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Amnesty accuses Cameroon of war crimes in fighting Boko Haram

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] accused [AI report] Cameroon of torturing suspected supporters of Boko Haram in a report released Thursday. According to the human rights organization, hundreds of suspects were "subjected to severe beatings, agonizing stress positions and drownings, with some tortured to death" at the hands of government authorities. AI documented 101 cases of secret detention and torture within the last four years. Alioune Tine, Amnesty International's Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said "[t]hese horrific violations amount to war crimes." AI also observed American and French military personnel at one of the bases while the detention and torture was taking place. The organization is calling for the US and France to investigate the extent of knowledge that their military personnel may have of the war crimes.

Cameroon faces many problems resulting from their military conflict with the terrorist group Boko Haram. Last July Amnesty International reported [JURIST report] on numerous human rights violations by Cameroon authorities as the country fights the insurgency of the Islamic extremist group. Cameroon's harsh practices have come in response to atrocities committed by Boko Haram which, according to a report[JURIST report] last September by AI, is accountable for the death of at least 400 civilians in Northern Cameroon. The militant Islamic group Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is a sin," has been fighting to overthrow the Nigerian government in the interest of creating an Islamist state.

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