December 2, 2019
THE CAMAIRCO PLANE COULD BE A LEGITIMATE TARGET
The law is very clear that noncombatants (civilians) and civilian facilities are absolutely protected during war (armed conflicts). Such civilian facilities include schools, health structures (hospitals), refugee settlements, mobile objects…
That, however, is only a blanket statement subject to several exceptions. There is such abundant literature on the domain that one finds it superfluous to elaborate.
The fact is that, civilian facilities do become legitimate targets when those civilian facilities such as “vessels, aircraft, vehicles and buildings contain combatants, military equipment or supplies; [or] where [such facilities are] used for military purposes”.
No-one is saying here that targeting the CamairCo plane at Bafut was legitimate. We have no evidence to so assert. What we are asserting, without fear of any legal contradiction, is that, if the attacker had evidence that the plane was on a military mission – carrying combatants, military equipment or supplies or it was being used otherwise for military purposes, then, of course, the plane was a legitimate target!
Those involved in blanket condemnations, and the naming of the attackers even before any investigation has opened, do best know the foundation of their conclusions. On the contrary, they could well be making political declarations and NOT legal affirmations. We challenge whosoever to prove the contrary or even just contradict our legal position!!!
THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT ARE CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS!
By Ayah Paul Abine