Practice Relating to Rule 153. Command Responsibility for Failure to Prevent, Punish or Report War Crimes
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) provides: “Any act contrary to respect for the Law of War must be punished. Any commander who shows weakness or indulgence in that field shoulders the responsibility.”
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
Military commanders must prevent members of the armed forces from committing grave breaches [of IHL] and, if necessary, punish them and report them to higher authorities. They become criminally responsible if they have not taken all necessary and reasonable measures … to impede or punish the execution [of such crimes] or refer them to the competent authorities for inquiry or prosecution.
The manual also states:
The repression of grave breaches [of IHL] applies to persons who have committed or ordered to commit a grave breach. The criminal responsibility is also engaged if a grave breach is provoked by a failure to act.
The manual further states with regard to command responsibility: “Any act contrary to … the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law must be punished. Any commander who shows … leniency in this respect may become personally liable.”