Mass death sentences for Boko Haram fighters

Mar 18, 2016, 1:34 AM EDT
The the EYN No. 1 Church in Gombi, in northeastern Nigeria, was burned by Boko Haram insurgents when they overran the town in 2014.
(Source: Jerome Starkey/flickr)

Cameroon has sentenced 89 members of Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram to death, local media report.

The BBC reports:

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.

Writes Newsweek:

Boko Haram has been waging an insurgency in northeast Nigeria since 2009, killing some 20,000 people and displacing more than two million. During 2015, the group upped its activities across Nigeria’s borders in Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Boko Haram militants have been suspected of carrying out suicide bombings particularly in Cameroon’s Far North region. The 89 suspects were convicted by a Cameroonian military court for their role in various attacks in the north of the country.