Practice Relating to Rule 38. Attacks against Cultural Property
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975) provides that each soldier must “spare buildings dedicated to religion, art, science or charitable purposes, and historic monuments … provided they are not being used for military purposes”.
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) distinguishes between “cultural property and places of worship … which represent a high cultural value or which have an important religious dedication whose immunity may not be withdrawn … and which require no special marking” on the one hand, and “marked cultural property” on the other hand.
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states: “During military operations, certain so-called protected zones can be established by agreement between the belligerents … These include: … centres containing monuments (particularly cultural objects under special protection) …”
The manual also states that “an unlawful attack against clearly known cultural objects” constitutes a grave breach of IHL.
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states:
Article 31: Humanitarian rules
Every soldier must:
- ensure that cultural and religious property remains in place, during operations as well as during occupation, and in particular spare buildings dedicated to religion, art, science or charitable purposes, and historic monuments, as well as their staff.
For the application of the rules addressed in the two preceding paragraphs,
it is evidently necessary that the structures and buildings are not being used for military purposes;
These rules apply to the extent possible to operations undertaken by airplanes and navy ships against targets on land or at sea.