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Trial of Cameroonian soldiers caught killing four must lead to justice-Amnesty Intl
THE Amnesty International has called on Cameroonian government to pursue a fair justice on the case of seven soldiers caught on video brutally murdering four citizens in July 2018.
The trial of the soldiers caught on video killing the four people has been set for August 27.
The video that went viral in July 2018 showed seven men on a military uniform, brutally leading two women and two children to a remote place. They were all shot dead.
Initially, the Cameroonian authorities had denied any link to it and described it as “fake news”.
But an investigation carried out by the Amnesty International confirmed that the Cameroonian military personnel was responsible for the shocking extrajudicial executions caught on video.
It had relied on multiple strands of credible evidence including expert analysis of the uniforms and weapons used, and linguistic and other contextual clues in the speech that gave away the identities and ranks of the soldiers. The evidence had suggested that Cameroonian soldiers were the ones extrajudicially executing civilians in the video.
In the same vein, the BBC Africa Eye also published documentary in September 2018 that pinpointed the exact location to be near the town of Zelevet.
It narrowed down the date it had occurred to late March or early April 2015.
Consequently, the government announced the seven soldiers had been arrested. Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon Minister of Communication who made this announcement added that they had been disarmed and would be prosecuted.
The seven will appear on 27 August before a military court in the capital Yaoundé on charges of joint participation in the murder, breach of regulations and conspiracy.
“The Cameroonian authorities must leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of justice for two women and two children who were brutally murdered by the military,” the humanitarian group wrote in a statement made available to journalists on Monday.
“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,” said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa Deputy Regional Director.
She said security forces who were supposed to be protecting people had instead carried out “arbitrary and extrajudicial executions”.
“The Cameroonian authorities must draw a line and ensure no army personnel responsible for atrocities will escape from prosecutions.
“Tomorrow’s trial is the first step towards justice and reparations for victims and their loved ones,” said Samira.
She urged the government to also ensure that all those reasonably suspected of crimes against civilians were brought to justice in fair trials before civilian courts.
“While playing an important role in defending people threatened by Boko Haram, the Cameroonian security forces’ response has too often been heavy-handed and rife with human rights violations.
“Amnesty International is calling on authorities to bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice in fair trials, before ordinary civilian courts and without recourse to the death penalty,” the statement submitted.