Country Risk

Probe into war crimes accusations unlikely to lead to purges in Cameroonian army or end military offensives

17 August 2018


Cameroon’s minister of communication on 16 August announced that President Paul Biya had ordered an investigation into alleged war crimes by some soldiers after two videos were released on social media that appeared to show Cameroonian troops shooting dead unarmed civilians in the country’s Far North region.

Despite initial denials that the videos were authentic, the government has proceeded to arrest six soldiers it says were associated with the first incident in which soldiers shot dead two women and two children. The Cameroon-based Network of Human Rights Defenders in Central Africa accused the government of lying and orchestrating a cover-up, while Amnesty International said both videos were authentic and appeared to show actions consistent with reports on the actions of Cameroonian soldiers fighting against Islamist militant group Jamaat Ahl al-Sunnah li-Dawa wal-Jihad (widely known as Boko Haram) and Anglophone secessionist militants in the North West and South West regions.

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