Cameroon to investigate video of ‘armed forces’ killing civilians

Latest news

    Since 2014, Cameroon has been fighting Boko Haram in the country’s Far North region [File: Edwin Kindzeka Moki/AP]

    Cameroon’s government has said it will investigate a video, which according to a human rights group shows the “brutal killings” of at least a dozen unarmed people by the country’s security forces.

    A government spokesman said on Friday that authorities would open an probe, but added that the government was the victim of a “campaign of denigration” before a presidential election in October.

    The video, circulating on social media, shows multiple persons opening fire on a group of apparently unarmed people cowering against a wall. 

    A man dressed in military fatigues then approaches and fires shots at close range. 

    Amnesty International, a UK-based rights group, on Friday alleged that the “horrifying” video provides “credible evidence” that “Cameroon’s armed forces have committed grave crimes against civilians”. 

    The group said in a statement that the video had been shot in the village of Achigaya in Cameroon’s Far North region.

    The rights organisation said it had verified the video with digital analysis tools and were able to confirm that the video, shot prior to May 2016, “corroborates previous accounts of extrajudicial executions which the Cameroonian authorities have denied”. 

    Ilaria Allegrozzi, Amnesty International’s Lake Chad researcher, called for an “immediate, thorough and impartial investigation” of the footage. 

    “Here is yet more credible evidence to support the allegations that Cameroon’s armed forces have committed grave crimes against civilians,” added Allegrozzi.

    Cameroonian government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said they would open an investigation into the video.

    But he also told Reuters news agency the video was aimed at discrediting the country’s army and President Paul Biya, who has been ruling for 36 years. 

    “We are in an electoral period and it’s conducive to this kind of thing,” Tchiroma said. 

    The 85-year-old Biya announced in July he will seek a seventh term in October’s elections. 

    Last month a video surfaced which appeared to show two men in military uniforms shoot dead two women with children as suspected Boko Haram fighters.

    Later on Friday, Tchiroma announced in a statement that authorities had arrested seven soldiers, including a lieutenant and a sergeant, in connection with the previous video.

    The statement did not say when the arrests occurred.

    “The Minister of Communication reiterates the Head of State’s resolve to ensure that the atrocities that may be committed by a few misguided soldiers are systematically investigated and, if need be, appropriate actions meted out,” it said.

    Government and army officials had previously dismissed that video as “fake news” meant to tarnish the government’s image, even as they promised to investigate.

    Since 2014, the Cameroonian elite Rapid Intervention Brigade has been fighting Nigerian armed group Boko Haram in the country’s Far North region. 

    The fighters have killed hundreds of people in the region with tactics including the use of child suicide bombers to attack checkpoints, market places and mosques. 

    View the original article:

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

    In the same category are

    Mohammed bin Salman: The dark side of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto leader of the kingdom, has been on a quick rise to power The disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi ha...
    Harvard on trial over alleged discrimination against Asians Harvard University went on trial on Monday over its admission selection process that critics say discriminates against students of Asian origin.  The ...
    US midterms: How they work and why they matter More than 157 million people are registered to vote in the US US midterm elections are scheduled for November 6, and the vote is largely expected t...
    Qatar demands release of four Qataris disappeared in Saudi Arabia Talal Nawaf al-Rashid disappeared in Saudi Arabai after he was arrested and extradited from Kuwait A Qatari human rights group is demanding Saudi A...
    Turkish police have audio of ‘Khashoggi killing in consulate’ Turkish police are believed to have a voice recording of Khashoggi's murder Istanbul, Turkey - Turkish authorities have an audio recording which in...
    Bangladesh editors protest ‘chilling’ Digital Security Act Editors held banner calling on government to 'abolish anti- free speech' sections in new law Dhaka, Bangladesh - Newspaper editors in Bangladesh ha...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.