A graphic video showing two women and their two children being murdered, shot at point-blank range by men who appeared to be soldiers, went viral recently. The men were thought to be part of the Cameroonian military, but Cameroonian government dismissed these claims, even calling it “fake news” and claiming there was nothing that could prove these men were in the military.
But, instead of taking that answer and moving on, BBC News Africa decided to investigate — and what they found is mind-blowing.
Both women, and one child are blindfolded and forced to kneel down on a dirt road. One has a toddler strapped to her back, while the second holds hands with a little girl. The three men accuse them of being a part of Boko Haram, a militant group, before opening fire.
BBC Africa Journalist Aliaume Leroy explained that the staff felt an obligation to seek justice in this case, and bring those responsible to light:
“We thought it was very important, you know, to work on this video to verify it and to prove who were the perpetrators.”
Here is the thread published by BBC Africa:
In July 2018, a horrifying video began to circulate on social media.
2 women & 2 young children are led away by a group of soldiers. They are blindfolded, forced to the ground, and shot 22 times. #BBCAfricaEye investigated this atrocity. This is what we found… pic.twitter.com/oFEYnTLT6z
— BBC News Africa (@BBCAfrica) September 24, 2018
Investigators used open-source forensic techniques to pinpoint the place of execution: a town in Cameroon called Zelevet.
So, investigators figured out where this took place. Now, it was time to find out when:
They were able to give general date range:
Judging by satellite imagery and weather patterns, they estimated the executions took place sometime between March 20th and April 5th, 2015.
Now, they were left with the most important question: who?
The Cameroonian government denied that these men were a part of their military. They also claimed the guns used in the videos were not the same as the guns their troops use, nor did the military wear the same color camouflage – but after doing some digging, The BBC found that wasn’t the case.
In August, the Cameroon Minister of Communication announced that seven military members were arrested and under investigation:
Quite a change of heart from adamantly denying they had nothing to do with the murders.
BBC was able to identify all three men who murdered the two women and their children…
Along with the guns that were used:
While there are seven men who have been arrested and are now imprisoned and being investigated, BBC pointed out that all of them will have the right to a fair trial:
People applauded the tireless efforts of the journalists and investigators who worked on this piece:
And are thankful that this is shedding some light on these crimes, which the government originally tried to sweep under the rug:
Everyone is heartbroken over the women and children who lost their lives for no reason:
People are thanking BBC for many things that this investigative piece brought up:
Thanks is being given to the journalists for spending long, exhausting nights researching and writing, for exposing the truth for everyone to see, and most importantly, for seeking justice for the innocent lives lost.
You can watch the full report on BBC Africa Eye:
Rest in peace to those who lost their lives as a result of this senseless tragedy.