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Horrific video appears to show execution of women and children in Cameroon - investigation ongoing

Horrific footage shows the alleged execution of women in children in Cameroon. (Image source: YouTube screencap)

Appalling footage has been circulating online that appears to show two women, a toddler and another small child being executed in Cameroon by uniformed men.

The Cameroonian government claims to be investigating the clip's authenticity, but an Amnesty International spokesperson said the group has "gathered credible evidence that it was Cameroonian soldiers depicted in a video carrying out the horrific extrajudicial executions of two women and two young children."

Why would someone do this?

For the past nine years, the group Boko Haram has been fighting to establish an Islamic caliphate in bordering Nigeria. As Cameroon has battled with Boko Haram extremists, the fear is that leaked footage shows evidence of abuses by soldiers.

One of the aggressors in the video tells a woman in French, "You are BH [Boko Haram], you are going to die," and then repeated hits her in the face while leading the victims to their apparent deaths.

(Content warning: Extremely disturbing violence.)

Neither the date of the videos nor the identities of the victims and alleged perpetrators have been verified.

What does Cameroon's government say?

Although Cameroonian President Paul Biya has said an investigation is being launched, government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary called the footage "fake news."

Bakary said, "The video...is nothing but an unfortunate attempt to distort actual facts and intoxicate the public. Its sincerity can be easily questioned."

He added: "The weapons displayed by the alleged soldiers presented in the video are not those used by the Cameroonian army in this area of operation."

Anything else?

On Friday, 85-year-old President Biya announced that he would be running for his seventh term as head of the country. He has been in power since 1982, and presidential term limits were removed during his tenure.

The legitimacy of Cameroon's elections are under great suspicion, given Biya's long reign and the fact that he won his last election with 78 percent of the vote — in spite of fierce opposition. It has even been alleged by critics that votes for Biya have been cast under the names of dead people.

In spite of longtime bloodshed in the country due to political unrest and insurgents, Biya said in 2013: "We don't have a human rights problem...Cameroonians are among the freest Africans."

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