Cameroon: Anatomy of a Killing – Documentary – BBC Africa Eye

Cameroon: Anatomy of a Killing – Documentary – BBC Africa Eye


These women and children are being led to their deaths. The soldiers accuse them of belonging
to the jihadist group Boko Haram. In the final scene of this video – too graphic
to show here – they are blindfolded, forced to the ground, and shot at close range 22 times. One of the women still has the
baby strapped to her back. The video began to circulate on July 10th, 2018. Some claimed that this atrocity took place in Mali. But others said it was filmed in the far north
of Cameroon, where government soldiers have been fighting Boko Haram since 2014. The government of Cameroon initially dismissed
the video as “fake news.” A month later, they announced that seven members
of the military were under investigation. But there has still been no official admission
that these killings were carried out on Cameroonian soil by government soldiers – and there is still no guarantee that anyone will be held to account. So how can we tell what really happened here? Over the next few minutes, we’re going to
follow these women and children on the short walk to the end of their lives, and to glean
from this video the clues that tell us where this happened, when it happened,
and who is responsible for this atrocity. This looks like the kind of dusty, anonymous
track that could be anywhere in the Sahel. But the first 40 seconds of the film capture
a mountain range with a distinctive profile. We spent hours trying to match this range
to the topography of northern Cameroon. And then, in late July, we received a tip-off
from a Cameroonian source: have you looked at the area near Zelevet? Close to the town of Zelevet,
we found a match for the ridge line. It places the scene on a dirt road just outside
a village called Krawa Mafa. A few hundred metres away is the border with Nigeria. The video also reveals other details that can be matched precisely to what we see on the satellite imagery. This track… … these buildings and these trees. Putting all this evidence together, we can
say with certainty that the killings took place here. Less than a kilometre away, in Zelevet, we
found this compound – and identified it as a combat outpost used by the Cameroonian military
in their fight against Boko Haram. We’ll come back to this base later. Exactly when the killings took place is,
at first sight, harder to say. But again, the video contains clues. This building is visible on satellite imagery
– but only until February 2016. The murders must have happened before that date. Satellite images also capture this structure. The walls surrounding it are present in imagery
dated March 2015 but had not yet been built in November 2014 – giving us an earliest possible
date for the atrocity. The video also reveals this footpath – a path
that only appears in the hot dry season between January and April. There are other, less obvious clues in the video. As they lead these women away, the soldiers
– like moving sundials – cast shadows on the track. A simple mathematical formula tells us the
angle of the sun in comparison to the horizon. We can also see what direction the light is coming from. When we add this data to our location, we
can get a precise time frame for this event: the killings happened between March 20th and
April 5th, 2015. We now know where this happened. And we know when it happened. But who are the men who murdered these women
and children? In July, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon’s
Minister of Communication, insisted that the killers are not Cameroonian soldiers, and
presented what he claimed was “irrefutable evidence” from the video itself. “The weapons”, he said, “are not those used by the Cameroonian Army in this area of operation/” But our analysis shows that one of these guns
is a Serbian-made Zastava M21. It’s rare in sub-Saharan Africa – but it is used by some divisions of the Cameroonian military. Bakary also claimed that a close examination
of the video” shows the soldiers wearing “colourful” forest-style camouflage. In
the far north, he said, Cameroonian soldiers wear pale, desert-style fatigues. A closer look at the evidence reveals this:
Cameroonian soldiers, seen here in a 2015 report by Channel 4 News filmed in Zelevet,
wearing darker, forest-style fatigues similar to those seen in the video. On Facebook, we also found these pictures
of other Cameroonian soldiers wearing the same type of camouflage.
The images are tagged to Zelevet. Bakary also questioned why the soldiers are
not wearing the standard combat gear of troops stationed in that area – heavy helmets,
bulletproof vests and rangers boots. The answer is that the soldiers were not outon patrol. They were just a few hundred metres away from
the combat outpost we saw earlier in Zelevet. We know that this is a military base because
we matched the features visible on satellite imagery to the details in the Channel 4 news
report that was shot here in 2015. In August this year, an Amnesty International
investigator spoke with residents of Zelevet who had been displaced by
the fighting to a nearby town. Among them was a man who said that he saw
these women and children being brought into the base by Cameroonian soldiers. A short
while after they were led away, he said he heard gunfire. In August there was a sudden change in the
government’s position. After weeks of denying that these killings
took place in Cameroon, Bakary announced that seven members of the Cameroonian military
had been arrested and were under investigation. Our analysis has identified three men who
actually pulled the trigger. One of them is this man – introduced at the
start of the film as ‘Tchotcho.’ We found a Facebook profile that links the
nickname ‘Tchotcho’ to a soldier called Cyriaque Bityala. A Cyriaque Bityala is among
the detainees named by the government. The BBC has also spoken with a former Cameroonian
soldier who confirmed that this is ‘Tchotcho’ Cyriaque Bityala. At the end of the film we see him again, blindfolding
the little girl he is about to kill. A few vseconds later, he draws
his weapon and opens fire. Our analysis identified two other guns that
were used in the killing. One of them was in the hands of this man. We see him here blindfolding the woman with
the baby, seconds before the shooting starts. Our military source identified him as Barnabas
‘Gonorso’. Although we were not able to confirm this identification, a very similar
name – Barnabas Donossou – appeared eleven days later on the government’s list of soldiers
who are now under investigation. The third weapon used in the killing is the
Zastava M21 we saw earlier. It is in the hands of a man introduced in
the video as ‘Second Class Cobra.’ So who is Cobra? As the women and children are killed, Cobra
is the last man still firing into the bodies. One of his colleagues calls out “Tsanga,
leave it. They’re dead.” When he still does not stop shooting, they
call out again: “That’s enough, Tsanga, that’s enough.” The name Tsanga also appears on the list of
men under investigation, suggesting that ‘Cobra’ is a nickname for Lance Corporal Tsanga. Another man named among those arrested is
Etienne Fabassou. He is the platoon commander who was interviewed
by Channel 4 News in 2015. As far as we can tell, he does not appear in the video. We put these findings to the government of
Cameroon, who responded: The government statement on the arrests makes
clear that all these men enjoy “the presumption of innocence” until the investigation has
been concluded, and that all of them “will be given a fair trial.” No due process was extended to the two women
killed outside Zelevet. And no presumption of innocence was afforded
to the children who died with them.

100 thoughts on “Cameroon: Anatomy of a Killing – Documentary – BBC Africa Eye

  1. This abominable atrocity is another reason to believe there is a life after death. Such murderers can't simply get away with it. Imagine that someone kills, rapes, steals, get rich, then die peacefuly within his luxurious well protected residence, and he rests in eternal peace cause there is no reckoning day after death ?

  2. As a Native American who has black skin YOU FUKING DUMMIES UR KILLER YOUR OWN AND THISSSS IS WHY THEY CALL STUPID !!! Uggggh so disgusted!!!

  3. I've seen the video in its entirety last year, it shook me to the core due to the fact that those monsters executed the children as well.

  4. how could such people kill an innocent children and infant whos totally do not know whats happening around?
    Is these the kind of soldier serving in your country?

  5. That poor child when they blindfolded her just tore at me, unbelievable. Thank you BBC for this story. Have they been convicted? I doubt it. Email the minister in the video.

  6. I understand that Bokuharam is doing a lot of killings towards innocent people however, this makes you no better than him. Those women and children did not deserve this. This is wrong !!! and may GOD punishes you in this world and the after for your evil ways. This world is so fucked up sometimes I wish a huge comet can come and wipe us all out.

  7. I swear you would think these people don't' have parents, brothers and sisters, and children. How can you make yourself do such a heinous thing?

  8. why didn't the people recording this stop the killings? They are–legally–co-conspirators to murder.

  9. have you seen the attrosities commited by isis, this is nothing in comparison, they even cooked a bunch of KIDS in a bakers oven, that is just one,

  10. Lol more the merrier lol lol no one cares ,,,, thay won't to kill each other ? Let them ,, give them more bullets not food ,,,,,!

  11. Very cruel to kill a mom with her baby on back. We should all try to bring these evil people to justice.

  12. So much bloodshed in the earth , just think that how much pain u r giving to your creator Yr God Yr Allah yr Bhagwan 😢😢😢😢😢😢

  13. So sad 😞 sweet little innocent angels 👼 and their poor mothers.
    There will be a special place in hell for those demons what monsters.
    Very good investigating and journalism y’all no matter how heartbreaking great job

  14. Really broke my heart into pieces as a father when I saw the little girl got blindfolded, I am also a member of the armed force in my country Papua new Guinea but never in eyes of the lord will I draw my weapon at an innocent women and children regardless of the reasons and situations presented before me. What is wrong with the African countries?

  15. How dare they get a trial or are innocent until proven guilty. An eye for an eye and the world will go blond. How about justice for the kids the BBC ALLOWED TO BE RAPED BY JIMMY SAVELLE? FUCK OFF BBC YOU DOUBLE STRANDED CUNTS!!!

  16. No jail just cut them to a pieces and scatter their flesh to the dessert which those innocent had been murdered!!

  17. What did those children do? They didn’t do anything wrong and you all are ugly horrible beasts who could kill them. Karma will get back to you.

  18. Besides that it would never happen, if the Woman would have been part of Boko Haram what would they done ?

    They are all out of their fuckin minds.

  19. Pure evil. Indeed there is a place in Hell for people like this,,I don’t care what country your in,,this is nothing but pure evil. So sad, so pitiful. God have mercy on these women in Gods name

  20. My heart is broken for what i have seen in this video 🥀😢😢😢 what that child have done? This animal this cawards this barbaric action i cant believe why the world is watching and ding nothing☹☹😢😢

  21. No wonder the world had to change. it is mapped out as part of the change in our world like America a New design world that will change
    for the Better so I do hope it is sooner than later. it's shocking to see humans killing their own flesh and Blood with no remorse or Thought
    of their actions of what they do. for their actions I do hope they are placed to the ground by stakes with honey poured over their bodies to plead
    for mercy as they are eaten alive of what they deserve to die for. the E.U. yes I'll be glad when we are out of it.

  22. Lol this goes to show dont ever video tape anything you dont want out. The technology and the way they use maps to fond out when where and how they were killed is absolutely amazing

  23. I condemn this extrajudicial killings of these women and children. However, I'd like to know the main mission of BBC africa as their reportage about Africa is always dark. Do you mean that there's nothing positive going on in Africa that worth shedding lights on for the world to see? What's the agenda of BBC africa? Despite the fact that most domestic terrorism in the US is being perpetrated by white Men, you don't see CNN, FOX, or BBC reporting it to the world. With that said, your investigative journalism on this worth commendation.

  24. what i cant stand is the circular nonsense going on. The culture of the narrator is fucking up the world and then its the very one's that are fucking up the world that make the documentaries.

    I saw a bob Marley interview and the fucker doing the interview is British the very fuckers that are fucking up Jamaica and then its him who cant figure out why Jamaica is doing so bad. he keeps bringing up the dirty, the crime, the poverty, the desperation…. YOUR CULTURE DID THAT TO THEM YOU GOOFY BASTARD.

  25. Great documentary that i have come to expect from the BBC, pulls in the Hi Brows and the Low Brows with a fascinating easy style to follow and educate oneself, i can come away thinking i'm smarter than i actually am, ahhhhh…sets me up for the whole day.

  26. You must investigates the killing of civilian in iraq.and afghan and others country million of civilian was killed by american soldiers

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