A military court in Cameroon has sentenced 89 Boko Haram members to death after they were found guilty of terrorism. They are among 850 people detained by the country over alleged ties to Boko Haram’s insurgency in the country.
A judge told newsmen in confidence that the convicts will not have the right to appeal confirming that the court’s verdict was final. The Cameroonian government had in 2014 passed an anti-terrorism law permitting a death penalty for perpetrators or accomplices of terrorist acts. These executions will be the first since the measure was introduced.
Cameroon has been the next target after Nigeria since 2009 the Boko Haram insurgent group launched its campaign of violence. More than 1,100 civilians and security force personnel have been killed in northern Cameroon in Boko Haram attacks.
On 16 March, 20 Boko Haram fighters were killed by Cameroonian soldiers during a raid in Northern Nigeria aimed at wiping out the group. During the operation in the town of Djibrila, about 10km (six miles) from the border with Cameroon, 12 hostages were rescued and weapons and armored vehicles were seized.
The country has witnessed series of suicide bombings in recent months. The Cameroonian Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary confirmed that 15 explosions have taken place since the beginning of the year.
The leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, in January 2015, threatened to attack the Cameroonian president ,Paul Biya, over his country’s role in the regional force set up to fight insurgency. He had threatened through a video post:
“Oh Paul Biya if you don’t stop this your evil plot, you will taste what has befallen Nigeria. If you do not repent, you will see the dire consequences. Your troops cannot do anything to us. I advise you to desist from following your constitution and democracy, which is unIslamic. The only language of peace is to repent and follow Allah, but if you do not, then we will communicate it to you through the language of violence.”
Boko Haram members were also recently executed in Chad over their alleged participation in terrorism. The country broke a 12-year moratorium on the death penalty on August 29, 2015 when it executed 10 men who were found guilty of participating in suicide attacks in N’djamena.