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US military opens inquiry into Cameroon’s torture claims

The US military has opened an inquiry into allegations of torture and murder of suspected Boko Haram militants at a Cameroonian army base used extensively by American troops, a spokesman said.

Rights group Amnesty International said last month it had documented 101 cases of arbitrary arrest and torture by Cameroonian troops charged with fighting the Nigeria-based jihadist group between 2013 and 2017.

Eighty of the cases occurred at the elite Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) headquarters at Salak, in Cameroon’s Far North region, which has been hit hard by spill-over from the eight-year insurgency in neighbouring Nigeria.

French and US troops have been operating out of Salak for several years, with Amnesty saying it had video evidence proving “regular presence of US personnel in numerous locations across the base”.

Mark Cheadle, a spokesman for the US military’s Germany-based Africa Command, said a “commander’s inquiry” had been set up, although he was unable to provide details of its progress.

Boko Haram attacks have killed more than 20,000 people and displaced 2.7 million in north-east Nigeria and adjacent areas of Chad, Niger and Cameroon.


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Published on 28.04.2020

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