Boko Haram fighters terrorise Cameroon

2015-09-16 17:00


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Johannesburg - Boko Haram killed at least 380 civilians in Cameroon since last year, and the country's security forces have caused dozens more deaths in their pursuit of the Islamic militants, a report from Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

"As Boko Haram has brought its violence to Cameroon, civilians have come increasingly under fire," Alioune Tine, the group's director for West and Central Africa, said in a statement.

"By killing indiscriminately, destroying civilian property, abducting people and using children as suicide bombers, they have committed war crimes and caused untold fear and suffering to the civilian population," he said.

Tine also accused Cameroonian security forces of "serious violations" in their response to Boko Haram, charging them with raiding villages, destroying homes, killing civilians and detaining more than 1 000 suspects.

Cameroon's government was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday afternoon.

"People have been arbitrarily arrested, and many held in inhumane conditions which have led to dozens of deaths," Tine said.

The majority of those detained are held in appalling conditions at Maroua prison, where overcrowding, lack of sanitation and inadequate health care led to the deaths of at least 40 prisoners between March and May 2015 alone.

Based on three research missions and 160 interviews, the report documents how Boko Haram killed the 380 civilians in northern Cameroon since January 2014.

Boko Haram, which seeks to establish an Islamic state, has killed an estimated 14 000 people since 2009, mostly in northeastern Nigeria.

Read more on:    ai  |  isis  |  boko haram  |  cameroon  |  central africa

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