Cameroon sentences 89 Boko Haram fighters to death
- 17 March 2016
- From the section Africa
Cameroon has sentenced 89 members of Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram to death, local media report.
They were convicted on terror charges by a military court for their roles in several attacks in Cameroon's northern region which borders Nigeria.
Cameroon passed an anti-terror law in 2014 which introduced the death sentence.
This is the first time the death sentenced has been used since that law was passed.
The 89 are among 850 people arrested in Cameroon on charges of links to Boko Haram.
Following the death sentences, a local human rights group has called for reforms to Cameroon's justice system.
Hundreds of people have been killed in a spate of attacks in Cameroon since it joined a regional force set up to tackle the militants last year.
Boko Haram at a glance:
- Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western-style education - Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language
- Launched military operations in 2009
- Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria, abducted hundreds, including at least 200 schoolgirls
- Joined Islamic State, now calls itself "West African province"
- Seized large area in north-east, where it declared caliphate