Practice Relating to Rule 52. Pillage
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975) states that, under the laws and customs of war, pillage, in particular of civilian property, is forbidden.
Under Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992), one of the “rules for behaviour in combat” is to respect civilian property and not to steal it.
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006), under the heading “Rules for Conduct in Combat”, states: “Civilians: Respect their possessions … do not steal them.”
The manual, under the heading “Responsibility for Acts or Omissions of which Subordinates are Accused”, also states that commanders may be responsible for acts of “theft and pillage” committed by their subordinates.
The manual further states that “illicit methods of warfare [that may be] used by the parties to a conflict to obtain military advantage [include] … pillage”.
The manual also provides that “the appropriation of objects on a large scale” constitutes a grave breach of IHL.
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states:
Article 32: Prohibitions
It is prohibited to soldiers in combat:
- to engage in any wanton destruction or any pillage, in particular of private property, and to use any means that cause unnecessary suffering and damage.
Cameroon’s Code of Military Justice (1928) punishes pillage and damage to commodities, goods or belongings committed by soldiers as a group.