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Bishops demand inquiry into deaths

Cameroon’s Roman Catholic bishops have joined activists and rights organizations in demanding that the government explain the disappearance of nine youths who are now feared dead.

The nine have not been seen since 28 January, five days after soldiers of the Commandement Operationel arrested them for stealing a gas canister, a Cameroonian political analyst told IRIN on Wednesday.

A Cameroonian organization known as L’Action des chretiens contre la torture (ACAT) claimed on 2 March that the youths were killed with acid, along with 41 others.

“The public is expressing its discontent through rallies that are repressed harshly,” the analyst said, in reference to demonstrations since ACAT’s statement.

The army unit - often accused of torture and extrajudiciary killings of suspects - was created in February 2000 to fight the rising level of crime in Douala, the country’s economic hub. On Tuesday, President Paul Biya ordered an enquiry into the disappearances.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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