At least seven Cameroonian soldiers suspected to have carried out human rights violations in the Far North region of Cameroon have been arrested and detained, the government of Cameroon has said.
A statement signed by Cameroon’s Minister of Communication Issa Tchiroma Bakary said the soldiers were arrested after a probe carried out following the emergence of a video that went viral of the execution of women and children soldiers.
The soldiers would be given a fair hearing before the courts, the statement added.
The government has backtracked from its initial position after the Minister of Communication described the video as fake and an attempt to discredit the Cameroonian military when it first appeared.
Several international organisations, notably Amnesty International at the time said it had analysed the bvideo and came to a conclusion the men in the video were Cameroonian soldiers executing women and children.
The organisation even went further to petition Serbia to stop selling arms to Cameroon after it said the arms used in the video were Serbian-made.
“Given the credible evidence of a Zastava M21 being used by Cameroonian soldiers to carry out the horrific extrajudicial executions of two women and two young children, Serbia – a major supplier of small arms to Cameroon – should suspend further supplies,” Patrick Wilcken, an arms-control researcher at Amnesty International, said at the time.
“This is not the first time Amnesty International has documented human rights abuses by Cameroonian forces using Serbian small arms. Rather, it reflects a pattern of systematic violations,” Wilcken added.