The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, was on her way to meet the people forced out of their homes by the Boko Haram terrorists in Central African country of Cameroon, when tragedy struck and an armored jeep in her convoy ran over and killed a 7-year-old boy who darted into the road.
The fatal accident occurred on a two-lane highway near the city of Mokolo and the motorcade was reportedly traveling at around 60 mph at the time of the crash. An ambulance in the convoy tended to the boy, whose name remains undisclosed, before transporting him to a local hospital, but the child could not be saved.
“We are deeply saddened and offer our sincere condolences to the child’s family,” said a state official on the condition of anonymity. “At the time of the incident, Ambassador Power was outside Maroua, in the northern part of Cameroon visiting IDP and refugee camps and discussing with Cameroonian officials how to address the threat of Boko Haram in the region. The area had been the near recent instances of Boko Haram violence.”
The official also revealed the ambassador, who was travelling along fellow aides and journalists, later met with the child’s family “to offer her condolences in person.”
It is not clear if the U.S. government would compensate the child’s family for their loss.
Boko Haram extremists have forced hundreds of thousands of people in Cameroon to uproot their lives and flee to far-off regions to survive.
Although the Nigerian government has been able to control it to some extent, the extremist group still poses a major threat in the countryside. Their terrorists have crisscrossed their way into Cameroon and Chad, causing the impoverished villagers to live like refugees in their own country.
“All of you who are attempting to fight this terror, the United States stands with you,” Power told the people during her rare visit to the affected area. “They have guns. They have suicide vests. They have armored vehicles,” she added, noting military force must be part of the counter-terror effort.
Over the last decade, the war against Boko Haram has killed over 20,000 people and displaced some 2.4 million throughout the region, according to UNICEF.
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Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters