Residents of Bamenda in Cameroon’s North West Region are yet to recover from shock and disbelief following the killing of four teenagers by soldiers in Meta Quarter on Saturday, January 23, 2021.

In what has become an almost normal phenomenon, the four teenagers were reportedly killed by the military in a raid that was aimed at targeting separatist fighters.

“They were killed in an uncompleted story-building by the military when they were caught smoking ‘banga’,” testifies a local.

Our source explained that the incident “… happened when armed men who fired gunshots had left the quarter”.

“The main actors, whose gunshots provoked the military, had left the area and those caught are these innocent guys … Since they were met consuming drugs, they were classified as Ambazonian fighters. But the boys killed were innocent,” a local tells MMI in tears.

Extrajudicial killings by the military in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon have seen an increase in recent times.

Soldiers have unjustly killed civilians across the two regions on several occasions, most often going unpunished.

This also comes at a time when young persons in these regions have been particularly targeted by these elements for extortions and harassment.

The authorities are yet to give an official statement on the killing of these teenagers at their prime, but have often defended military actions, saying the forces act “professionally”.

What crime did they commit that made them not deserve a second chance at life?