YAOUNDE (Reuters) – Cameroon’s authorities mentioned on Friday it will examine a video that Amnesty International mentioned reveals safety forces capturing a minimum of a dozen unarmed folks within the Far North of the nation the place they’re battling Islamist militants.
Amnesty mentioned in an announcement it had verified the video by means of witness testimony, satellite tv for pc imagery and evaluation of the weapons, dialogue and uniforms. It mentioned the video was shot within the village of Achigaya at an unknown date previous to May 2016.
The almost four-minute video has circulated on social media in current days. A authorities spokesman mentioned it was launched to undermine President Paul Biya forward of an election in October.
At the beginning of the video, a number of males in army fatigues with automatic-style weapons joke amongst themselves, with one saying in French: “This is a kamikaze mission.”
The males then open hearth for roughly 12 seconds on a few dozen folks sitting or mendacity down in opposition to a wall and below guard.
After the firing stops, one of many armed males approaches the immobile our bodies and fires a number of extra occasions from point-blank vary.
Around them, a number of buildings within the village are in flames and gunfire might be heard within the background.
“Here is yet more credible evidence to support the allegations that Cameroon’s armed forces have committed grave crimes against civilians,” Ilaria Allegrozzi, Amnesty International’s Lake Chad Researcher, mentioned.
Government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary mentioned that authorities would open an investigation into the video however mentioned the federal government was the sufferer of a “campaign of denigration” forward of the election, when Biya will attempt to lengthen his 36-year rule.
“We are in an electoral period and it’s conducive to this kind of thing. People want to discredit the army and president,” Tchiroma instructed Reuters.
Cameroonian authorities have mentioned they’re additionally investigating a video that surfaced final month that seems to reveals males in army uniform capturing useless two ladies and two kids.
But they’ve concurrently dismissed that video as “fake news” meant to tarnish the federal government’s picture.
The Cameroonian military’s elite Rapid Intervention Brigade (BIR) has been battling Nigerian militant group Boko Haram within the nation’s excessive north since late 2014.
Since then, the militants have killed a whole lot of individuals within the Far North and their ways have included the usage of baby suicide bombers to assault checkpoints, market locations and mosques.
The group has killed tens of hundreds of individuals in northern Nigeria since 2009 when it launched an insurgency to create an Islamic caliphate. At the height of its energy in early 2015, it held territory across the measurement of Belgium earlier than being weakened by a multi-national army coalition.
Last 12 months, Amnesty accused Cameroonian forces concerned within the marketing campaign of torturing suspected militants on a base utilized by American troops. Cameroon’s authorities denied the accusations and the U.S. army mentioned it had not obtained stories of abuse.
Additional reporting and writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg
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