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Cameroon 'torturing people' accused of Boko Haram

Cameroon 'torturing people' accused of Boko Haram

Often without evidence, hundreds of people in Cameroon have been linked to Boko Haram and as a result have been the victims of brutal violations by security forces. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Cameroonian troops are part of a regional military force that has been successful in forcing them out of captured territory in northeast Nigeria since early 2015.

Colm O'Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, said they have "repeatedly and unequivocally condemned the atrocities and war crimes committed by Boko Haram in Cameroon".

"But, nothing could justify the callous and widespread practice of torture committed by the security forces against ordinary Cameroonians".

"These horrific violations amount to war crimes", he added in a statement, calling for an independent investigation.

NAIJ.com notes that the report documents 101 cases at over 20 different sites, of incommunicado torture and detention between 2013 and 2017.

While torture was usually carried out by low and mid-ranking BIR officers and DGRE agents, higher-ranking DGRE officers were also identified by multiple victims as being involved in interrogations. All were accused of support for the Islamic State group affiliate, it was alleged. In one common stress position, described by detainees as "the goat", their limbs were tied together behind their back before they were beaten.

More than 30 people interviewed said they had witnessed deaths after torture.

The allegations - similar to those made against the militayr in Nigeria- are not the first against Cameroon, which has been criticised before for its heavy-handed crackdown.

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The Rapid Intervention Brigade is in the front line of Cameroon's fight against Boko Haram jihadists in the far north.

That includes an unnamed drone operation over the restive border region with Nigeria, run from a base in the northern city of Garoua.

Denied an education by the Islamist insurgency of militant group Boko Haram, tens of thousands of children across the Lake Chad region are instead tuning into lessons broadcast over the radio, the United Nations children's agency (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

What's more, there is photo and video evidence of U.S. and French military personnel in Salak, suggesting they may have been aware of what was happening.

Tine said Washington and other worldwide partners "should investigate the degree to which their personnel were aware of illegal detention and torture at the Salak base".

"Detainees were severely beaten with various objects including electric cables, machetes and wooden sticks", the report said, adding that they were also suspended from poles and subjected to drowning, and that many were deprived of food, water and medical care. A French diplomat told Reuters that French troops hadn't participated in any abuses but that French forces had used the bases.

France's Defence and Foreign ministries declined to comment.

Amnesty International estimates that Boko Haram has killed over 1,500 civilians in Cameroon since 2014, and abducted many others.

This post was syndicated from Vanguard News.


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