Cameroon soldiers in court over 2018 killing of women and children

 

The trial of seven Cameroonian soldiers accused of involvement in the killing of two women and two children has begun behind closed doors, judicial sources said on Tuesday.

The soldiers were arrested after a video surfaced on social media in July 2018 showing two women, one with an infant strapped to her back, being led across a patch of dusty scrubland by uniformed men who accused them of belonging to the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram.

Moments later, two of the soldiers stepped back, aimed their guns and shot bullets into the victims.

Government and army officials initially dismissed the video as “fake news” meant to tarnish the government’s image, but later announced arrests in the case.

The judicial sources said the trial begun on Monday in the capital, Yaounde.

Reuters reports two sources to say the soldiers admitted to participating in the killings but said they had received orders from their commander.

Cameroon has been battling the Boko Haram terror group for years. The militant group originated from Nigeria has staged attacks in West Africa for years in a quest to carve out an Islamic caliphate in the region.

The conflict with Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin has cost more than 30,000 lives and displaced millions more over the past decade, frequently spilling over into Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

It is not clear how long the Cameroon soldiers; case will last.