, in the presence of Lt. Gen. Philippe Morillon, Sarajevo, 8 May 1993, Article 5.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) provides for the possibility of establishing demilitarized zones and refers to the conditions set out for this purpose in Article 60 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 4.06.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
Demilitarised zones are areas in which, by express agreement between the parties to the conflict, military operations are not conducted. The aim of these zones is common to that of non-defended localities. The differences between the two areas relate to how they are established and their situation. A non-defended locality may be created by unilateral declaration, whereas a demilitarised zone is created by express agreement between the parties. From the commander’s point of view, protection granted to each zone is identical. Therefore, as long as sufficient notice is given of the zones and they are adequately marked, they are protected from attack. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 737.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
Demilitarised zones are areas in which, by express agreement between the parties to the conflict, military operations are not conducted. The aim of these zones is common to that of non-defended localities. The differences between the two areas relate to how they are established and their situation. A non-defended locality may be created by unilateral declaration, whereas a demilitarised zone is created by express agreement between the parties. From the commander’s point of view, protection granted to each zone is identical. Therefore, as long as sufficient notice is given of the zones and they are adequately marked, they are protected from attack. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 7.40; see also § 9.40.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “The civilian population of a State in conflict must be protected from the effects of war. This protection may be put into practice by … establishing demilitarized zones.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 20.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992), while defining demilitarized zones as zones where all military activities have ceased, states that conditions regarding demilitarized zones are established by an express agreement between the belligerents.  
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 20, § 227.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
Neutralized Geographical Zones: Neutral Space
1. Definition
A neutralized geographical zone can be established by mutual agreement between belligerents.
This refers to a demilitarized zone in which all war efforts must have ceased.
In this case, an express agreement … is signed between belligerents either in times of peace or after the opening of hostilities. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 280, § 642; see also p. 92, § 352.2, p. 94, § 352.27, p. 137, § 412.27 and p. 225, § 533.
The manual also states: “[Demilitarized Zones] are those zones in which all military activities have ceased, be it by virtue of agreement between the belligerents or by virtue of international conventions.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 137, § 412.27.
The manual further states under the heading “Responsibility for Acts or Omissions of which Subordinates Are Accused” that commanders may be responsible if their subordinates “profit from a truce in order to consolidate their positions … with respect to demilitarized zones”. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 99, § 361; see also p. 141, § 421.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) requires an agreement between the parties to a conflict in order to establish a demilitarized zone. According to the manual, the conditions that must normally be satisfied by a demilitarized zone are the same as those listed in Article 60(3) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-11, §§ 115–116.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting:
1. It is prohibited for parties to a conflict to conduct military operations in or to attack an area that they have agreed to treat as a demilitarized zone.
2. A demilitarized zone must normally satisfy the following conditions:
a. all combatants, as well as mobile weapons and mobile military equipment, must have been evacuated;
b. no hostile use shall be made of fixed military installations or establishments;
c. no acts of hostility shall be committed by the authorities or by the population; and
d. any activity linked to the military effort must have ceased.
3. The party in control of a demilitarized zone shall mark it, so far as possible, by such signs as may be agreed upon by the adverse parties. Such signs shall be displayed where they are clearly visible, especially on the demilitarized zone’s perimeter and on highways.
4. An area loses its status as a demilitarized zone where:
a. a party commits a violation of the conditions described above;
b. a party uses the demilitarized zone for purposes related to the conduct of military operations where it has agreed not to do so; or
c. a party unilaterally revokes the status of an area as a demilitarized zone where it has agreed not to do so. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 457.1–4.
Côte d’Ivoire
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. It is important to know the raison d’être of these zones. These zones can have different names, but they always have two elements in common:
- to protect civilian and military victims against the effects of hostilities;
- to keep these victims separate, guaranteeing that there are no military objectives in the defined zones.
Thus, if the enemy respects the law, the victims run no risk of suffering from the effects of the hostilities. 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. They can be towns, villages, or even a stretch of land separating two enemy parties. They are created by an agreement concluded between the parties. All the military personnel, mobile weapons and mobile military equipment must be evacuated. Demilitarized zones must not be occupied, nor used in any manner whatsoever for military purposes. The party which is in control of such a zone must, so far as possible, mark its perimeter by such signs as may be agreed upon with the enemy. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 35 and 37.
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 (the sick, wounded, infirm, elderly, children, etc.), it is possible, by common agreement between the parties, to establish safety zones, both during the conflict (for example in the form of an “open town”), or “demilitarized zones” in time of peace. Such zones must not be attacked militarily. On the other hand, they must also no longer be defended against the advancing of the enemy. Their only objective is to ensure the physical survival of the population which is sheltered there. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 21–22.
[emphasis in original]
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.3.4. Demilitarized zones
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.
The Party which is in control of a demilitarized zone shall mark it, so far as possible, by such signs as may be agreed upon with the other Party. These signs shall be displayed where they are clearly visible, especially on the perimeter of the demilitarized zone and on roads. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 42–43.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) states that the following are not allowed in a demilitarized zone: a) the presence of combatants; b) the presence of mobile weapons; c) the presence of mobile military equipment; d) any act of hostility; and e) any activity related to the conduct of military operations. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 11.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states:
The prerequisites for establishing [a demilitarized zone] are equal to those applying to non-defended localities (Article 59 para. 2, 60 para. 3 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I). Demilitarized zones are created by an agreement concluded between the parties to the conflict either in peacetime or in case of conflict. It is prohibited for each party to the conflict to attack or occupy such zones (Article 60 para 1 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I). 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 461.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) states that the establishment of a demilitarized zone requires that there are “no combatants; no mobile weapons; no mobile military equipment; no hostile acts; no activity linked to the military effort”. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 23.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997), in a section entitled “Demilitarized Zones”, states:
These specific protected zones which are open to all non-combatants are regulated by an express agreement concluded verbally or in writing between the two Parties to the conflict. Such an agreement may be concluded in peacetime as well as after the outbreak of hostilities.
The conditions to be fulfilled by both demilitarized zones and non-defended localities are the same in practice. They are:
a) that all combatants as well as mobile weapons and mobile military equipment must be evacuated;
b) that no hostile use shall be made of fixed military installations or establishments;
c) that no acts of hostility shall be committed by the authorities or by the population; and
d) that any activity linked to the military effort must cease. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, pp. 6-7.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides that the term “demilitarized zone” means a zone from which all combatants as well as all mobile weapons and military material have been evacuated, and in which fixed military establishments are not used for harmful purposes, no hostile act can be committed by the authorities and the population, and all activities linked to the military effort have ceased. It states that demilitarized zones are created by agreement between the parties concerned. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 3-SO, § I.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands describes the establishment of demilitarized zones on the basis of Article 60 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-16/V-17, § 14.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
0554. It is prohibited for the parties to a conflict to extend their military operations to demilitarized zones. The parties to a conflict may agree to confer demilitarized status on a zone. Such agreement may be concluded verbally or in writing. It should describe, as precisely as possible, the limits of the demilitarized zone and may lay down methods of supervision. A demilitarized zone may also be agreed between States in peacetime.
0555. Within a demilitarized zone no military activities may take place. The zone must remain uninvolved in military operations. The further conditions attached to demilitarized zone status are almost the same as for undefended localities:
- all combatants, as well as mobile weapons and mobile military equipment, must have been evacuated;
- no hostile use may be made of fixed military installations or establishments;
- no hostile acts may be committed by the authorities or by the population;
- all activities linked to the military effort must have ceased.
These arrangements may be made more specific, by agreement.
0556. The presence of persons who enjoy special protection (e.g. civil defence personnel) and police units is not incompatible with the conditions laid down. The party in control of the demilitarized zone must mark it as well as possible with the agreed distinctive signs. These signs must be clearly visible and displayed specifically on boundaries and main roads. If one party breaches the set requirements in a significant area (e.g., uses the zone for military purposes), the zone then forfeits demilitarized status and the opposing party is released from the agreed obligations.
There are still no examples of demilitarized zones under AP I [1977 Additional Protocol I].
There are, however, demilitarized zones on the strength of other treaties and decrees. One example is the peace treaty between the Allies and Italy in 1947, whereby certain zones were designated as such. Under resolution 186 of the United Nations Security Council (1964), UNFICYP set up a demilitarized buffer zone in Cyprus on both sides of the original line of confrontation, to facilitate supervision. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0554–0556.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “The parties to a conflict may agree that a particular area shall constitute a demilitarized zone, in which case military operations may only be carried on in that area to the extent permitted by the agreement.” With respect to the rules and the procedure to be adopted in relation to the establishment of demilitarized zones, the manual refers to Article 60 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. It also notes that agreements establishing the zones may be oral or in writing, may be arranged either directly or through the medium of a protecting power or any impartial humanitarian organization, or may also arise by way of reciprocal and concordant declarations. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 412(4).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) notes that preplanned protected zones, including demilitarized zones, are established by agreement between belligerent parties or can be internationally recognized. 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 43, § 14.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) defines the term “demilitarized zone” as:
Any zone fulfilling the following requirements:
a. all combatants, weapons and military equipment have been removed;
b. no hostile use is made of fixed military installations or establishments;
c. no acts of hostility are committed by the authorities or the population;
d. any activity linked to the military effort has ceased. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, Annex 9, Glossary of Terms; see also § 100.f.
The manual further states:
When appropriate, special agreements should be made between the parties to the conflict or with neutral States in order to:
(a) locate certain areas ( … demilitarized zones) at a safe distance from military operations;
(e) permit the marking of … demilitarized zones with distinctive signs. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 25.b.(2)(a) and (e); see also §§ 27.h.(1).(c) and 104.c.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) defines “Demilitarized Zones” in its Glossary of Terms as:
Any zone fulfilling the following requirements:
a. all combatants, weapons and military equipment have been removed;
b. no hostile use is made of fixed military installations or establishments;
c. no acts of hostility are committed by the authorities or the civilian population;
d. any activity linked to the military effort has ceased. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, p. 418.
The manual also states:
[The following] … zones shall be established by agreements between the parties to the conflict, or can be recognized internationally as:
(c) Demilitarized Zones. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 28(h)(c), p. 240–241.
The manual further states:
When appropriate, special agreements should be made between the parties to the conflict or with neutral States in order to:
(e) Allow the marking with distinctive emblems of … demilitarized zones. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 26(2)(e), p. 233; see also § 92(b)(5), p. 294.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
demilitarised zone is a zone from which, on agreement between the parties to the conflict, all combatants and mobile military objectives have been evacuated and the fixed military objectives located therein are not used for hostile purposes, the authorities and the population refrain from acts of hostility and any military activities are terminated. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 1.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) defines demilitarized zones as:
battle-free areas from which, on agreement between the parties to the conflict, military personnel, mobile military equipment and other military activities have been removed or ceased to protect the occupants from attack. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, pp. 28–29.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
2.6 Localities and Zones under Special Protection Demilitarised Zones, Non-defended Localities, and Demilitarised Zones
Demilitarised Zones (Article 60 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol I)
...
A “demilitarised zone” is an area where[:]
- All combatants as well as mobile weapons and mobile military equipment have been evacuated;
- No hostile use is made of fixed military installations or establishments;
- No acts of hostility may be committed by the authorities or by the population; and
- Any activity linked to the military effort has ceased. However, the presence of specially protected persons and police forces retained for the sole purpose of maintaining law and order in this zone is not contrary to this condition.
Before any areas have the status of demilitarised zones, the Parties to the conflict must enter into formal agreements regarding such zones. These agreements[:]
- May be concluded in both peacetime and after the outbreak of hostilities;
- May be concluded verbally or in writing;
- May be concluded either directly or through a Protecting Power or any impartial humanitarian organization; and
- May consist of reciprocal and concordant declarations; but
- It shall be express (exact) agreements that define and describe, as precisely as possible, the limits of the demilitarised zone and, if necessary (appropriate), lay down the methods of supervision.
It is prohibited to extend military operations to demilitarised zones, if such extension is contrary to the terms of the agreement(s). If the fighting draws near to a demilitarised zone, none of the conflicting parties may use the zone for the conduct of military operations or unilaterally revoke its status.
The Party, which is in control of a demilitarised zone, must clearly mark it by such signs as may be agreed upon with the Parties involved.
If one of the Parties to the conflict commits a material breach of the demilitarised zone, the other Party shall be released from its obligation under the agreement declaring the zone to be a demilitarised zone. However, even though the zone loses its status as demilitarised zone, it shall still enjoy the protection provided by the other provisions of the LOAC [law of armed conflict].
In view of the provisions of [1949] Geneva Convention IV articles 14 and 15 and Additional Protocol I articles 59 and 60, it is important that the different zones and localities are clearly distinguished from another as far as their physical location is concerned, but also with regard to their aims. Their aims can be summarised as follows:
- Hospital Zones. Provide permanent shelter to military and civilian wounded or sick.
- Safety Zones. Provide permanent shelter to certain specially protected categories of persons. These zones require special protection.
- Neutral Zones. Provide temporary protection in the combat zones to wounded and sick combatants, non-combatants and civilians not participating in hostilities.
- Non-defended and Demilitarised Zones. Provide permanent protection in and/or near the combat zones to non-combatants and civilians not participating in hostilities. A Party to the conflict establishes non-defended zones by means of a unilateral declaration, while demilitarised zones are established by a formal agreement between Parties.
All these zones have one thing in common, apart from the aim to protect persons, to wit, that they are all dependent on recognition by an adverse Party.
The idea with such zones started in 1870 with Henri Dunant, who suggested that certain towns be declared neutral and that wounded persons be collected there. It is difficult to declare such zones before a war, as it is difficult to ascertain the strategic situation before a war. However, nothing prevents States from establishing a number of such zones in time of peace and only utilising a few such zones (or all of them) in time of war.
It is possible to combine different types of zones in one area.
The establishment of these zones does not mitigate the duty to protect persons outside the zone. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 2, pp. 147–148 and 150–151; see also p. 152.
The manual also states:
Establishment and Protection of Protected Zones
- Preplanned protected zones are established by agreement between Parties to the conflict. In such agreements they can recognise the following as protected zones:
- Demilitarised zones.
- Commanders must ensure that they take all the necessary steps for the respect of such protected zones.
- Appropriate advice must be given to the civilian authorities regarding practical aspects and conditions to be fulfilled pertaining to such zones, such as who is responsible for the management of the zone, delimitation and marking of the perimeter, the removal of military personnel and equipment, access control, maintenance of public order and policing functions, supply, hygiene, keeping the public informed, etc.
- In cases where the perimeter of the protected zone does not correspond to the official boundary of a town, district, etc, the civilian authority over such zone must be clearly established. Such an ad hoc area will require ad hoc authority with corresponding responsibilities.
- The zone perimeter must be clearly visible from the air and the ground, eg a beach, edge of a built-up area or forest, a road, river, etc. Where necessary, the zone perimeter must be marked by agreed signs of sufficient size and visibility.
- All armed forces must be given precise instructions for behaviour regarding such protected zones when
- Leaving the protected zone;
- Abandoning it without fighting;
- Taking it over;
- Being prohibited from extending military operations to the zone; or
- When engaged in combat action in the vicinity of the zone. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 3, pp. 189–190.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) notes that demilitarized zones are areas established by an agreement between the belligerents and designed to protect especially vulnerable sectors of the population from the effects of war. The manual refers to Article 60 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, §§ 1.3.e.(2) and 7.3.b.(5).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that the zones in which military operations are not permitted include demilitarized zones. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 1.2.c.(2); see also § 7.3.b.(5).
The manual further states:
It is in the mutual interest of the parties to the conflict to establish protected areas where particularly vulnerable sectors of the population can be kept safe from the effects of war. In addition to those specifically provided for in the law of armed conflict, which are listed below, other protected areas can be organized through special agreements.
1.3.e.(2). Demilitarized zones
These are areas where military operations cannot be carried out and are accorded this status by express agreement of the parties to the conflict. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, §§ 1.3.e and 1.3.e.(2).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) refers to Article 60 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I as embodying “new provisions” on demilitarized zones. It stresses that, unlike non-defended localities, demilitarized zones cannot be established merely through a unilateral declaration; an agreement between the parties, made either before or during a conflict, is necessary. The manual adds:
Article 60 does not only imply prohibition of the setting-up of fixed defence establishments within [a demilitarized area] … [I]t is also prohibited to undertake military operations within the zone – always provided that the parties do not decide otherwise. A demilitarised zone shall not be open to occupation by the adversary, as in the case with non-defended localities.
The manual recalls that “the conditions required for a [demilitarized] area are the same as for non-defended localities”, with the only difference that the condition relating to activity supporting military operations “has been extended to apply to any activity connected with the military”. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.4.3, pp. 87–88.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states, with reference to Article 60 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, that demilitarized zones can be established by military commanders of the parties to the conflict. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 12(2).
The manual points out that demilitarized zones, as well as non-defended localities, may be established through specific reciprocal declarations and that a unilateral declaration is not sufficient to create them. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 32(2) and (4).
The conditions for the setting-up of a demilitarized zone are the same as for non-defended localities, namely: all combatants as well as mobile weapons and military equipment must be 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 in support of the military effort must cease; and the zone must be marked by distinctive signs. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 32(2).
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
“Demilitarized zone” means any zone from which all combatants, as well as mobile weapons and mobile military equipment, have been evacuated upon agreement of the parties to the armed conflict. No acts of hostility shall be committed by the authorities or by the population of the zone.
Demilitarized zones shall be marked by signs agreed between parties to the armed conflict. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.49; see also § 1.2.51.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
5.39.1. To qualify as a demilitarized zone, the following conditions should usually be fulfilled:
a. “all combatants, as well as mobile weapons and mobile military equipment, must have been evacuated;”
b. “no hostile use shall be made of fixed military installations or establishments;”
c. “no acts of hostility shall be committed by the authorities or by the population;” and
d. any activity linked to the military effort must have ceased.”
5.39.2. Demilitarized zones may only be set up by agreement between the parties to the conflict. Their precise status will depend on the terms of the agreement but, generally speaking, these zones will not be used by any party for the conduct of military operations. Their purpose is to protect the areas themselves, or the people in them, from hostilities or as refuges for the civilian population.
5.39.4. The agreement for the establishment of a demilitarized zone:
a. must be express;
b. but may be concluded orally or in writing;
c. may be made through direct contact with the opposing party or through a Protecting Power or an impartial humanitarian organization;
d. may consist of “reciprocal and concordant declarations”;
e. should “define and describe, as precisely as possible, the limits of the demilitarized zone and, if necessary, lay down the methods of supervision”;
f. may specify conditions to be complied with or provide interpretation of terms, for example, on the meaning of “fixed military installations”, “acts of hostility”, “activity linked to the military effort” or “purposes related to the conduct of military operations”, or specify perimeter signs or specify who may be admitted to the demilitarized zone or as to what is to happen in the event of a breach of any of the conditions or if the fighting draws near to the zone.
5.39.5. The party controlling the demilitarized zone is responsible for marking it with agreed signs, especially on its perimeter and on highways.
5.39.6. “If the fighting draws near to a demilitarized zone, and if the Parties to the conflict have so agreed, none of them may use the zone for purposes related to the conduct of military operations or unilaterally revoke its status.”
5.39.7. A material breach by one party of its obligations under sub-paragraphs 5.39.1 or 5.39.6 will release the other party from its obligations under the agreement but the zone will continue to benefit from any other protection available under international law. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 5.39.1–5.39.7; see also § 10.39.
With regard to internal armed conflict, the manual provides that (in addition to the prohibition on attacks against undefended localities) “[t]he other rules on protective zones applicable in international armed conflicts may be applied by analogy to internal armed conflicts”. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.25.2.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states: “Both the 1923 Draft Hague Rules [of Air Warfare] and the 1949 Geneva Conventions recognize the right of states, by agreement, to create safety zones or demilitarized zones.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 5-4(c).
United States of America
The US Air Force Commander’s Handbook (1980), in a section entitled “Neutralized and Demilitarized Zones”, provides:
By agreement, the parties to a conflict may establish certain zones where civilians, the sick and wounded, or other noncombatants may gather to be safe from attack.
A party to conflict cannot establish such a zone by itself; neutralized zones need only be respected if established by agreement between the parties, either oral or written, or by parallel declarations. Such an agreement may be concluded either before or during hostilities.
United States forces need not respect such a zone unless the United States has agreed to respect it. Even in an unrecognized zone, of course, only legitimate military objectives … may be attacked. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-34, Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Armed Conflict, Judge Advocate General, US Department of the Air Force, 25 July 1980, § 3-6(b).
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) contains provisions regarding the establishment of demilitarized zones, which mirror the conditions prescribed by the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 78.
Nicaragua
The Act Establishing the Demilitarized Zone, annexed to the 1990 Effective and Definitive Cease-fire Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua and the Nicaraguan Resistance (1990), provides that “in the demilitarized zone, there shall be no artillery, no offensive troops of any kind, no militia and no paramilitary or security forces” and that “the police of the villages situated within the demilitarized zone shall be disarmed”. 
Nicaragua, Act Establishing the Demilitarized Zone, Effective and Definitive Cease-fire Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua and the Nicaraguan Resistance, annexed to Note verbale dated 23 April to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/44/941-S/21272, 25 April 1990, Annex II, pp. 8–9, §§ 2 and 4.
South Africa
In 1987, in the Petane case, the Cape Provincial Division of South Africa’s Supreme Court dismissed the accused’s claim that the 1977 Additional Protocol I reflected customary international law. The Court stated:
The accused has been indicted before this Court on three counts of terrorism, that is to say, contraventions of s 54(1) of the Internal Security Act 74 of 1982. He has also been indicted on three counts of attempted murder.
The accused’s position is stated to be that this Court has no jurisdiction to try him.
… The point in its early formulation was this. By the terms of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I to the [1949] Geneva Conventions the accused was entitled to be treated as a prisoner-of-war. A prisoner-of-war is entitled to have notice of an impending prosecution for an alleged offence given to the so-called “protecting power” appointed to watch over prisoners-of-war. Since, if such a notice were necessary, the trial could not proceed without it, Mr Donen suggested that the necessity or otherwise for giving such a notice should be determined before evidence was led. …
On 12 August 1949 there were concluded at Geneva in Switzerland four treaties known as the Geneva Conventions. …
South Africa was among the nations which concluded the treaties. … Except for the common art 3, which binds parties to observe a limited number of fundamental humanitarian principles in armed conflicts not of an international character, they apply to wars between States.
After the Second World War many conflicts arose which could not be characterised as international. It was therefore considered desirable by some States to extend and augment the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, so as to afford protection to victims of and combatants in conflicts which fell outside the ambit of these Conventions. The result of these endeavours was Protocol I and Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, both of which came into force on 7 December 1978.
Protocol II relates to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts. Since the State of affairs which exists in South Africa has by Protocol I been characterised as an international armed conflict, Protocol II does not concern me at all.
The extension of the scope of art 2 of the Geneva Conventions was, at the time of its adoption, controversial. …
The article has remained controversial. More debate has raged about its field of operation than about any other articles in Protocol I. …
South Africa is one of the countries which has not acceded to Protocol I. Nevertheless, I am asked to decide, as I indicated earlier, as a preliminary point, whether Protocol I has become part of customary international law. If so, it is argued that it would have been incorporated into South African law. If it has been so incorporated it would have to be proved by one or other of the parties that the turmoil which existed at the time when the accused is alleged to have committed his offences was such that it could properly be described as an “armed conflict” conducted by “peoples” against a “ra[c]ist regime” in the exercise of their “right of self-determination”. Once all this has been shown it would have to be demonstrated to the Court that the accused conducted himself in such a manner as to become entitled to the benefits conferred by Protocol I on combatants, for example that, broadly speaking, he had, while he was launching an attack, distinguished himself from civilians and had not attacked civilian targets. …
… I am prepared to accept that where a rule of customary international law is recognised as such by international law it will be so recognised by our law.
To my way of thinking, the trouble with the first Protocol giving rise to State practice is that its terms have not been capable of being observed by all that many States. At the end of 1977 when the treaty first lay open for ratification there were few States which were involved in colonial domination or the occupation of other States and there were only two, South Africa and Israel, which were considered to fall within the third category of ra[c]ist regimes. Accordingly, the situation sought to be regulated by the first Protocol was one faced by few countries; too few countries in my view, to permit any general usage in dealing with armed conflicts of the kind envisaged by the Protocol to develop.
Mr Donen contended that the provisions of multilateral treaties can become customary international law under certain circumstances. I accept that this is so. There seems in principle to be no reason why treaty rules cannot acquire wider application than among the parties to the treaty.
Brownlie Principles of International Law 3rd ed at 13 agrees that non-parties to a treaty may by their conduct accept the provisions of a multilateral convention as representing general international law. …
I incline to the view that non-ratification of a treaty is strong evidence of non-acceptance.
It is interesting to note that the first Protocol makes extensive provision for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. …
In this sense, Protocol I may be described as an enlightened humanitarian document. If the strife in South Africa should deteriorate into an armed conflict we may all one day find it a cause for regret that the ideologically provocative tone of s 1(4) has made it impossible for the Government to accept its terms.
To my mind it can hardly be said that Protocol I has been greeted with acclaim by the States of the world. Their lack of enthusiasm must be due to the bizarre mixture of political and humanitarian objects sought to be realised by the Protocol. …
According to the International Review of the Red Cross (January/February 1987) No 256, as at December 1986, 66 States were parties to Protocol I and 60 to Protocol II, which, it will be remembered, deals with internal non-international armed conflicts. With the exception of France, which acceded only to Protocol II, not one of the world’s major powers has acceded to or ratified either of the Protocols. This position should be compared to the 165 States which are parties to the Geneva Conventions.
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status o[f] customary international [law].
I have not been persuaded by the arguments which I have heard on behalf of the accused that the assessment of Professor Dugard, writing in the Annual Survey of South African Law (1983) at 66, that “it is argued with growing conviction that under contemporary international law members of SWAPO [South-West Africa People’s Organisation] and the ANC [African National Congress] are members of liberation movements entitled to prisoner-of-war status, in terms of a new customary rule spawned by the 1977 Protocols”, is correct. On what I have heard in argument I disagree with his assessment that there is growing support for the view that the Protocols reflect a new rule of customary international law. No writer has been cited who supports this proposition. Here and there someone says that it may one day come about. I am not sure that the provisions relating to the field of application of Protocol I are capable of ever becoming a rule of customary international law, but I need not decide that point today.
For the reasons which I have given I have concluded that the provisions of Protocol I have not been accepted in customary international law. They accordingly form no part of South African law.
This conclusion has made it unnecessary for me to give a decision on the question of whether rules of customary international law which conflict with the statutory or common law of this country will be enforced by its courts.
In the result, the preliminary point is dismissed. The trial must proceed. 
South Africa, Supreme Court, Petane case, Judgment, 3 November 1987, pp. 2–8.
South Africa
In 2010, in the Boeremag case, South Africa’s North Gauteng High Court stated:
In Petane, … Conradie J found that the provisions of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I are not part of customary international law, and therefore are also not part of South African law.
Referring to the fact that in December 1986 only 66 of the 165 States party to the Geneva Conventions had ratified Protocol I, the Court [in Petane] stated:
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status of customary international law.
Important changes with respect to certain aspects applicable at the time of Petane have taken place. The ANC [African National Congress] has become South Africa’s ruling party and in 1995 ratified Protocol I. The total number of States that have ratified it, is now … 162.
This last aspect forms the basis on which the First Respondent [the State] and the applicants agree that Protocol I forms part of customary international law as well as of South African law. As requested, this position is accepted for the purposes of the decision, without deciding on the matter.
Despite these changes, it remains debatable whether the provisions of Protocol I have become a part of South African law in this way.
The consensus of both parties to the conflict is required. See Petane … and Article 96 of Protocol I. …
Parliament’s failure to incorporate Protocol I into legislation in accordance with Article 231(4) of the Constitution in fact points to the contrary, and is indicative that the requirements of usus and/or opinio juris have not been met. See Petane. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, pp. 21–22.
[footnotes in original omitted]
The Court also held:
If the [1977 Additional Protocol I] applies in South Africa as customary international law, the two requirements that form the basis of customary law must be met. It is arguable that the requirement of usus has been met by the vast number of States that have acceded or ratified it. By ratifying Protocol I the Republic of South Africa has indicated its intention to apply the Protocol, thereby fulfilling the requirement of opinio juris. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, p. 66.
Colombia
The Report on the Practice of Colombia notes that the government has ordered the demilitarization of certain regions of the country in order to enable a constructive dialogue to be developed concerning the demobilization and reintegration of armed opposition groups. Another purpose of these zones is to carry out humanitarian operations, such as the release of persons deprived of freedom. 
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 1.8.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
In the framework of the 2008 DRC Pledge of Commitment signed by a number of armed groups, the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), taking note of the pledge of the contracting parties and upon their request, undertook in conformity with the pertinent recommendations of the Conference on Peace, Stability and Development in the Provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu to “create a demilitarized zone to allow the deployment of, in particular, MONUC [UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] observers, and to secure the return of displaced persons.” 
Acte d’engagement signé par le CNDP-Mouvement Politico-Militaire, la PARECO/FAP, les Mai-Mai Kasindien, les Mai-Mai Kifuafua, les Mai-Mai Vurondo, les Mai-Mai Mongol, l’UJPS, les Mai-Mai Rwenzori et le Simba avec l’engagement solennel des Représentants de la Communauté Internationale, facilitateurs du présent acte d’engagement – les Nations-Unies, la Conférence Internationale sur la Région des Grands Lacs, les Etats-Unis d’Amérique, l’Union Africaine, l’Union Européenne et le Gouvernement (Pledge of Commitment signed by the CNDP-Mouvement Politico-Militaire, PARECO/FAP, Mai-Mai Kasindien, Mai-Mai Kifuafua, Mai-Mai Vurondo, Mai-Mai Mongol, UJPS, Mai-Mai Rwenzori and Simba with the solemn commitment of the representatives of the international community, facilitators of this pledge of commitment – the United Nations, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the United States of America, the European Union and the Government), Goma, 23 January 2008, Article IV, § 4.
Kuwait
According to the Report on the Practice of Kuwait, the Kuwaiti Government considers that military troops or their materiel are barred from entering the demilitarized zone in northern Kuwait. This protection is ensured by representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, who are not allowed to enter the area with high-calibre weapons. Allegations of violations by the Iraqi party must be transmitted to UNIKOM for appropriate action. 
Report on the Practice of Kuwait, 1997, Chapter 1.8.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Neutral territory/zone
Neutral territory is the territory of a State that is not party to a conflict and has chosen to remain neutral, either permanently or in relation to a given conflict.
Neutral territories are to be distinguished from neutral zones (neutralised zones, hospital and safety zones, and demilitarised zones) set aside within the territory of one or more parties to the conflict, for example to receive Wounded and sick as well as Civilians and non-combatants. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, p. 31.
United States of America
The Report on US Practice considers that US opinio juris generally conforms to the rules and conditions prescribed in Article 60 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 1.8.
Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of
According to the Report on the Practice of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, “the opinio iuris and the customary nature of rules relevant to the establishment of demilitarised zones in the FRY is absolutely clear”. 
Report on the Practice of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 1997, Chapter 1.8.
UN Security Council
In 1994, in a statement by its President on the situation in Croatia, the UN Security Council denounced the continuing violation of the demilitarized status of Prevlaka. Referring, inter alia, to the movement of heavy weapons and of Croatian special police and the entry of a navy missile boat of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia into the demilitarized zone, the Security Council underlined its concern in this regard and called upon the parties to cease such violations. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1997/23, 25 April 1997.
UN Secretary-General
In a report in 1990, the UN Secretary-General referred to complaints made to ONUCA by leaders of the Nicaraguan resistance concerning the continued presence of armed civilians and militia personnel in some of the demilitarized zones. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on ONUCA, UN Doc. S/21341, 4 June 1990, § 2.
UN Secretary-General
In a report concerning UNIKOM in 1997, the UN Secretary-General denounced a number of violations in the demilitarized zone on the Iraq-Kuwait border. He noted that 10 of the 14 ground violations were related to the presence of military and armed personnel in this zone. Insofar as air violations were concerned, they involved overflights by aircraft of types used by the coalition forces. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on UNIKOM, UN Doc. S/1997/255, 26 March 1997, § 4.
UN Secretary-General
In a 1998 report regarding UNCRO in Croatia, whose mandate included the demilitarization of the Prevlaka peninsula, the UN Secretary-General considered the presence of Yugoslav troops in the north-western part of the demilitarized zone as the most significant long-standing violation in this area. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on the UN Observer Mission in Prevlaka, UN Doc. S/1998/578, 26 June 1998, § 5.
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “Preplanned protected zones are established by agreement between belligerent Parties … [including] … demilitarized zones”. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 418.