A military court in Cameroon last week sentenced 89 Boko Haram insurgents to death for their involvement in terror attacks in the country’s northern region, close to the border with Nigeria, the CNN reports.
Cameroon has been battling to counter the scourge of terrorism, which continues to threaten the country and region’s peace and security.
Despite various measures to fight extremism, the grim reality on the ground is that terrorism appears to be on the rise and scores of people have been killed in recent attacks.
The sentencing has raised questions around whether Cameroon’s anti-terrorist crackdown will not exacerbate violent extremism and whether it is justifiable to use the death sentence to fight extremism.
Capital punishment remains a controversial issue on the continent, where 36 countries still have the death penalty, and 11 of the countries currently execute people.
The treatment of extremist suspects remains a controversial issue in parts of Africa. Recently, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta revealed plans to build a new prison exclusively for extremist suspects, to prevent jihadists from spreading their extremist ideology.
The proposal in Kenya sparked an intense debate with some observers drawing parallels with the infamous U.S. prison facility, Guantánamo Bay, and questioning the efficacy and the legal implications of such a strategy.