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Cameroon Prosecutes Errant Soldiers for “Heinous” Crimes 

By Basil Afoni

Joseph Beti Assomo 2

Cameroon’s Minister of Defence, oseph Beti Assomo

An unspecified number of errant Cameroonian soldiers have been sanctioned and will subsequently be prosecuted, Defence minister Joseph Beti Assomo has announced.

Beti Assomo stated in a recent press release that the soldiers in question had committed “heinous” crimes, but was quick to add that a majority of members of Cameroon’s defence forces are selfless and courageous, and such acts of indiscipline are “isolated”.

It is not yet clear which crimes the soldiers are accused of committing and when their trial will begin, with the defence minister only stating that criminal proceedings have been initiated against them.

Observers believe the minister’s ire was provoked by an incident on October 21, 2015 when soldiers killed an unarmed civilian in the town of Maga, Mayo Danay Division, Far North Region.

Angry residents of Maga rioted in protest against the killing and this degenerated into violent clashes between civilians and soldiers. Rioters later went on the rampage, ransacking the Maga military base and torching all military vehicles in sight.

Opposition CPP leader Edith Kah Walla and other politicians condemned the actions of the soldiers and called on the government to mete out appropriate punishment to those responsible.