Four Cameroonian soldiers have been sentenced to 10 years for their roles in shooting dead two women and two children in 2015. The killings were captured on a video that circulated in 2018, which showed the victims being hooded and shot.
When the video went viral in early July 2018, Cameroonian authorities initially dismissed it as “fake news”. But Amnesty International revealed credible evidence that the Cameroon military was responsible, and the authorities later announced that the seven soldiers depicted in the video had been arrested and would be prosecuted. The seven were due to appear on 27 August before a military court in the capital Yaoundé on charges of joint participation in murder, breach of regulations and conspiracy.
This horrifying video shone a spotlight on the way civilians in Cameroon’s Far North have
been ensnared in atrocities amid the fight against Boko Haram. Security forces who are supposed to be protecting people have instead carried out arbitrary detentions and extrajudicial executions.
“The Cameroonian authorities must draw a line and ensure no army personnel responsible for atrocities will not escape from prosecutions. As well as the four soldiers receiving 10-year sentences for carrying out the killings or being complicit in them, a fifth soldier was sentenced to two years for sharing the footage.