Cameroon troops jailed 10 years for murder of four civilians
Four Cameroonian soldiers were sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for the execution-style killings of two women and their children in a region where the army is fighting jihadists.
A fifth soldier received a two-year sentence.
A video was broadcast on social media in July 2018 showing soldiers shooting two kneeling, blindfolded women as well as a baby on one of their backs and a girl.
The government initially denied the army’s involvement, dismissing the video as “fake news”.
But after Amnesty International provided credible evidence, the authorities announced that the seven soldiers seen in the video had been arrested and would be prosecuted.
Two were later acquitted.
The military court in the capital Yaounde handed down the murder verdict and sentences after the trial was adjourned several times.
The seven soldiers had pleaded not guilty nearly a year ago.
The killings took place in Zeleved, in Cameroon’s Far North region where troops have been deployed to fight Boko Haram jihadists carrying out cross-border attacks from Nigeria.
International human rights organisations regularly denounce abuses and crimes committed against civilians by security forces in Cameroon.
Three soldiers were charged with murder in June over a massacre earlier this year in western Cameroon, where security forces are fighting anglophone separatists.