Practice Relating to Rule 3. Definition of Combatants
According to Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992), “Each member of the armed forces, except religious and medical personnel, is a combatant.”
The manual further states that in addition to members of the armed forces, “members of militias, volunteer corps, resistance movements … members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Power to which they belong” are also recognized as combatants.
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states: “All members of the Armed Forces are combatants, except religious and medical personnel.”
The manual further states:
Members of the armed forces of a party to a conflict, members of militias, volunteer corps and resistance movements belonging to a party to a conflict, and civilians who spontaneously take up arms in a levée en masse generally qualify as combatants.
Members of the regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Power to which they belong, as well as members of the armed forces of a third State who are at the disposal of a State party to a conflict, are equally considered combatants.
The manual also states:
Precise rules stipulate conditions for the identification of combatants:
- the wearing of the uniform of the State party to the conflict;
- carrying arms openly when the person is visible to the adversary;
- the presence of an identifiable commander at the head of troops;
- participation in an attack or in a deployment preparatory to a military operation;
- wearing fixed distinctive signs recognizable at a distance.
Under the heading “Combatants”, the manual adds: “The status of combatant is protected by the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law.”
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states:
Article 30: Definition
Members of armed forces in organized units, franc-tireurs detached from regular units, commando detachments and isolated saboteurs, as well as the members of voluntary militias, self-defence groups and organized resistance formations, are lawful combatants.
It is sufficient that those units, organizations or formations have a designated commander, that their members wear a distinctive sign, notably on their clothing, that they carry their arms openly and that they respect the laws and customs of war.